Latest Public Sector News

08.06.16

Mitigating public health cuts may not ‘continue indefinitely’ – NHS England CEO

Local authority funding cuts to public health are adding to pressures on the health service, the chief executive of NHS England told the Health Select Committee yesterday.

Simon Stevens said that although local authorities were extracting value for money from reduced funding, he did not know “whether the squaring of the circle can continue indefinitely”.

He added that cuts in areas such as smoking prevention and alcohol reduction were having “an impact on downstream demand” by increasing the number of people ultimately needing to be admitted to hospital.

However, Jane Ellison MP, parliamentary under-secretary to the Department of Health, told the same committee that councils were capable of dealing with increased public health and social care responsibilities despite spending cuts, saying they brought “new eyes” to these areas.

Stevens also defended the widely-criticised NHS England decision to transfer responsibility for commissioning HIV prevention medication PrEP to councils. He added that if then NHS had decided to commission it, they would be “subject to censure from the National Audit Office and others”.

He said he expected the decision to be resolved “one way or another” within six to eight weeks and that the problems were partly due to the high prices being charged by the drug’s manufacturers.

In a House of Commons appearance yesterday, Ellison announced that NICE will carry out a review of the effectiveness of Truvada, the drug used in PrEP, among high risk groups, as reported in PSE’s sister title, National Health Executive.

The decision faced criticism from MPs on both sides. Dr Andrew Murrison pointed out the “urgency” of making the drug available, adding that it had already been approved in France.

Helen Hayes insisted that NHS England was “the natural commissioner of PrEP” and Fiona Mctaggart asked: “Does the Minister understand that this delay in sorting out who will pay for PrEP will lead to the deaths of hundreds of people in Britain?”

Ellison admitted that “the matter is likely to go before the courts” following threats of legal action from the National AIDs Trust.

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >

interviews

Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

Utilising data to best deliver meaningful public services

14/11/2019Utilising data to best deliver meaningful public services

Public Sector Executive’s Matt Roberts explains how living in a modern, interconnected world, as we do, means public sector organisations cannot afford to ignore the rol... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >