Sheffield news Yorkshire councils face cuts and freezes to public health budgets PremierLeague-News.Com
PremierLeague-News.Com - The Labour party warns that more deprived areas risk being 'left behind'
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Councils across Yorkshire have had their public health budgets either cut or frozen despite suffering coronavirus infection rates that are higher than the England average. As many as 100 councils across the country - including some in Yorkshire - will get no extra cash for their public health, once a new HIV programme is taken into account, research by the House of Commons library for the Labour party shows. And in Wakefield and Doncaster - along with 29 other local authorities - public health funding per person will be cut for this financial year, while Rotherham, Barnsley, Bradford, Sheffield, Kirklees, York and North Yorkshire will experience a funding freeze. The Department of Health says it is giving local public health teams "extensive support", and giving out billions to help councils cope with the pandemic, on top of the public health funding. Changes to public health funding came in on April 1, as the country looks forward to the next stage in the roadmap unlocking with hairdressers and non-essential retail allowed to open, along with outdoor hospitality venues, from April 12. However, infection rates in parts of Yorkshire remain higher than the England average, which currently stands at 41 cases per 100,000 people. To get the latest email updates from Yorkshire Live, click here. Doncaster currently has the highest coronavirus infection rate in Yorkshire at 125.7 cases per 100,000 people, according to Government data released on Tuesday, followed by Wakefield at 113.4. Both are facing cuts per person to their public health budgets. Meanwhile, of the councils facing a funding freeze, Rotherham has the next highest infection rate at 108.5, followed by Sheffield at 98.7 and Bradford at 94.3. Last month the government announced that the public health grant that would be given to local authorities for the year 2021 to 2022 would total £3.
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.279 billion the previous year. The grant includes £23.4 million for routine commissioning of the anti-HIV drug pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Labour argues that without the new PrEP funding, the money allocated for ring-fenced public health services will only increase by £22.4million - and not by the £45million previously reported. Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: "A strong local public health response is crucial to getting on the front foot in the battle against Covid in local areas.
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"Disgracefully the Tories are cutting or freezing on a head-for-head basis the budgets available for public health teams in 100 towns and communities. Many of these areas are more deprived, have more people suffering from long term illness or battling high infections rates. "To fail to invest in public health is dangerous and irresponsible, risking communities being left behind and not fully protected. "Ministers promised to give councils the resources needed to protect their communities. "Rather than cutting budgets, ministers should keep their promise and give towns including Hartlepool, Wakefield and Rochdale the resources they need to drive infections down and vaccination rates up." A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: "We are providing extensive support for directors of public health, and their teams, to protect and improve the public’s health and wellbeing during the current pandemic, and beyond. "As well as making over £11 billion of funding available to local councils to support them with the costs and impacts of Covid-19, we are increasing the public health grant in 2021/22. This will ensure local authorities can continue to invest in prevention and essential frontline health services."
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