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Press release

The King's Fund responds to Liberal Democrat pledge to provide £1 billion a year to restore the local Public Health Grant

Commenting on a pledge from the Liberal Democrats to provide £1 billion a year to restore the local Public Health Grant, Sarah Woolnough, Chief Executive of The King’s Fund, said:

‘We warmly welcome this commitment from the Liberal Democrats to restore the Public Health Grant to previous funding levels. Prevention is better than cure and that has never been truer than at a time when NHS services are full to bursting point.  

‘The evidence shows that investing in public health at a local level is a highly cost-effective use of public spending and reduces use of higher acuity health services. Cuts made to the Public Health Grant since 2015/16 have had a major impact on local services – such as sexual health clinics, smoking cessation services and children’s health visitors – which play a key role in protecting and improving people’s health.

‘While this injection of funds would be welcome, we would like to see all of the major political parties commit to bold government action1 on the biggest risk factors in our communities - smoking, obesity, clean air, alcohol - that lead to ill health and early death.  

‘Although local government leaders will welcome this increase to an individual funding grant, local authorities provide a huge range of services that support health and wellbeing in our local communities. It is therefore crucial that all parties present a credible plan to properly fund local government.’

Notes to editors

  1. The King’s Fund has published three general election priorities any future government should take to ‘fix’ health and care, including improving access to out of hospital care.

For further information, or to request an interview, please contact the Press and Public Affairs team on 020 7307 2585. 

The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible health and care is available to all. 

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