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CSP initiates rallying call against £200m public health cuts

3 July 2015 - 8:30am

The CSP has orchestrated a letter published in today’s Times, warning that the proposed £200 million cuts to public health budgets in England would harm long-term efforts to reduce NHS costs.

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There needs to be an increased emphasis on preventing ill-health

Karen Middleton, chief executive of the society, was one of 20 healthcare leaders who signed the joint letter to the newspaper.

Among them is the president of the Faculty of Public Health, and chief executives of the Stroke Association, Arthritis Research UK and Royal College of Midwives.

‘One in six deaths each year is due to inactivity so it defies belief to be cutting services designed to prevent not only that toll but the major health challenges of our time,’ she said.

The letter writers said that public health services target some of the most significant challenges, such as smoking, alcohol misuse, obesity and inactivity.

They said that there needs to be an increased emphasis on preventing ill-health if the NHS and social care are to cope with challenges posed by growing demand and limited resources.

NHS England’s Five year forward view had made prevention its cornerstone, establishing a consensus around which real progress could be made, the letter stated. 

They called on the government to take note of the weight of evidence and recognise that cuts to public health services would be deeply counter-productive to the health of the nation.

A Department of Health spokesperson told Frontline that the government would hold a consultation on the proposed cuts, but that a date for this had not yet been set.

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