Our response to Public Health Scotland consultation - summarised!

Communities should be supported to be at the forefront of addressing the causes of health inequalities in Scotland. That’s the key message at the heart of our response to the Scottish Government’s consultation on proposals for a new public health body for Scotland.

Public Health Reform logoThe public consultation was on proposals for Public Health Scotland, the new, single public health body being set up as part of public health reform, bringing together some of the existing public health organisations in Scotland by April 2020.

In addition to highlighting the role of community development approaches in tackling inequality, we make the following points:

  • The need to direct resources towards prevention rather than mitigating for the effects of health inequalities.

  • A “whole-systems approach” is welcome, involving a broader range of partners in public health work, and this should extend to those with experience and expertise in community-led health, social enterprises and other community level bodies where capacity and resources allow.

  • The use of participative methods peoples panels, citizens assemblies, thematic groups and other participative mechanisms to inform the work and direction of the new body.

  • Participation of those with lived experience of the impact of inequalities, and/or who work in this area, should extend to higher levels of decision making, including representation on the board of Public Health Scotland.

  • We support the proposals for Public Health Scotland to be a community planning partner and to receive participation requests as part of the Community Empowerment Act. Public Health Scotland should also have a wider role in helping to ensure the Act works to address inequality.

  • The new body should adhere to the National Standards for Community Engagement when planning and monitoring community engagement.

  • We advocate for a significant investment in community led action research, to enable community organisations from marginalised and excluded communities to evidence their own experiences and priorities within the emerging ‘empowerment’ policy landscape.

Much of our response chimes with the submissions from partner organisations such as NHS Health Scotland (CHEX’s funder) and Voluntary Health Scotland, both of which call for Public Health Scotland to support empowerment and participation of marginalised and excluded groups.


  • Read CHEX’s full submission to the Public Health Scotland consultation.

  • Read CHEX’s recent policy briefing introducing public health reform.

  • See also, CHEX (and SCDC) contributions to the recent ‘snapshot review’ of Scotland’s progress towards meeting the United Nations Sustainable Develpment Goals, where we emphasise many of the same themes.



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