A broad range of organisations with an interest in shaping Scotland’s new organisation for public health have had their say as part of a national consultation. We’d like to thank everyone who took the time to give us their views on Public Health Scotland (PHS), with the feedback playing an important role in moulding this emerging national resource.
PHS will bring Public Health Intelligence, Health Protection and Health Improvement knowledge and expertise together in a single body. The organisation will be established and operational by 1 April, 2020, and accountable to Scottish Government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA).
Prior to this, the Scottish Government ran a six-week consultation, which ended on 8 July, which explored views on a wide-range of topics including: governance and accountability; outcomes and performance; functions and structure; and future relationships with the wider public health system.
More than 150 submissions were received from across the country, with feedback from partners detailing what they thought the priority areas should be. Respondents ranged from the local third sector through to national organisations, with the breadth of comments reflecting a collective ambition for PHS to be a collaborative body that works extensively with partners to help tackle local issues, rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach.
The broad vision for Public Health Scotland is to create a national body that will deliver independent advice and support to national and local government, the NHS and the wider public health system. PHS will provide strong public health leadership with a clear focus on supporting local partnerships and communities, through the innovative use of intelligence, data and evidence.
There’s still much to do in the next nine months and partners across Scotland are working hard to make sure the new organisation is fit for purpose. In the meantime, the consultation submissions are now being analysed and a report will be published on the reform website by the end of August 2019. This will inform the necessary legislation to establish Public Health Scotland and enable the organisation to begin exercising its functions by launch date next spring.
Watch this space for updates.