Responding to King’s Fund analysis which has found central government cuts have forced councils to reduce planned spending on public health services by £85 million, Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents health service organisations in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, said:

“The government’s whole approach to reforming health care has been based on the promise of a radical upgrade in prevention and public health, yet all we have seen is cut after cut in this budget. It is self defeating to reduce public health spending while looking to transform care.

“Our members report direct cuts to front-line services, including the treatment of substance misuse, smoking cessation and sexual health. Further gaps in out-of-hospital and social care funding intensifies the pressures on health services.”