GP practices will ‘struggle to cope’ as Government policy is forcing public health budget cuts of several millions in some areas.
GPC deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey, a GP in Leeds, said already under pressure practices would be picking up work when Leeds City Council is forced to cut £7.8m off its public health budget over the course of the next two years.
The council has just annunced its latest round of cuts, of £3.9m in 2016/17 and £1.1m in 2017/18, as public health funding is already due to reduce by £2.8m by the end of the current financial year – amounting to a reduction of almost £8m in total.
The council still has to find £600,000 further savings by April, with local reports suggesting Leeds’ only HIV support service, run by BHA Leeds Skyline, could lose its contract in March.
Ahead of the April deadline, the council has already cut £2.2m from 22 public health services including smoking cessation services worth £127,000 and £25,000 from sexual health services.
Full story in Pulse 25 January 2016