Lansley bids to ringfence public health funding

Public health is to receive a ringfenced budget and new outcomes-based targets, health secretary Andrew Lansley announced on Wednesday.

Mr Lansley: ringfenced funding for a new public health service
Mr Lansley: ringfenced funding for a new public health service

Speaking at the Faculty of Public Health’s meeting in London, Mr Lansley also revealed that the government would scale back funding of its Change4Life programme. The DoH would be looking to charities, companies and local authorities to fill the funding gap, he said.

Mr Lansley said that ringfenced funding for a new public health service would give confidence that health inequalities could be tackled, even ‘in the teeth of the debt crisis’.

Mr Lansley said that outcomes would need to be based in local solutions.

'We will not be dictating the 'how' when it comes to achieving better public health outcomes.  But we will be very clear about the ‘what’ - what we want to measure and achieve.'

The exact outcomes to be assessed will be subject to consultation. But they could, he suggested, include:

  • Increases in life expectancy,
  • Reduction of inequality in life expectancy,
  • Improved immunisation rates,
  • Reduced childhood obesity,
  • Improvement in take-up of physical activity.

Local areas would be given ‘health premiums’ to help them deliver these outcomes, he said.

Mr Lansley also said that a Cabinet sub-committee on public health would be established.

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