Public health budgets have been “ring-fenced” for the first time as local authorities take responsibility for community health.
The £5.45 billion public health budget was announced today (10 January 2013) by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
He said: “By putting local authorities in charge of public health, we are giving them the power, freedom and the funding to tackle the issues that blight their local areas and help improve the lives of their local communities.
“Improving the health of local people will be at the heart of everything they do – from social care to transport, housing, planning and environment.”
Building on advice from the Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation (ACRA), areas with the “greatest needs” will receive more funding.
It is claimed this will help drive local efforts to improve health and wellbeing by “tackling the wider determinants of poor health.”
Every local authority will receive a real terms increase in funding.
The budget for local health services in 2013/14 will be just under £2.7 billion. In 2014/15, it will be raised to just under £2.8 billion.
It is hoped that providing a two-year budget will also give local authorities a clearer long-term understanding of their future funding as they prepare to take on their new responsibilities.