Wirral Council to invest £4.5m to tackle health inequalities

Wirral Council plans to invest £4.5m in tackling health inequalities across the borough over the next three years.

The money, which comes from the Public Health Grant reserve, is largely left over from the Covid-19 pandemic. It is being used up to “address areas of identified unmet need” and ensure the local authority continues to receive the same levels of funding in the future to help “improve the public health of local populations.”

The funding will also help to address health inequalities across Wirral which currently mean a child born in Greasby is expected to live 12 years longer than one born in Tranmere despite the distance between the two areas being just five miles.

Data previously published by the council also shows the difference in life expectancy between the wealthiest 20% and the poorest 20% in Wirral is 8.5 years, highlighting large inequalities in the borough.

Life expectancy is lower than the England average and people in Wirral spend on average 18 years of their life in poor health with cancer and circulatory problems being the two leading causes of death.

The Public Health Grant is given to local authorities to provide services for children, sexual health, as well as tackling obesity, mental ill health, dental health, and substance misuse.

On 9 February 2024, Wirral Council was given £32.6m by the government for public health funding between April 2024 and March 2025, an increase of 1.3% compared to the previous year. With reserves of £6.9m in total, the £4.5m will be given out to a range of different organisations.

Just over £1m will be given to community and charitable organisations across the borough with another £930,000 investment in housing-related health issues. £700,000 will seek to prevent falls while £600,000 will go towards addressing fuel poverty and people being able to pay their bills.

£670,000 will go towards funding NHS staff while environmental services, inclusion programmes, parental support, and tackling tobacco consumption will also get more funding. Councillors are expected to approve the £4.5m spend at an adult health and social care meeting on 5 March.

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