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Proposed cuts are 'sheer folly', says RCM

5 June, 2015

Proposed cuts are 'sheer folly', says RCM

Chancellor George Osborne yesterday announced plans to lower public debt by £4.5bn. 

Among the savings listed by the Treasury is £200m, which is expected to come from the Department of Health’s ‘non NHS’ budget, and this is reported to be from public health funding.

RCM director for midwifery Louise Silverton said: ‘This comes at a time when we should be investing more in preventative services and when there is an increasing and necessary focus on this from organisations, such as NHS England; this seems to be a case of sheer folly. To also describe this as non-NHS spending is also very misleading.

‘So much illness is caused by lifestyle choices and illnesses that we could and should be preventing; cutting public health funding will not help. For example, if smoking cessations services are hit, midwives may struggle to refer on pregnant women who smoke.

‘This will mean we may miss chances to not only improve the health of the mother, but also we lose the chance to improve the health, including the adult health, of her developing baby.

‘This may also hit vaccination programmes, sexual health, family planning and obesity services. This lack of foresight will ultimately cost more in the long term.’

For a department-by-department guide to the cuts, read The Guardian’s article, here.


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