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As partners consider how their collective response can help to deliver the shared public health priorities, organisations are already helping to deliver better results. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is just one organisation that’s actively contributing to a Scotland where everybody thrives. Carlene McAvoy, Community Safety Development Manager for RoSPA, has more…

“With Scotland’s Public Health Priorities published to guide collective action to address public health challenges and reduce inequalities, it’s clear to me that the work that myself and my colleagues at RoSPA do, helps to support the much wider health and wellbeing agenda across Scotland.

RoSPA is a charity which dates back to 1916 and fits well within the public health workforce in the wider third and community sector. As policy specialists in unintentional injury, our work compliments the current six priorities by helping to improve health and wellbeing by focussing on the reduction of unintentional injury.

Priority 1: The places we live, work and are active need to be safe in order for Scotland’s population to flourish and live free from serious accidental injury, contributing to better outcomes for people and communities overall.

Priority 2: In 2018, unintentional injuries in Scotland accounted for 1 in 9 emergency hospital admissions for children. At RoSPA we are committed to ensuring children can live and flourish in the early years without the pain and suffering of serious accidental injury and constantly seek to raise awareness through our campaigns and projects.

Priority 3: In 2017/18, 595,000 workers in the UK suffered from work related stress, depression and anxiety. Work-related stress can aggravate and trigger mental health problems and poor mental wellbeing. We participated in the Healthy Working Lives Mentally Healthy Workplaces training and work with partners to provide advice and signposting for employers through our National Occupational Safety and Health Committee (NOSHC).

Priority 4: Alcohol and drugs play a large part in unintentional injury. For example, recent research has shown that in 2015, more than one in four (27 per cent) of adults hospitalised due to alcohol in Scotland were admitted for an unintentional injury. At RoSPA, we are committed to playing our part to help reduce the harm caused by alcohol and drugs.

Priority 5: At RoSPA, we take a “whole-life” approach to work where people are supported to meet their full potential. We support inclusion and equality for all in the workplace in many ways. For example, while acknowledging the role that rehabilitation and return to work plays in the attainment of fulfilled and fulfilling lives, our focus on prevention highlights the impact that work that exposes people to harm has on their functional capacity and longevity.

Priority 6: The vast majority – in fact, 86 per cent – of unintentional injuries to those over the age of 65 are due to falls. We are committed to reducing this by helping older people stay physically active. Some of our key work includes:

  • The production of a short guide to help older people stay fit, healthy and accident free
  • Free videos on facing up to falls and how to get up safely after a fall
  • Joint work with the Technology Enabled Care Programme
  • Contributing to the Falls and Fragility framework
  • Advocating for balance and strength exercises.

I love the fact that our work on this topic fits so perfectly within the wider context of public health in Scotland, and value the relationships we have with so many other key players across the sector. Together we can make a difference, working for lives that are more active, healthier and safer across Scotland.

This blog is an edited version of this article.


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