Intended for healthcare professionals


Two thirds of local authorities face shortfall in public health budgets despite increased funding

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 11 January 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f234
  1. Caroline White
  1. 1London

Around two thirds of local authorities in England will find themselves short of the money needed to meet their target spending per head on public health by the end of 2014-15, show figures on the two year settlements allocated to them by the Department of Health.1

This is despite real term increases of up to 10% on the budgets for both 2013-14 and 2014-15 proposed by the outgoing primary care trusts, which relinquish responsibility for public health this April.

The overall budget for public health services managed by England’s 152 local authorities will be £2.7bn (€3.3bn; $4.4bn) in 2013-14 and just under £2.8bn in 2014-15. The health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, announced on 10 January that the money would be ringfenced.

Local authorities will not assume responsibility for immunisation and vaccination, health …

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