Condemning further government cuts to the Public Health budget

Thanks to Stockport Lib Dem Group for sending us this motion on the government’s public health funding cuts.

This council meeting notes:

  • the vital role played by Public Health, including our hugely successful vaccination and immunisation programme, support for those wanting stop smoking, and otherwise helping Stockport residents to lead healthier lives by avoiding diseases and unwanted pregnancies;
  • with grave concern the announcement of a further £85m cut to the Public Health Budget, as one of 12 ministerial statements published by the government on the last day of the parliamentary term before Christmas, only weeks after the Secretary of State for Health described prevention as his priority; and
  • this is on top of cuts to the Public Health budget announced since Summer 2015, now totalling just over £600 million.

This council meeting further notes:

  • the comments of the Health Foundation, who described these cuts as a false economy and who have calculated that an additional £3bn a year is required to reverse the impact of government cuts to the Public Health grant to date and have called for this increased budget to be allocated according to need; and
  • the warnings from the King’s Fund that such cuts could put pressure on councils to cut non-statutory sexual health prevention services, which could lead to more sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancies.

This council meeting believes that our Public Health team perform vital work to help keep the residents of Stockport healthy and to avoid more costly admissions to hospital and other interventions by our NHS and that this should be properly funded by central government.

This council meeting resolves to:

  • thank our Director of Public Health and her team for the great work they do across Stockport despite continued financial challenges;
  • condemn the government’s use of the time just before Christmas to make announcements such as this;
  • call on the Leader of the Council and the Cabinet Member for Health to consider carefully how best to implement the required cuts to services which will result from continued government cuts to the budget; and
  • ask the Chief Executive to write to the Secretary of State for Health, calling on the government to deliver increased investment in Public Health and to support a sustainable health and social care system by taking a “prevention first” approach.

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