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Government confirms two-year budget for local public health services

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The government has confirmed the two-year budget local authorities will work within when they take over public health responsibility from the NHS in April.

The transfer of responsibility aims to help people live “longer healthier and more fulfilling lives” by tackling wider determinants of poor health such as housing, planning, licensing, transport and leisure access.

For 2013-14 a budget of just under £2.7bn will be distributed amongst authorities and that will increase to just under £2.8bn in 2014/15.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "By putting local authorities in charge of public health, we are giving them the power, freedom and the funding to tackle the issues that blight their local areas and help improve the lives of their local communities."

Earlier this month, a report by the Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) and London's Westminster City Council made recommendations for how councils could make the most of their new responsibility for public health.

Among other recommendations it said more GPs should prescribe patients exercise at council leisure facilities, in an effort to get communities more active and as a preventative health measure.

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The government has confirmed the two-year budget local authorities will work within when they take over public health responsibility from the NHS in April.
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