Despite excellent evidence that investing in public health and prevention saves lives,12 the UK government has failed to support such investment. The 2021 spending review made clear commitments to maintain local authority funding for the public health grant in real terms until 2024-25,3 but higher than expected inflation means it is already set to fall in 2022-23.The public health grant is a ringfenced allocation of funds made to English local authorities by the Department for Health and Social Care. It is used to provide vital preventive services for local populations, including for smoking cessation, drug and alcohol problems, children’s health, and sexual health.Falling budgetsIn 2022-23, the allocation was £3.4bn (€3.9bn; $3.9bn) across England.4 The largest areas of planned spend were on services for children aged 0-5 years (£0.9bn, mainly on health visitors for infants and mothers), drug and alcohol services for adults (£0.7bn), and sexual health services (£0.6bn).A Health Foundation…

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