Public health fund to be transferred to local government24th November 2010
According to the BBC, councils are looking to gain access to £4 billion of health service money which is meant to be used for public health.
Ministers will reveal plans next week which will show that more than 150 public health directors will be moved from the health service to local government.
The directors will be given earmarked money to create projects to tackle problems like obesity. However, local government heads want the money to be available for use in all areas, not just health, as their budgets will be reduced by 26% by 2014.
Funds are due to fall from £29.7 billion to £24.2 billion over the next three years, which represents a fall of more than a quarter if inflation is included.
At present, primary care trusts are the employers of public health directors. When GP consortiums are introduced in 2013, trusts will be dissolved and directors will be employed by local councils.
The Local Government Association (LGA) have stated that they should be able to spend the funding as they see fit.
Councillor David Rogers, chairman of the LGA's community well-being board, said: "Far from protecting resources for public health, a ring-fence may have the reverse effect and be viewed as the total amount of money which should be spent on making people healthier."
"Public health needs to be at the heart of what all councils do and not seen as a separate function."
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Title: Public health fund to be transferred to local government
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 16783
Date Added: 24th Nov 2010