Concern over short sighted health cuts

Healthcare is feeling the squeeze despite rising obesity rates in MK
Healthcare is feeling the squeeze despite rising obesity rates in MK

Almost £700,000 has been slashed from the council’s health budget – despite MK ranking as the fattest place in England with rising HIV cases.

The funding pays for school nurses, health visitors and prevention work linked to promoting good sexual health, healthy eating and the importance of exercise.

This week, Conservative councillor Alice Bramall criticised her own party’s cuts that have been slammed as “short sighted”.

Ms Bramall, who chairs the health and adult social care committee, said: “It is certainly disappointing to see public health funding reduced, councillors across the country from all parties have been fighting to see this stopped.

“Public health has never been so important and spending money on early intervention will save bigger costs downstream on treatment.”

With almost three quarters of the city’s population overweight, concerned cabinet member for health and wellbeing, Councillor Nigel Long, said: “We have been able to largely protect services from Tory cuts this year, but next year the damage could be severe. It’s all so short sighted.”

He has proposed to protect the £2million healthy child programme and use other budget savings to protect public health spending in areas such as drug and alcohol related work and HIV services.

Councillor Bramall has pledged to ensure MK’s health budget reflects the size of the population.