85% of councils reducing public health budgets this year, with Swindon Public Health Budgets cut by £366,000!

Labour is today publishing new analysis exposing devastating Tory health cuts which are forcing 85% of councils to reduce their public health budgets this year.

In total the Government is forcing councils to make £800m of public health cuts over 6 years, and Labour’s new analysis of this year’s Revenue Account Budget figures published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government shows:

  • 130 out of 152 local authorities (85%) plan to reduce their public health budgets in 2018/19

  • In total £96.3m will be taken out of public health compared to 2017/18

  • Among the worst hit services are sexual health which is being cut by 95 councils and loses £17.6m, and substance misuse which is being cut by 114 councils and loses £34m

  • Public health budgets aimed specifically at children are being cut by a total of £25.9m year on year.

  • Smoking cessation budgets will fall by £3.1m and obesity budgets by £1m.

In Swindon:

  • Swindon will lose £366,000 from its public health budget.

  • From that public health budget, Swindon will lose a quarter of a million pounds from funds aimed at tackling substance misuse, and £148,000 from public health services for children.

Cllr. Jim Grant, Labour Group Leader on Swindon Borough Council, said:

“It shows these cuts to public health budgets are cynical and wrong when drug related deaths are at their highest ever, rates of STDs are rising and in Swindon we have more young children obese and in need of a child protection plan compared to the national average.

“The Tories’ short sighted ideological cuts to services that keep families happy and healthy are leading to some terrible problems in Swindon. Not least the fact we have nearly double the number of children with child protection plans against the national average. When this is the case why is the government cutting one hundred and forty eight thousand pounds from public health services for children locally?

“Local services that are there to work with vulnerable families at an early stage to keep them well are being slashed in every part of England, and people in Swindon are suffering. Swindon is already the only large town or city in the country to close all our Children’s Centres.

“Labour locally as well as nationally, are determined to narrow health inequalities and prevent families falling in to crisis, by having funded programmes that support families at an early stage to give them the tools to stay health and prevent them falling in to crisis. One way we will do this is by reintroducing Children’s Centres that can support families in improving their health.”

Full list of year on year changes to public health budgets is as follows:

Service Nuber of councils (of 152) cutting service this year Total budget in 2018/19 Total reduction compared to 2017/18
TOTAL PUBLIC HEALTH 130 £3,314,041,000 -£96,379,370
Sexual health services – STI testing and treatment (prescribed functions) 83 £342,577,000 -£11,275,614
Sexual health services – Contraception (prescribed functions) 66 £169,390,000 -£6,334,358
Sexual health services – Promotion, prevention and advice (non-prescribed functions) 77 £51,519,000 -£12,190
NHS health check programme  (prescribed functions) 88 £59,192,000 -£7,163,234
Health protection – Local authority role in health protection  (prescribed functions) 63 £33,552,000 -£1,654,980
National child measurement programme (prescribed functions) 58 £21,634,000 -£4,570,985
Public health advice to NHS commissioners (prescribed functions) 71 £52,952,000 £1,526,325
Obesity – adults 74 £55,878,000 -£283,488
Obesity – children 72 £39,511,000 -£758,416
Physical activity – adults 61 £67,956,000 £2,373,527
Physical activity – children 49 £35,764,000 £6,697,090
Substance misuse – Treatment for drug misuse in adults 97 £372,976,000 -£13,197,103
Substance misuse – Treatment for alcohol misuse in adults 87 £170,528,000 -£7,883,859
Substance misuse – Preventing and reducing harm from drug misuse in adults 73 £60,007,000 -£5,995,779
Substance misuse – Preventing and reducing harm from alcohol misuse in adults 55 £37,606,000 £404,553
Substance misuse – Specialist drug and alcohol misuse services for children and young people 80 £40,891,000 -£7,313,821
Smoking and tobacco – Stop smoking services and interventions 88 £85,613,000 -£3,376,433
Smoking and tobacco – Wider tobacco control 59 £11,020,000 £240,097
Children 5–19 public health programmes 83 £252,667,000 -£7,314,218
Miscellaneous public health services – Mandated 0-5 children’s services (prescribed functions) 93 £713,084,000 -£16,154,440
Miscellaneous public health services – All Other 0-5 children’s services (non-prescribed functions) 70 £164,227,000 £3,563,980
Health at work 46 £18,654,000 -£13,304,893
Public mental health 48 £52,047,000 £9,905,957
Miscellaneous public health services – other 81 £404,796,000 -£14,497,089