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The distribution of the grant was published on 11th June and is worth £300 million. It has been distributed to local authorities in England on the basis of the public health grants to local authorities: 2020 to 2021. However, the gap between rural and urban allocations of public health funding is over 50% with urban areas receiving 54% more per head in funding than rural areas in 2020/21. If this was ever justified in respect of the public health grants (and a gap that big is hard to justify), it cannot be fair in respect of the track and trace work.
Each local authority will be given funding to develop tailored outbreak control plans, working with local NHS and other stakeholders. Their plans will focus on identifying and containing potential outbreaks in places such as workplaces, housing complexes, care homes and schools.
As part of this work, local authorities will also need to ensure testing capacity is deployed effectively to high-risk locations. Local authorities will work closely with the test and trace service, local NHS and other partners to achieve this.
The Rural Services Network campaigns on behalf of rural areas for a fair allocation of funding, however it is concerned for rural communities with high numbers of elderly, and therefore vulnerable people living in rural areas.
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