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Public health should not be an easy target for cuts

Funding for public health has dropped by nearly a quarter since responsibility transferred to local authorities five years ago. We must make the case for investment in the future
A leaflet on smoking cessation

Funding for public health has dropped by nearly a quarter since responsibility transferred to local authorities five years ago. We must make the case for investment in the future, says the chair of RCN’s public health forum

Picture: Alamy

Improving the health of the UK population has been a priority for public health nurses for many years. Public health includes many disciplines, such as sexual health, smoking cessation, travel health, immunisation and vaccination, school nursing, health visiting, occupational health, substance misuse and the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis.

Over the past decade, many successful initiatives have resulted in lower numbers of people who smoke, higher numbers of people testing for sexually transmitted infections, and the development of screening programmes.

These successes are down to the continued hard work and commitment of healthcare professionals and financial investment in public health services. Funding is vital to

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