Public health funding

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Public Health Consensus Statement

Alongside partners, we’re calling on Government to provide local authorities with increased, sustainable public health funding.

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The Government must provide increased, sustainable funding for public health to ensure local authorities have the resources they need to deliver vital public health services, services to help people quit smoking.

In July 2017 the Government published a new Tobacco Control Plan for England. The plan shows the Government's commitment to tackle the health inequalities caused by smoking, and presents a vision for a smoke-free generation.

Why is this important? 

Smoking is the biggest preventable cause of cancer, killing 100,000 people in the UK every year

At least 14 types of cancer are caused by smoking

Smoking costs the NHS £2 billion each year

Fewer smokers mean fewer cancers, and fewer lives devastated by tobacco. Improving the health of the nation will benefit everyone, including smokers and their families, as well as our health service.

There’s still more to do

Stop Smoking Services are the most effective way to help the two-thirds of smokers who want to stop smoking. But cuts to public health budgets have left local authorities in a very difficult position and struggling to deliver these vital services.

The Tobacco Control Plan recognises the importance of Stop Smoking Services but doesn’t address funding challenges. If the government is serious about turning their words into action and make the final push towards realising a ‘smoke-free generation’, they need to find sustainable funding for public health services. We are calling for the Government to provide increased and sustainable public health funding at the forthcoming Spending Review.

Consensus across the health and local government sector

Our call for increased and sustainable public health funding is shared by organisations across the health and local government sector. The impact of year-on-year cuts to public health has been felt across a wide range of public health functions and services—including smoking cessation services, drug and alcohol services and mental health services—and is putting the sustainability of our NHS at greater risk.

To demonstrate our consensus, more than 80 health and local government interest groups, have endorsed a ‘consensus statement’ calling on the Government to provide local authorities with adequate funding to deliver services that prevent ill health, reduce health inequalities and support a sustainable health and social care system.

View our Consensus Statement on Sustainable Funding for Public Health to Government.

Our action so far

May 2019: Over 70 public health and local government interest groups called on the Government to deliver increased, sustainable funding as a priority at the 2019 Spending Review.

April 2019: Cancer Research UK, alongside the Association of Directors of Public Health, Mind and Terrence Higgins Trust submitted written evidence to an inquiry, outlining how cuts to local funding are impacting the delivery of vital public health services provision.

2017 - 2018: Despite pressure, the Government’s public health grant allocations continued to be cut in 2018/19 and 2019/20.

January 2016 – February 2017: We ran our Don’t Quit On Us Campaign, calling for the tobacco industry to pay for the damage they cause via a levy to raise funds for local tobacco control, and for the Government to halt cuts to the public health grant.

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