Associate feature: A vision we share
When Public Health Scotland came together to begin its work as the national organisation for public health on 1 April 2020, it felt like an important milestone in the reform of our public health landscape, and a significant step in supporting improvement in Scotland’s health and wellbeing.
Our vision is a Scotland where everybody thrives: where illness is prevented, community wellbeing is improved and health inequalities are addressed. That aspiration is not a new one, and nor is it ours alone. Crucially, it is an ambition for Scotland that likely unites every reader of this magazine.
Yet what is new about Public Health Scotland is the country’s existing national expertise in health protection, health improvement and health data and intelligence being brought together under one roof for the first time (albeit not literally, during lockdown).
And what is unique is our position to collaboratively address the public health challenges Scotland faces, both those immediately related to COVID-19, and those longstanding challenges that we know may even be magnified by the pandemic.
Accountable to both COSLA and Scottish Government, we are committed to working in partnership at a local and national level, and across sectors, to make a difference that is felt by people in our communities.
Our role at the heart of Scotland’s response to COVID-19 immediately put that into practice, and while the pandemic recast the communications and public affairs approach the organisation otherwise would have adopted in the months following our launch, it has also emphasised the significant part local authorities and central government, the third and private sectors, and individuals have to play in shaping public health.
So it seems fitting that we use our public affairs channels – in the first instance the Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Groups, and here in the pages of Holyrood Magazine – as a way of supporting others to recognise the role you can play in improving health and wellbeing, and helping realise our vision.
Daniel Kelly, Senior Communications Officer and Public Affairs lead, Public Health Scotland
This piece was sponsored by Public Health Scotland