York calls for a rise in public health allocation to meet shortfall

15 Jan 2013 @ 2.39 pm
| News

Issued by City of York Council

City of York Council has received its first allocation of Government funding for its new public health responsibilities.

From April 2013, public health budgets will be protected for the first time and, in York, City of York Council will take the lead for improving the health of local communities. The allocations are set by an independent expert group, the Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation (ACRA).

York’s opening baseline allocation for 2013-14, revised to take account of changes to the functions transferring to local authorities, is £6.037 million which equates to £30 per head of the population.

This new allocation has been uplifted by ten per cent – the maximum permitted for any local authority by the Department for Health (DoH) – to help accelerate the council towards meeting its target more quickly. This gives an actual allocation for 2013-14 of £6.641m or £33 per head.

York will then get another ten per cent uplift for 2014-15 – again, this is the maximum permitted – to give an actual allocation for 2014-15 of £7.305m or £36 per head. At that point, the city will still be 17.6 per cent away from target, but it is anticipated that it will move further towards its target in subsequent years.

Whilst the baseline allocations for 2013-14 have been based on historic spend patterns in 2011-12 and 2013-14, the Government is moving towards an allocations formula in the future that is based on the actual needs of the local population. This formula has been used to create a ‘target’ future allocation for every local authority.

Councillor Tracey Simpson-Laing, City of York Council’s Cabinet Member for Health, Housing and Adult Social Services said: “I am concerned to note that, even after the ten per cent uplift for 2013-14, we will only have approximately 80 per cent of the funding that the DoH calculates we should have to meet the needs of our population.

“Even after another ten per cent rise in 2014-15, we will still only have about 82.5 per cent of the funding we need and should have for our population, which leaves us with a shortfall of about £1.5m a year. We will be urging the Government to recognise this and match our needs more quickly.”

Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, City of York Council’s Director of Public Health said: “I’m pleased that there is a ten per cent increase this year and ten per cent next year – the maximum permitted for any local authority by the Department of Health – as that recognizes the need to increase the investment in public health locally. This will allow us to start to make some modest investment over the next two years to improve the health and well-being of our residents.”

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