Scottish Government Public Health Reform stakeholder update

Welcome to the Public Health Reform stakeholder briefing for April 2019. In this edition you can read about

  • developing Public Health Scotland
  • the core and specialist public health workforce
  • whole system working and engagement with community planning partners
  • a survey to help shape our communications with you.

Public Health Scotland

The planning for Public Health Scotland continues to make good progress. The focus of the reform programme to date has been to bring together the work undertaken by the commissions and the engagement with stakeholders to describe how the new body will work in the future.

This work has been brought together in a target operating model for the new body. The target operating model aims to describe an organisation that supports, enables and drives change, in collaboration with partners, to achieve a public health system fit for the challenges of the 21st century.

This model has been the focus for wide further engagement throughout March, including with

  • professional groups
  • NHS boards
  • Health and Social Care Partnerships
  • third sector organisations
  • Community Planning Partnerships.

The findings from this engagement will inform the final design of the new body which will be agreed by the programme board in early May 2019. The main focus of the programme will then move to implementation of Public Health Scotland.

View the draft Target Operating Model


Derek Grieve, Interim Head of Health Protection Division, has recently written a blog post about Public Health Scotland.

Read blog post


Specialist Publich Health Workforce

The core and specialist public health workforce play a vital role in protecting and improving health and wellbeing in Scotland.
There is work underway to consider how this workforce should be organised to deliver the most effective and efficient public health function for Scotland in the future.

The reform programme has worked with partners to develop a number of potential options for organising the workforce in the future. These options have been the focus of engagement in March with a range of stakeholders. These include

  • professional groups
  • trade unions
  • NHS Boards
  • Health and Social Care Partnerships
  • Community Planning
  • third sector organisations
  • local government
  • public health workforce.

A peer review group has been established to review the outcomes from the work considering the options. The group brings together expertise from public health and local government.

The feedback from engagement and the peer review group will be included in a report for the reform programme board in early May 2019 to consider the options and agree next steps.

You can view the options on the Specialist Public Health Workforce page on our website.

Find out about the Specialist Public Health Workforce


Whole System Working

During March, whole system work focused on gathering feedback from community planning partners and the third sector on their future relationship with Public Health Scotland.

A number of events took place to look at how the new body can work with community planning partnerships to support a whole systems approach to improving health and wellbeing in Scotland. It is Public Health Scotland ‘s role in supporting the public health system’s performance as a whole that will improve health and wellbeing in Scotland. These events took place in

  • Dundee
  • Glasgow
  • Edinburgh
  • Aberdeen
  • Lockerbie
  • Orkney.

The Public Health Reform programme team also engaged with third sector interfaces from across Scotland. This engagement highlighted the need for a new relationship with the third sector as equal partners. This would involve working together to create local solutions to Scotland’s public health priorities.

Data and intelligence was a strong theme. This involves ensuring third sector organisations have access to high-quality data. It also highlighted the importance of valuing different types of evidence, including lived experience.

The feedback from these sessions will be used to inform how Public Health Scotland will work in the future. Eibhlin McHugh has recently written a blog on our engagement with community planning in which she reflects on the key messages from this engagement and the important contribution of public health.

Read community planning engagement blog post


This engagement builds on Innovating for Change sessions exploring how to support more effective collaboration on Scotland’s Public Health Priorities.

Go to the Innovating for Change report download


Help shape how we communicate with you

Your contribution to Public Health Reform is vital to its success.

To maximise your contribution to Public Health Reform, it’s important that the way we communicate with you

  • meets your needs
  • is presented in a way that suits you best
  • has the right level of detail and information.

To help us understand how best to communicate with you, we have developed a 7 minute survey. The information we gather will help us shape how we communicate with you across a number of channels, including online as well as face to face.

Take the survey