Response to public health funding announcement

By on 10/01/2013 in Cllr Bedser, News
Cllr Steve Bedser

Cllr Steve Bedser

Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Steve Bedser, today welcomed an end to the uncertainty over public health funding and set his sights on tackling the city's long-standing health inequalities.

The 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.

A Government announcement on funding allocations was cancelled in the lead up to Christmas but the Department of Health today announced ring-fenced grants for 2013-14 and 2014-15.

Birmingham has been allocated £78.63 million (£72 per head) for 2013/14, rising to £80.8 million (£73 per head) in 2014/15.

Responding to the announcement, Cllr Bedser, said: “We have to study this in detail yet, but I'm relieved that the significant public health challenges in Birmingham appear to have been recognised by the Department of Health.

“Let's not forget that many other council services are facing cuts, so the pressure on public health services in the city will be greater than ever over the next few years.

“This funding is absolutely vital if we are going to tackle the very real health inequalities across Birmingham - inequalities that have a huge impact on the lives of people throughout our city.

“We want Birmingham to be a city where people are physically active, eat well and live longer, healthier lives. We also want to make a real impact on childhood obesity as well as address the public health impact of homelessness in the city.”

Director of Public Health, Dr Adrian Phillips, added: “We do not underestimate the challenge in Birmingham. The hard work is already underway and we can now redouble our efforts without ongoing uncertainties over funding.

“From April, the council takes responsibility for a wide range of services and our work really can make a massive difference to the people of Birmingham.

“Our aim is to actively promote health rather than simply treating a rising tide of illness and long-term conditions. We must promote healthy choices, protect health, prevent sickness and intervene early to minimise the need for costly hospital treatment.”

ENDS

For more information contact Geoff Coleman on 0121 303 3501

Full details of the public health funding cllocations can be found here: http://www.dh.gov.uk/health/2013/01/ph-grants-las/

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