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England: BMA pleads for end to funding squeeze

Public health funding is not meeting local needs, and cuts should be reversed, a British Medical Association (BMA) report has found.

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The report, Feeling the squeeze, analyses the effects of changes to public health funding.

It cites Blackpool Council’s end to funding smoking cessation services, despite the fact that 22.5% of the town’s population smoke, far higher than the 15.5% national average.

Lambeth Council cut funding for sexual health services by more than 85% between 2016-17 and 2017-18, although the level of new sexually transmitted infections was the highest in England.

The BMA report says: ‘Access to vital public health services is being substantially reduced in some local authorities that have high levels of deprivation. Cutting these services is likely to further undermine efforts to tackle health inequalities across England.’

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