Leading homelessness charity St Mungo’s, along with 50 other leading charities and representative bodies, has today (5 October) backed the Association of Directors of Public Health’s (ADPH) call for the Government to increase funding for public health services in its upcoming spending review.
In an open letter the ADPH cites analysis by the Health Foundation which has calculated that additional investment of £1.4bn a year by 2024/25 is now needed to restore the real terms cut to the grant, and keep pace with rising demand and costs.
St Mungo’s Chief Executive Steve Douglas CBE said: “We know that homelessness and health are inextricably linked and that many people who are homeless, especially those sleeping on the streets, have chronic and serious health problems caused or exacerbated by their housing situation.
“The Kerslake Commission on Homelessness and Rough Sleeping analysed this in great detail and made a number of recommendations relating to increased health and homelessness services – including increased provision for alcohol and drug treatment services which have been cut drastically.
“To deliver on the Government commitment to ‘levelling up’ and ending rough sleeping there has to be a significant increase in the funding allocated across the departments which intersect and affect the lives of people experiencing homelessness, including health.
“We have seen over the past 18 months what can be achieved when we work together to tackle all the issues connected with street homelessness, which is why we are supporting this call.”
The Kerslake Commission published its final report at the end of September. It made 45 practical and deliverable recommendations which if actioned will help the Government to achieve its manifesto pledge to end rough sleeping by the end of this parliament.
The Health Foundation’s analysis reflects St Mungo’s own ‘Knocked Back’ which also recommended an increase in the public health grant.