Health

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:18 pm on 14th May 2019.

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Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 4:18 pm, 14th May 2019

The public health grant is settled in the spending review. The NHS settlement has come before the spending review, and the public health grant is only one part of the approach to public health. In 2015, this House agreed, with broad acceptance across parties—I know the hon. Gentleman was not in the House then—that local authorities should take responsibilities for public health, to ensure that the entirety of local authority activity could be focused on better public health.

Public health is not just what happens in the NHS, with councils or in GP surgeries or hospitals. For instance, the Government have taken a global lead in getting social media companies to remove suicide and self-harm content online because of the danger that poses to people’s mental health, and in particular that of children and young people. That is a public health issue. Likewise, the efforts we are making to reduce air pollution in the environment Bill—a broader piece of legislation than just a clean air Act—are about a public health matter. It is not in the public health grant, but it is a public health matter.