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On this page you can find information about what's being done on health improvement as part of the public health reform programme, including how you can get involved.

The Improving Health Commission (IHC) is one of a number of pieces of work, or 'Commissions' that stakeholder organisations have been asked to take forward. You can find information about the other Commissions here.

NHS Health Scotland and the Integration Joint Board (IJB) Chief Officers Group are co-leading the Improving Health Commission. The aim is to describe:

  • how the health improvement domain of public health can be strengthened at a national level within Public Health Scotland
  • how this will support and enable activities across the whole system, recognising that actions from a very wide range of organisations and sectors can and do have a significant impact on the health and wellbeing outcomes of Scotland's citizens.

The current landscape

One of the first things the Commission did was to undertake a mapping exercise of the current health improvement landscape.  This was to find out how the system works now so as to help think about how it could work better in the future.

The health improvement challenge - have your say

We all have the right to the highest attainable standard of health. But many people in Scotland face unfair barriers to enjoying this right enjoying this right by the conditions in which they were born and grew up, and now live, work and age.

We have the power to change this, but only if we rise to the challenge of improving the health of Scotland's people and all work together. This is why we want to hear from you.

Does your role have an impact on improving health and reducing inequality in Scotland? What would make this role easier to achieve? We want to hear from a wide range of people across all the different sectors that we know have an impact in improving health. This is an issue for everyone.

We've set out what we think the challenges are for health improvement and we'd like to hear what you think. We want to hear about what works well and not so well and what needs to change to make a real difference in the future. You'll find a link to the challenge paper and the survey below. We'll ask you as part of the survey if you'd be happy for us to contact you to take part in a workshop to explore it further. The survey is open now.

Next steps

After we've heard your views, we will develop a proposal about the future of health improvement in Scotland. This will go to the Public Health Reform Programme Board and Oversight Board and we will share it with everyone who got involved. You can also contact us directly at with any questions or comments.

Members of IHC

The Commission is co-convened by:

  • Patricia Cassidy, Chief Officer Health & Social Care Partnership at Integration Joint Board Falkirk Council & NHS Forth Valley and
  • Cath Denholm, Director of Strategy, NHS Health Scotland

Other members of the Improving Health Commission team include:

Matt Lowther                         NHS Health Scotland

Tim Andrew                           NHS Health Scotland

Margaret Douglas                  University of Edinburgh and Scottish Health & Inequalities Impact Assessment Network

Susan Paxton                        Scottish Community Development Centre/CHEX

Linda Smith                           NHS Grampian, Scottish Health Promotion Managers Group

Gerard McCormack                Improvement Service

Pamela Smith                        Falkirk Council, LA Economic Development representative

Rebecca Campbell                  Public Health Registrar

Margaret Moore                     Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland

Vivien Smith                         Angus Community Planning Partnership

Wendy Hearty                       Staff Side

Irene Hamilton                      NHS Health Scotland