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October 27, 2021
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Statement: Response to today’s Spending Review

Prof Jim McManus, Interim President, Association of Directors of Public Health, said:

It is unfathomable that the government has not prioritised public health funding in the wake of the worst public health crisis of our time.

This follows a 24% real terms cut since 2015/16 and whilst the Spending Review commits to maintaining the Public Health Grant, in reality it will lead to significant pressures and reductions in public health services and capacity across the country.

The funding to support the best start in life is welcome, as are opportunities to improve public health and narrow health inequalities through the government’s levelling up agenda. ADPH is committed to working with DHSC, OHID, UKHSA and other government departments to embed public health in policy making and funding decisions across Whitehall.

During the last 18 months local public health teams have played a key role in the management of COVID-19. If we are serious about learning the lessons of how existing health inequalities have driven and exacerbated the impact of COVID-19, we must address the socio-economic determinants of health and invest in local public health teams.

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