Public health commissioners were forced to cap funding of GP-run NHS Health Checks as a direct result of the Government’s mid-year cuts in funding, a local authority has said. Hertfordshire County Council told Pulse it needed to make savings as a result of the cuts – and hoped GPs would come to an agreement with them over how to achieve this.
The Government introduced a £200m cut in the public health budget in June as part of a raft of measures to ‘bring down public debt’ – although it insisted this was on projected underspends and would not affect frontline services. As revealed by Pulse, public health commissioners in Hertfordshire recently wrote to GP practices to request the change to their contracts – meaning they will be paid only for the health checks they have already completed so far this year. Local GP leaders have vowed to fight the contract change, warning that it will force practices to lay off staff and cut other GP-run services, but say they have been accused of putting GPs’ ‘personal interests’ ahead of the need to sustain other public health services such as those for drug and alcohol misuse.
Full story in Pulse 21 September 2015