Wiltshire one of lowest counties in country for health funding

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Coun Keith Humphries Coun Keith Humphries

Wiltshire councillor Keith Humphries says he is satisfied with the amount of money allocated for public health by the Government, despite the county being one of the lowest funded.

Of the 152 councils in England only ten have received less money than Wiltshire.

Councils take over running public health services in April from the NHS. The Government has allocated budgets to councils for the next two years with more money for areas with the worst health outcomes.

In 2013/14 Wiltshire Council will receive £13.261 million amounting to £28 per head of population, compared to the national average of £49. In 2014/15 the budget is £14.587 million which is £30 per head, the national average is £51.

NHS Wiltshire's budget for public health this year is £11.671 million.

Coun Humphries, Wiltshire Council's Cabinet member for public health, said: "Wiltshire is getting a ten per cent increase on funding for public health next year and the year after that. That is really good news.

"The budget is strictly ring fenced, there are 18 categories of spend it can be used for. That budget will be audited separately at the end of the year and signed off by the council.

"When we get Government grants Wiltshire always tends to be low down but we are moving in the right direction. It's a big improvement from where we were. There's never going to be enough money to do everything we want to do. I'm really pleased we have been able to increase our percentage. "

  •  Swindon Borough Council has been allocated £7.891 million for 2013/14, £37 per head of population, and £8.680 million in 2014/15, £40 per head.

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