Public health reform is a partnership between the Scottish Government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA). Scotland’s public health priorities, were published in the summer of 2018 and were the first milestone in our reform journey.
The priorities reflect a consensus across Scotland on the things we must focus on if we are to improve health and wellbeing and reduce long-standing inequalities.
The establishment of Public Health Scotland will be the next major milestone in reform. Public Health Scotland will play a role in helping to make change happen, supporting activity against the priorities. The new organisation will launch on 1 April 2020.
Public Health Scotland will:
- Provide strong public health leadership. It will be Scotland’s lead national agency for improving and protecting health and wellbeing
- Support the wider public health system providing high-quality national expertise across the health improvement, health protection and health care public health functions. The body will also provide national leadership in relation to research, innovation and the development of the public health workforce.
- Working in a collaborative way across the whole system, provide support and capacity to help others to take action together
- Have a clear focus on supporting local partnerships and communities through the innovative use of intelligence, data and evidence
- Provide independent advice and support to national and local government, local authorities the NHS and the wider public health system.
Public Health Scotland’s role is to support and enable the wider public health system. Its success will be judged not just in terms of how well we are able to improve the health of the people of Scotland, but also in how it works collaboratively with partners, communities and the wider system.
The Scottish Government, in partnership with COSLA, published a six-week consultation seeking views on Public Health Scotland and the necessary legislative changes that are required to establish the body. The consultation focused on a number of areas including:
- Governance and accountability
- Outcomes and performance
- Functions and structure
- Future relationships with the wider public health system.