Local Authority Public Health Budgets: Prevention Vision

Health and Social Care – in the House of Commons on 15th January 2019.

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Photo of Norman Lamb Norman Lamb Chair, Science and Technology Committee (Commons)

What assessment he has made of the effect of changes to local authority public health budgets in 2019-20 on his Department’s ability to achieve its “Prevention is better than cure” vision.

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Local authorities will receive £3 billion in 2019-20, ring-fenced exclusively for use on public health, but our ambitions for prevention go far beyond any one pot of money. “Prevention is better than cure” was widely welcomed, and we will build on it with a comprehensive Green Paper later this year.

Photo of Norman Lamb Norman Lamb Chair, Science and Technology Committee (Commons)

The number of people attending sexual health clinics is up 13% over four years, and the number with gonorrhoea and syphilis is up 20% over the last year, yet the Health Foundation says that funding for sexual health is down 25%. Will the Secretary of State and the Minister be making a powerful case, as part of the spending review, for proper investment in public health, and particularly in sexual health, given their commitment to prevention?

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Yes, of course. Matters for the spending review are just that, but one thing that the right hon. Gentleman, as a former Health Minister, will have noticed—and probably welcomed—in the long-term plan is that we are going to look at the commissioning of, and therefore the funding flow for, sexual health services as part of the long-term plan.