Cost of living a second health emergency after COVID
Local Government Association, 21 March 2023
Local health chiefs are warning that the increase in costs of essential food items and energy has created a ‘second health emergency’ after the COVID-19 pandemic.
At this week’s virtual Annual Public Health Conference, which starts today, the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH), said the rising cost of living is having significant health consequences, particularly in those communities that have higher levels of deprivation already.
The report marks the 10th anniversary of the transfer of public health responsibilities to local authorities, with it finding that a year of uncertainty about the direction of public health policy and the approach to tackling health inequalities has concerned local directors of public health.
However, it found that councils, the NHS and the voluntary and community sector have upped their game once again to respond to the rise in the cost of living, building on relationships forged during the response to COVID-19.
Economic prosperity and health go hand in hand but the links between the two need to be much more widely understood. Councils are calling on the Government to address this challenge by making long-term increases to local public health funding, which can go to support those in communities who need it the most.