Savings to Hampshire County Council’s Public Health budget – final recommendations published

Following detailed analysis of the findings of the public consultation held in early summer, on proposed savings to the County Council’s Public Health budget, recommendations have now been published and will be reviewed by the Local Authority’s Health and Adult Social Care Select Committee on Tuesday, 19 October

Oct 12 2021

Savings of £236,000 are proposed as follows:

Substance Misuse services

To save £60,000 by continuing to provide an open access substance misuse service in Winchester from a more cost-effective venue.

Stop Smoking services

To save £168,000 by stopping ‘unsupported prescribing’ – reducing the number of prescriptions written by GPs for stop smoking medication and nicotine replacement therapy that are not accompanied by a support referral to Smokefree Hampshire. Evidence shows that the combination of both, leads to better long-term outcomes.

Sexual Health services

To save £8,000 by removing a duplicated HIV and syphilis self-sampling service. 

Councillor Liz Fairhurst, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Lead Member for Adult Services and Public Health said: “I would like to thank everyone who took part in the consultation. Their views, along with feedback from Public Health England (PHE) on use of Public Health ringfenced grant, means that the proposals originally shared with the public have been substantially altered including not pursuing Public Health School Nursing proposals.  The scrutiny committee will now review the proposals in detail; then pass them to me, with any additional changes they may wish to recommend, for a final decision in November.” 

In total, it was anticipated that the County Council’s Public Health function would need to contribute some £6.8million of savings in 2021/22 towards the Local Authority’s overall budget shortfall. Just over £3.1million of savings have already been achieved through a combination of internal and external service transformation. Following feedback from the consultation and subsequent discussions, it has been concluded that no further savings towards the £6.8million target are required from Public Health. Rather, the  remaining saving requirement of £3.7million can be achieved through additional savings made within adult social care, as a consequence of a reduction in client numbers experienced during COVID.

The funding from the £236,000 of savings proposed to proceed, will be reinvested back into areas of priority to help improve the public’s health. 

The public consultation ran over the summer. Some 3,000 responses were received from individuals, as well as various organisations, including Public Health England.