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Public Health Funding

Volume 644: debated on Tuesday 3 July 2018

8. What recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on changes in the level of funding for public health since 2010. (906197)

I have regular discussions with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care about funding for public health. We fully understand the need to continue supporting prevention and public health in order to manage pressures on the NHS, and we will be setting out budgets for the public health grant in the forthcoming spending review.

Gateshead Council will see a 15% reduction—that is £2.3 million—in its public health grant between 2013 and 2019-20, yet the recent NHS funding statement does not cover public health. With healthy life expectancy 13.8 years lower for men and 12.8 years lower for women in Gateshead than in many other areas, would it not make sense to invest in increased funding for public health services now to reduce demand on acute NHS services in the future?

The recent announcement of an additional £20 billion a year by 2023-24 for NHS funding was about core NHS funding. That is a huge commitment: £83 billion over the next five years. However, the hon. Lady is of course right to say that public health spending is also very important and has a direct impact on the way the NHS operates. Local authorities will receive more than £9 billion to spend on public health between now and 2021, but that is not the only stream of funding for public health. NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care pay for Public Health England and for immunisation, screening and other preventive programmes. The NHS 10-year plan, which is currently under development, will set out proposals for public health.

We thank the Chancellor for his views, which have been set out in considerable detail. The right hon. Gentleman cannot be accused of excluding any consideration that might, at any time, to any degree, be judged material.

Last year, NHS England was given £337 million to prepare for winter pressures, but the Scottish Government received only £8.4 million rather than the expected £32 million. The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has claimed that Scotland will get £2 billion from this recent uplift. When we will know the real figure?

I can give it to the hon. Lady now, with a brevity you will be proud of, Mr Speaker. It is £2.27 billion in 2023-24.