WALTHAM Forest Council may have to share a health executive with a neighbouring borough due to a predicted shortfall in funding.

The authority hopes to split the £118,000 salary of a Director of Public Health with Redbridge after discovering a £1.5 million projected shortfall in a budget allocated by the Department of Health (DoH).

Under new government guidelines to transfer more public health responsibilities to local authorities by April next year, the council must employ someone in the position previously part of the primary care trust (PCT) structure , but hopes to save money by sharing them with Redbridge.

A report going to the council's cabinet tonight (November 13) reads: "A joint arrangement is likely to be the most beneficial for Waltham Forest. The appointment of a director with Redbridge opens up opportunities to share available limited resources and to work more efficiently."

The Overview and Scrutiny Managemernt Committee expressed concern in October that the DoH's £8.5 million budget for Waltham Forest's health needs from April 2013 is based on previous PCT spending on public health - failing to take into account the costs of transferring public health responsibilities from the NHS to the council.

The new director would be responsible for policy areas such as drugs recovery, sexual health, pregnancy and children’s health.