The Conservative Government are currently consulting on an in year reduction in Public Health funding to Swindon Council of £622K. Options on how the Council would manage such an in-year reduction in funding are currently being considered.
Local Public Health responsibilities were transferred to local councils from the NHS to deliver in 2013. Public Health budgets fund such things as smoking cessation services, obesity and diabetes intervention services, accidental injury prevention, occupational health, alcohol and drug addiction rehabilitation and social exclusion services. These services are designed to support people from having an severe health condition which will require more support from health services.
The Leader of the Swindon Labour Group, Councillor Jim Grant, said:
“The cuts to Swindon’s Public Health budget are both short-sighted and will have a detrimental effect on the health of Swindon. Public Health services help combat obesity, diabetes, smoking prevalence, as well as alcohol and drug addiction. The services support people to improve their health and in many respects change their lives. One only has to look at the work public health teams do to rehabilitate adults with drug and alcohol addictions to help them become active members of society again, to see this.
These cuts are short-sighted because public health services improve people’s health which stops them from needing more acute and expensive health services at the Great Western Hospital or through more regular visits to their GP.”