Further proposed savings of £2.2 million in Cambridgeshire County Council's Public Health budget were released today.

This comes after the Chancellor of the Exchequer outlined cuts in the national Public Health Grant to Local Authorities in his Autumn Statement.

Public Health grant funded services now have to make proposed savings for the financial year 2016/17 of around £2.7 million, rather than the £500,000 originally anticipated. The additional proposals set out the main service areas in which savings could be made. Officers are doing further more detailed work to assess the potential impact of the proposals.

New savings proposals put forward for discussion include:

  • Reviewing services delivered directly by the Council's public health directorate 
  • Reviewing health visiting and family nurse partnership services 
  • Reviewing some aspects of drug and alcohol misuse services 
  • Reviewing sexual health clinic services, Chlamydia screening services and sexual health promotion services
  • Reviewing a range of externally commissioned health improvement and prevention projects
  • Reviewing public health activities across the County Council which are funded through the public health grant.

The announcement comes at a time when Cambridgeshire County Council is facing a major financial challenge to find £41 million in savings this year and over £100 million in the next five years. Although the financial picture is bleak Councillors are committed to meet the savings while doing their best for the diverse Cambridgeshire communities they serve.

Councillors in the Health Committee will now look at initial proposals of how these savings could be made and will provide feedback to the General Purposes Committee later in December. A more detailed assessment of the community impact of the proposals will be considered by Committees in January. Following these discussions there may be changes to the initial proposals and further savings proposals may be necessary.  

Dr. Liz Robin, Director for Public Health at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: "We face an unprecedented financial challenge in Cambridgeshire, and these new reductions in the public health grant are an additional challenge. There are no easy decisions, but our main priority is to make sure where possible that these new savings do not impact on the health and wellbeing of local communities. We are working with Councillors and officers to review these proposals and to assess any further proposals, while budget plans for 2016/17 are finalised."

Papers for Cambridgeshire County Council's Health Committee will be published on 09 December with the Committee taking place on 17 December.

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