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Scotland's public health priorities

To improve Scotland’s health and wellbeing we need to work together to shift our focus towards preventing ill health, reducing inequalities and working more effectively in partnership. This will require a different way of working that supports everybody as part of a whole system to move towards a shared vision for public health. Success will be judged against the major public health challenges facing Scotland:

  • Scotland’s relatively poor health
  • The significant and persistent health inequalities
  • Unsustainable pressures on health and social care services

Scotland’s public health priorities

The Scottish Government and COSLA agreed six Public Health Priorities in June 2018. These are intended to support national and local partners across Scotland work together to improve healthy life expectancy and reduce health inequalities in our communities.

  1. A Scotland where we live in vibrant, healthy and safe places and communities.
  2. A Scotland where we flourish in our early years.
  3. A Scotland where we have good mental wellbeing.
  4. A Scotland where we reduce the use of and harm from alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.
  5. A Scotland where we have a sustainable, inclusive economy with equality of outcomes for all.
  6. A Scotland where we eat well, have a healthy weight and are physically active.

Why we need public health priorities

Public Health Priorities reflect the issues that are important to focus on over the next decade to improve the health of the nation.

They reflect the complexity of Scotland’s health challenge and provide a focus for collective action across the whole system to improve healthy life expectancy and reduce health inequalities.

Measuring impact

The National Performance Framework (NPF) sets out a vision for national wellbeing. Looking at the sort of Scotland we want to see. By adopting a values-based approach to improving the public’s health we will be able to successfully demonstrate that we are truly working differently.