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As Public Health Scotland moves from describing aspirations for a new body to putting in place the practical components that will enable the body to be operational in December 2019, it is worth reflecting on the journey so far and how we intend that journey to continue in the future.

The new body is a core part of the wider reform programme which has established public health priorities for the whole of Scotland, and which has undertaken substantial engagement to shape our collective ambition for a whole system movement to improve health and wellbeing in Scotland.

Since March 2018 we have been working in partnership to set out our ambitions for Public Health Scotland. This work has sought to describe how Public Health Scotland can use the skills, expertise and knowledge it will have at its disposal most effectively to improve health and wellbeing for localities and communities.

Since January 2019, the programme team has been bringing together the outputs from all of this work to begin the process of describing in detail how the new organisation will work in the future and what shape it will take. This work is producing a Target Operating Model (TOM), the latest draft of which was considered by the reform Programme Board in February.

The TOM focuses on building a new body around outcomes that demonstrate our intent as a reform programme to orientate Public Health Scotland to be outward looking, effective, influential and equipped to provide leadership across the public health function and the wider system.

This reflects the programme boards aspirations for Public Health Scotland and we will continue to develop the target operating model consistent with this ambition.

In setting this direction of travel the Programme Board recognised the need to balance aspiration and pragmatism. In establishing Public Health Scotland on the 1st December the starting point will build on the existing structures and teams in Public Health and Intelligence and NHS Health Scotland.

Therefore, the Target Operating Model will reflect what will be established by December 2019 as the foundation for delivering the long term ambitions for Public Health Scotland, and the continuing journey to significantly improve health and wellbeing for people in Scotland.

We will continue to engage stakeholders on the evolving Target Operating Model for Public Health Scotland to ensure we deliver an organisation that reflects partners and staffs aspirations for the new body. I would encourage you to continue to provide feedback on the emerging model and engage in discussions within your own organisations.

This approach is intended to provide clarity for staff as they transfer to Public Health Scotland in their existing teams and roles with the minimum of disruption. This will provide a strong foundation for further change to achieve our long term ambitions for public health reform.

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