12 Jan 2016

Health and care leaders in Leeds commit to closer working to deal with cutbacks

Health Wellbeing

At an urgent meeting of Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board, senior figures from the city’s health and care community outlined plans to deal with significant reductions in the public health grant following the government spending review.

With further details of the specific cuts to be faced by Leeds public health still to be confirmed, the council estimate there will be a recurrent reduction of £3.9m from 2016/17 and a further £1.1m reduction in 2017/18.

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Executive Member for Health, Wellbeing and Adult Services, said:

“It is common sense that prevention of poor health is key to the long term future of the NHS, as well as the health of people in our city. The announcement of the government’s further funding cuts add to the already significant financial challenge for overall health and care in Leeds which we were warned last year would amount to a shortfall of over £650m over the next five years.

“The initial £5m reduction by the end of 2017/18 seems likely to be followed by more reductions in subsequent years. So I am pleased that members of the Health and Wellbeing Board, representing the commissioners and providers of health and care services, as well as representatives of patients, have agreed we will work in partnership to respond to these cuts in order to best support the population we serve.”

Public Health services that the council funds include:

  • school nursing;
  • infection control;
  • health checks;
  • drug and substance misuse programmes;
  • smoking cessation services; and
  • sexual health schemes, including HIV prevention.

With a number of award winning services in the city seeing funding levels threatened, the Board has committed to working with services and service users to minimise the impact of the funding reduction. However, organisations are already being contacted to make them aware of challenges being faced.

Councillor Mulherin continued:

“Almost ninety per cent of public health funding is spent on services commissioned from a wide range of providers including GPs, pharmacies, Leeds Community Healthcare Trust, Leeds & York Partnership Foundation Trust, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, the Third sector and other Leeds City Council services. These are cuts to health spending which will surely have a negative impact on the health and wellbeing of people in Leeds, from Wetherby to West Ardsley, from Hunslet to Otley.”

Notes for editors:

The Department of Health has set out the council’s public health commissioning responsibilities, and made a number of services mandatory:

  • tobacco control and smoking cessation services
  • public health services for children and young people aged 5 – 9 (including Healthy Child Programme 5-19)
  • the National Child Measurement Programme
  • interventions to tackle obesity such as community lifestyle and weight management services
  • locally-led nutrition initiatives
  • increasing levels of physical activity in the local population
  • NHS Health Check assessments
  • public mental health services
  • dental public health services
  • accidental injury prevention
  • population level interventions to reduce and prevent birth defects
  • behavioural and lifestyle campaigns to prevent cancer and long-term conditions
  • local initiatives on workplace health
  • supporting, reviewing and challenging delivery of key public health and NHS delivered services such as immunisation and screening programmes
  • comprehensive sexual health services (including testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, contraception outside of GP contract and sexual health promotion and disease prevention)
  • local initiatives to reduce excess deaths as a result of seasonal mortality
  • the local authority role in dealing with health protection incidents, outbreaks and emergencies public health aspects of promotion of community safety, violence prevention and response
  • public health aspects of local initiatives to tackle social exclusion
  • local initiatives that reduce public health impacts of environmental risks
  • public health services for 0-5’s (covering Health Visitors and Family Nurse Partnership)

Public Health Mandatory Services:

  • appropriate access to sexual health
  • steps are to be taken to protect the health of the population, in particular, giving the local authority a duty to ensure there are plans in place to protect the health of the population
  • ensuring NHS commissioners receive the public health advice they need
  • the National Child Measurement Programme
  • NHS Health Check assessment

(Department of Health, 2013)

Further information about the health and wellbeing system financial challenge is available at: http://democracy.leeds.gov.uk/documents/s140879/8%20Financial%20Challenge%20report%205%20070116.pdf


For media enquiries contact:

Leeds City Council Communications team