Comment

Rod Thomson: Government rhetoric on public health not matched by its actions

Plans to end the public health grant break a promise and cast doubt over the future of vital local services, says Professor Rod Thomson.
NHS Cuts

Plans to end the public health grant break a promise and cast doubt over the future of vital local services, says Professor Rod Thomson

The government has highlighted the need to address the growing demands on the NHS and social care services, stating the importance of preventing ill health and promoting mental and physical well-being.

However, its actions do not appear to match the rhetoric.

Public health departments in local authorities – seen as a major focus for health promotion and illness prevention – receive a grant from the Department of Health (DH) to commission a wide range of services, including health visiting, school nursing, smoking cessation, sexual health and substance misuse treatment.

Where the rhetoric and reality diverge is the government’s decision to cut

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