FSRH consultation response: FSRH calls on the Government to commit to drastically uplift the public health budget
Date: 22 Aug 2019
Type: FSRH Consultation Responses
The Health and Social Care Committee has launched an inquiry to examine the funding required for NHS capital, education and training, social care and public health to implement the NHS Long Term Plan. Responding to this inquiry, we supported the call by The King’s Fund and the Health Foundation for the Government to commit to restoring £1bn of real-terms per head cuts to the public health grant immediately. We noted, however, that this is only a temporary solution and called on the Government to commit to putting the public health budget on a sustainable footing.
We argued that cuts to the public health budget will prove a major challenge to the delivery of the NHS Long-Term Plan ambitions. Local authorities cannot maintain current levels of service provision, and without a reversal of this trend, public health services will remain vulnerable, resulting in further inequalities and expensive interventions downstream in the NHS.
Just like public health, uncertainty surrounding education and training budgets remain, and we noted that cuts to education and training budgets threaten the sustainability of the workforce. We called for funding for education and training to be restored, so as to support the workforce to deliver the NHS Long-Term Plan.
We also made the case for access to contraceptive care to be at the core of a preventative approach to health. Tackling the unmet healthcare need for contraception and other SRH services would contribute to addressing health inequalities and regional variation in access to SRH care, speaking to prevention as the cornerstone of the NHS Long-Term Plan.