A study by the Health Foundation indicates an additional £3.2bn a year is required to reverse the impact of government cuts to the public health grant.
The paper highlights that, based on current spending plans, there will be a reduction of almost a quarter in spending per person between 2014/15 and 2019/20 equating to a £700m real-term reduction in public health grant in that period.
It is suggested that these cuts have not protected areas with the greatest deprivation or need leading to a risk that health equalities will continue to widen.
The research suggests that as a minimum the government should reverse real-term cuts and allow additional investment in the most deprived areas by providing an additional £1.3bn in 2019/20.
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