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Public health review

Published: 11 Feb 2016 13:00

A new strategy to improve the nation’s health.

A new public health strategy will be drawn up to help to focus efforts to make Scotland a healthier place.

The strategy will set national priorities, and help to coordinate the contributions of public health professionals and the wider public health workforce working across the NHS and other sectors.

The new strategy is one of the recommendations from the public health review, published today. The review was commissioned by the Scottish Government to look at how Scotland's public health community could work better together, bring about further improvements in the nation's health and well-being and tackle health inequalities.

Chaired by Dr Hamish Wilson, the review group gathered views from public health professionals across sectors. Its recommendations include:
• The development of a national public health strategy
• An enhanced role for public health professionals in new integrated joint boards, that will link NHS and local authorities as part of health and social care integration, and in community planning partnerships
• Further work to review organisational arrangements in Scotland
• Planned development of the public health workforce and wider staffing
• Clarifying and strengthening the role of directors of Public Health
• Achieving greater coordination of the valuable input from public health academics

Maureen Watt, Minister for Public Health, said:

"I welcome this report, which gives us useful insight into the public health landscape in Scotland.

"Scotland has a strong reputation in public health, and substantial progress has been made in a number of areas. However, deep-seated issues, including obesity, mental health problems and health inequalities still need to be tackled. As this report recognises, this requires a wide response from across society, beyond the traditional boundaries of the NHS.

"I particularly welcome the call for a single public health strategy for Scotland. There are many dedicated professionals working to improve public health - in health boards, local councils, charities, communities and academia. A national strategy will help to identify shared priorities, and bring a new focus to our efforts. Working together we can be stronger than the sum of our parts.

"The review group has also come up with a number of other recommendations, providing clarity on the steps we need to take, and I look forward to working with our partners to take them forward."

Background:

2015 Review of Public Health in Scotland can be read here:
www.gov.scot/2015-reviewofpublichealthinscotland-mainreport