District councils have called for the introduction of a new health precept on council tax to raise £25m for preventative measures.
Analysis by the District Councils’ Network (DCN) found a 2% precept could raise up to £25m for district councils to invest in prevention measures.
The DCN said measures such as improving housing, providing leisure and recreational facilities, offering debt advice, tackling homelessness, supporting troubled families and improving air quality would reduce the demand for acute social care and NHS services.
For a Band D property the new 2% precept would raise an estimated 7p per week increase on the current average district council tax charge.
The DCN claimed that for every £1 spent on prevention district councils could make up to £70 worth of savings on health spending in the long-term.
DCN chairman, Cllr John Fuller, said: ‘It is time the Government recognised the important role district councils play in prevention and early intervention.
‘A 2% prevention precept would go some way to reducing pressures on the social care system by solving rather than managing problems and allowing resources to be refocused on tackling problems one family at a time before they occur.
‘Prevention is always better than cure.
‘If we are to reduce pressures on the NHS and stop people from entering the social care system unnecessarily districts council must be given the resources to invest in prevention.’