CIEH joins the call to reverse public health cuts

The CIEH has joined several high-profile organisations in writing to the Chancellor to reverse spending cuts to vital public health services in England.  

Led by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) and the Faculty of Public Health (FPH), the CIEH signed the letter to the Chancellor to show its support for the campaign to protect preventative public health services.

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Earlier this year, George Osborne announced plans to cut the £2.8bn public health budget by £200m from January.

The public health budget is held by councils and is therefore not covered by the government's promise to protect the health service.

A total of 11 groups, including the Royal College of Nursing and the NHS Confederation, put their names to a letter to George Osborne asking him to reconsider the plans, warning that cutting funds from the public health budget would cause greater ill-health and inequality in the population.

Graham Jukes OBE, Chief Executive of the CIEH, said: “When the Chancellor first announced plans to slash the public health budget in the summer, I said at the time that this would undermine the progress that has been made by Public Health England in pursuing a bolder preventative health agenda.

“Public health interventions are long term, leading to benefits in improved health and wellbeing of the nation long into the future, as well as ultimately producing significant savings in the NHS. For this reason we would call on the Chancellor not to implement any further cuts to the public health budget in the upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review if the Government is serious about improving people’s health and wellbeing.”

Graham Jukes added: “Cuts to local government funding have already meant that the re-organisation of essential public health services provided by local councils through Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) are pared to the bone.

“Public health is wider than smoking, obesity and sexual health services and the proposed funding cuts will also have a negative impact on the key determents of health and wellbeing, such as food safety and improving poor housing conditions for the most vulnerable in society.”

The letter to Chancellor has been featured on the BBC and the Guardian websites and click here to read a copy of the full letter.

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