The public health handover to local authorities may be a car crash
25 Mar 2013Diane Abbott says handover of public health to local authorities could be a car crash
Shadow Health Minister condemns distribution of funding to councils as “blatantly unfair” and biased towards Tory area
Diane Abbott said today:
“In principle I support the handover of public health to local authorities. But in practise, because the government has been so preoccupied with the wider NHS re-organisation, this handover could be a car crash.
‘The government only announced the public health financial allocations a few weeks ago. This was far too late and has made it impossible for local authorities to plan properly.
‘The distribution has been blatantly unfair. The amounts per head of population will vary wildly, from £22/head in Windsor and Maidenhead to £132 in Westminster. There is also no weighting towards the public health needs of children and young people, whose frontline services are already being cut in some areas.
‘The government has taken its eye off the ball, because the health of British families simply isn’t one of this government’s priorities. Despite all the promises, some of England's healthiest and wealthiest areas are being lavished with the biggest pots of money. Given that poverty causes so much ill health, it's common sense for more deprived areas to get extra support for their public health service
‘It is wrong that this government is unleashing this careless postcode lottery. Monitoring the handover, as well as public health outcomes, is now essential because of the chaos created by the government’s unnecessary delay and mismanagement in announcing public health allocations.
‘I fear that we are facing a crisis of fragmentation under the new system. Instead of energising the public health workforce and renewing the focus on population health, there is a real risk that the reorganisation will lead to a fragmentation of effort. It seems to me that the public health expertise, networks and resources that exist run the risk of being dismantled.’
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