SUBSTANCE misuse and sexual services are at the forefront of county chiefs' plans to save money.

Hampshire County Council held a public consultation this summer after it announced health services would be slashed.

It was feared that jobs would be lost and clinics closed in a bid to lower the public health budget.

But promising new plans show savings of around £236,000 – and will be reviewed by a committee on October 19.

Cllr Liz Fairhurst said: "I would like to thank everyone who took part in the consultation. Their views, along with feedback from Public Health England (PHE) on use of Public Health ringfenced grant, means that the proposals originally shared with the public have been substantially altered including not pursuing Public Health School Nursing proposals.

"The scrutiny committee will now review the proposals in detail; then pass them to me, with any additional changes they may wish to recommend, for a final decision in November."

Here is how the council proposes to save money:

Substance Misuse services

A total 1,071 were admitted to hospital for drug abuse and 1,931 for substance misuse

A total 1,071 were admitted to hospital for drug abuse and 1,931 for substance misuse

The council plans to save £60,000 by continuing to provide an open access substance misuse service in Winchester from a more cost-effective venue.

Concerns had been raised that this hub was at risk of closure.

Stop Smoking services

Smoking - stock image

Smoking - stock image

Chiefs will save £168,000 by stopping ‘unsupported prescribing’ – reducing the number of prescriptions written by GPs for stop smoking medication and nicotine replacement therapy.

These must now be accompanied by a support referral to Smokefree Hampshire.

Evidence shows that the combination of both, leads to better long-term outcomes.

Sexual Health services

Have your say over sexual health services

Have your say over sexual health services

To save £8,000 by removing a duplicated HIV and syphilis self-sampling service.

In total, it was anticipated that the county council’s public health function would need to contribute some £6.8million of savings in 2021/22 towards the local authority’s overall budget shortfall.

Just over £3.1million of savings have already been achieved through a combination of internal and external service transformation.

Following feedback from the consultation and subsequent discussions, it has been concluded that no further savings towards the £6.8million target are required from public health.

Rather, the remaining saving requirement of £3.7million can be achieved through additional savings made within adult social care.

The funding from the £236,000 of savings proposed to proceed, will be reinvested back into areas of priority to help improve the public’s health.