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Public Health Scotland Overview

To date, the approach to tackling Scotland’s main public health challenges has not delivered the significant changes we need. Scotland needs to re-focus its approach to protecting and improving the nation’s health.

That’s why the Scottish Government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) has established a new national public health body, Public Health Scotland, which launched on 1 April 2020.


What Public Health Scotland will do?

As a partnership between national and local government, Public Health Scotland will be uniquely placed in the wider public sector landscape to provide leadership to enable and support local and national bodies to work together to improve health and wellbeing in communities.

Public Health Scotland’s purpose will be to improve and protect Scotland’s health and wellbeing and reduce health inequalities. We will also support health and social care by focussing our efforts on prevention in order to reduce unsustainable pressures on the system.  Public Health Scotland will:

  • Provide strong public health leadership and be Scotland’s lead national agency for improving and protecting health and wellbeing.
  • Support the rest of the public health system with high quality, effective and supportive health improvement, health protection and health care public health functions and with leadership roles in research, innovation and the public health workforce.
  • Lead in a collaborative way and adopt a whole system approach which will support and enable others to take action together across organisational boundaries and in communities.
  • Have a clear focus on supporting local partnerships and communities through the innovative use of intelligence, data and evidence.
  • Provide advice and support to national and local government, local authorities and the NHS in a professionally independent manner.