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Public health funding frozen

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The amount of money local authorities receive to spend on public health has been ‘frozen’ for 2015-16.

The Department of Health has announced that the sum it expects to give councils to carry out their public health remit will remain at £2.79bn – the same as last year.

The department also announced an additional £5m funding pot that would be available to local authorities that made improvements to public health in their areas.

Under the Health Premium Incentive Scheme (HPIS), which will be piloted during 2015 and 2016, councils will be rewarded for meeting one mandatory national public health target, related to improving drug and alcohol services, and one local target of their choice.

Public health minister Jane Ellison (Con) said: “We have made a huge investment in improving public health across the country in the past two years. With this major investment staying in place for the next year, we want to see local areas continue their excellent work to help people lead healthier lives.

“The money has again been ringfenced so the focus will remain firmly on improving the health of local communities. This will be further boosted by an extra £5m to target priority areas.”

You can read her written ministeral statement in full here.

Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England, said: “Local authorities are best placed to achieve improvements in the public’s health. The announcement of the public health allocations will allow them to get on with planning the services their communities need most.”

A consultation on the technical design aspects of HPIS and distribution of public health allocations for 2015 to 2016 is now open for comment. The consultation closes on 23 October.

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