Birmingham’s public health budget frustration

By on 04/01/2013 in News

The men charged with steering major changes to Birmingham's public health services in less than three months' time have spoken of their frustration at delays in the announcement of Government funding.

Birmingham City Council takes over responsibility for public health across the city in April 2013 and must tackle a wide range of issues including: smoking, alcohol, obesity, substance abuse and sexual health.

Work to ensure a successful transition is already underway but a Government announcement on public health funding allocations was cancelled in the lead up to Christmas.

Now the head of Public Health England, Duncan Selbie, has revealed the announcement will be delayed until next Friday (11 January) - just 79 days before the public health transition.

Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Steve Bedser, and the city's new Director of Public Health, Dr Adrian Phillips, say the delay has made it difficult to comprehensively plan for the coming financial year.

Cllr Bedser said: “This is a watershed moment in public health provision and we're ready to take on the challenges in Birmingham but we need urgent clarification of the funding that will be available.

“The announcement was frustratingly delayed in the week before Christmas but April is fast approaching and local authorities need answers now.”

Dr Phillips added: “The council takes responsibility for public health across Birmingham in less than 100 days and yet it's still not clear how much money will be available to deliver these vital services.

“We're talking about a wide-range of life enhancing and, in many cases, life changing services here and the sooner we know the funding, the better the outcomes will be for the people of Birmingham.”

ENDS

For more information contact Geoff Coleman on 0121 303 3501

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