Council get £21m health fund grant

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MORE than £21m of additional funding to help deliver improved health services in the borough has been welcomed by council officials.

Under the Health and Social Care Act 2012, key public health functions are being returned to local government from April 1 this year.

As a result, North Tyneside Council will have significant responsibilities for health improvement and protection.

The council will also receive grants from the government of £10.4m in 2013-14 and £10.8m in 2014-15 to fund the transfer of public health responsibilities.

Mayor Linda Arkley said: “The council welcomes the decision to give authorities two-year budgets rather than the planned one-year budget, as this will ensure greater certainty of funding to enable us to make strategic decisions in commissioning public health services.

“The Department of Health funding announcement gives us confidence that we have the money to put plans in place to deliver on our statutory responsibilities for public health and improve the health of the local population.”

The council has appointed Marietta Evans as director of public health, and she will work with all council service areas and health colleagues to ensure a smooth transition and implement a public health operating model.

She said: “This is an opportunity to transform approaches to health improvement. Our vision is to put health at the heart of our local communities. To engage and empower local people for health improvement and shift resources to front-line service delivery.

“We will develop healthy living services for people with the poorest health to build self esteem, confidence and resilience, and improve their health fastest.”