County to get £57 million grant over two years to improve public health

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The Government has announced funding for public health budgets which for the first time will be given to local authorities rather than the NHS to improve health across local communities.

Northamptonshire will receive a grant of almost £27 million for 2013-14 and nearly £30million the following year.

Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, announced the two-year ring fenced budget for local authorities today, Thursday.

For the first time, from April 2013, public health budgets will be protected, with local authorities taking the lead for improving the health of their local communities. The Government says this will help drive local efforts to improve health and wellbeing by tackling the wider determinants of poor health.

In 2013-14 the budget for local public health services across the country will be just under £2.7 billion. In 2014-15 the budget will be just under £2.8 billion.

The Government said providing a two-year budget will also give local authorities a clearer long-term understanding of their future funding as they prepare to take on their new responsibilities.

Mr Hunt said: “Too many people die too early from diseases that can be prevented. I want more people to be able to look forward to an independent and active old age and developing high quality public health services is essential to make this a reality.

“Today’s announcement is a major investment and a step toward securing these services for the areas that need them most.

“By putting local authorities in charge of public health, we are giving them the power, freedom and the funding to tackle the issues that blight their local areas and help improve the lives of their local communities. Improving the health of local people will be at the heart of everything they do – from social care to transport, housing, planning and environment.”

Chief executive designate of Public Health England, Duncan Selbie, said: “We welcome this investment and look forward to working alongside local government as they take on their new leadership responsibilities for health and well being.”

Local authorities will be free to drive improvement in health and wellbeing and will embed this focus across everything they do - from social care, to transport, housing and planning. They will be able to use their ring-fenced budget in innovative ways to transform the lives of local people.

The full allocations, including a breakdown of funding for all local authorities and accompanying documents can be found here: http://www.dh.gov.uk/health/2013/01/ph-grants-las/