Agenda item

Finance Report

To consider a report by the Director of Public Health.


The Board received an update on the use of each Council’s grant for public

health, including the budget for the shared service, Public Health Dorset, and

the other elements of grant used within each Council outside of the public

health shared service. The report described how the funding was being

applied and to what services and in what proportion.                                                                                  


The final outturn for the Public Health Dorset 20/21 budget, after £1M was

returned to local authorities in 2020/21, was £27.742M, against a budget

of £28.748M. Reserves now stand at £1.940M. Grant allocations for public health were published 16 March and included an uplift. This provided the opportunity to meet the original commitment of £1M to be retained by Councils in 2021/22 for investment in public health outside of the shared service.

Agreement has also been reached on the financial impact of the shift of BCP drug and alcohol contracts. This means a change in the recommended contributions for each local authority, set out in Appendix 2 for approval. This will form the revised financial annex to the shared service partnership agreement for 2021/22. The public health ring-fenced conditions apply equally to these elements of the grant and the use of the Grant in each council outside of the shared service will continue to be monitored through the JPHB.


The opening revenue budget for Public Health Dorset in 21/22 is

£25.036M. There will continue to be COVID-19 impacts throughout 21/22,

with financial impacts remaining hard to gauge, however a first provisional

forecast is included in appendix 1 and shows a potential overspend.


Plans in support of COVID-19 local outbreak management plans are

developed through the COVID-19 Health Protection Board, chaired by the

Director of Public Health. Additional funding from the Test and Trace Grant

and Contain Outbreak Management Fund (COMF) to support these plans

are overseen by each local authority. Some of the additional costs to the

shared service in supporting this work are met through these additional



The current contract with REACH for the Dorset Council area is due to

expire at the end of October 2022. Taking the current context and advice

from procurement into account it is recommended that this is extended to

the end of October 2023.


Whilst it was acknowledged that the continued interventions needed to

address the issues associated with Covid-19 were unprecedented and

represented a unique challenge both in financial and practical terms, the

Board recognised that the available funding was being used as efficiently as it

could be and appropriately prioritised to continue to optimise outcomes.



1)That the recommendation in 4.2 of the Director’s report around governance of decision making for drug and alcohol services, and monitoring of performance be supported and endorsed.

2) That Appendix 2 of the report, forming an updated financial annex to the

shared services partnership agreement for 2021/22 and giving a budget for

the shared service of £25.036M, be approved.

3) That an extension of the current REACH contract for a further year

until the end of October 2023 be approved.


Reasons for Decisions

The public health grant is ring-fenced, and all spend against it must comply with the necessary grant conditions and be signed off by both the Chief Executive or Section 151 Officer and the Director of Public Health for each local authority.


The public health shared service delivers public health services across Dorset

Council (DC) and BCP Council. The service works closely with both Councils and partners to deliver the mandatory public health functions and services, and a range of health and wellbeing initiatives. Each council also provides a range of other services with public health impact and retains a portion of the grant to support this in different ways.


At the November 2020 meeting the Board approved a continued shared service partnership agreement, and a financial annex was agreed at the February 2021 meeting, setting out the agreed contributions to the public health service. On 16 March the public health allocations were published, resulting in a change to the grants and hence the contributions.This will support better financial planning and use of the Public Health Grant to

improve outcomes in partner Councils, as well as through the shared service.

Supporting documents: