Public Health Scotland will be a new national body, established in statute as a Special Health Board under the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978. The aim of Public Health Scotland will be to create a more integrated, consistent system for driving population health improvement and tackling health inequalities in Scotland as well as protecting public health. The Board of Public Health Scotland will be jointly accountable to Scottish Ministers and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA).
Public Health Scotland will become responsible for the functions currently delivered by NHS Health Scotland and two parts of NHS National Services Scotland - Health Protection Scotland and Information Services Division, and will also have responsibility for new leadership and coordination roles in relation to public health research, data science and innovation, and for the development of the public health specialist and practitioner workforce.The body will have responsibility for acting nationally – providing visible leadership and a strategic voice for public health in Scotland – and for supporting local activities by partners, working in partnership and collaboratively across the public and third sector.Public Health Scotland will take a rights-based approach and will deliver services which are person-centred, evidence-based and which make best use of public resources. The Board will have a key role in ensuring that Scotland’s public health system maintains the capability and capacity to tackle today’s public health problems and is prepared for the emerging challenges of the future, with a focus on prevention and early intervention.