90 per cent of councils cutting public health services

A Pulse investigation has revealed that 90 per cent of councils have cut spending on sexual health, alcohol misuse and weight management services.

Having analysed data from 80 local authorities as a result of freedom of information requests, the investigation found that some authorities are cutting services completely. Sexual health funding has been cut by two per cent this year, and substance misuse by three per cent. Smoking cessation funding has been maintained at the same level as last year, but this was following a 2.4 per cent cut from 2016/17.

Pulse says that a £1 million weight management service in Rotherham has been scrapped, leading to an increase in patients being referred inappropriately for surgery before they are ready. Furthermore, despite a warning from NHS North East Essex CCG that it posed a significant risk to patient safety, a fall prevention service in Essex is set to be cut from next month in a bid to save £2.2 million a year.

Approximately half of the 620 GPs in England who responded to a separate Pulse survey said that their practices are directly feeling the impact of the cuts.

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