Community-led Health Improvement Summary of Recommendations 

The Task Group's overarching vision is for communities to be empowered and supported in the development of initiatives and solutions for health improvement, both by taking action themselves and by playing a full part in broader partnerships.  In addition to national action, the Task Group recommends that the community-led health improvement workforce across Scotland build on outcomes, processes and activities locally.

It believes that its vision can be achieved by the implementation of the following recommendations:

Building the evidence base

  • Use evaluation designs and methods that recognise the timescales and complexities involved in assessing and demonstrating the impact of community-led health activity.
  • Identify and set out more clearly the links between objectives, inputs, outputs and outcomes, defining success in ways that reflect a broad view of health and its determinants.
  • Work with the community and voluntary health sector to build a greater knowledge and understanding of what factors enable community health or act as barriers to it.

Effective planning and partnership

  • Make health improvement planning more effective in engaging communities at all levels and more flexible in allowing them to identify their own priorities.
  • Support the community and voluntary health sector in informing and relating to national priorities, applying the principles of the Scottish Compact.
  • Embed the National Standards for Community Engagement and NHS draft guidance Informing, Engaging and Consulting the Public in the practice of all sectors.


  • Invest in capacity-building for both the voluntary and community health sector and the public sector.
  • Recognise the role of intermediary bodies in community-led health improvement and resource them.
  • Recognise and strengthen support for the role of volunteers and volunteering in community-led health improvement.


  • Investigate the appropriate levels of funding required and integrate and simplify funding streams in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of community-led health improvement activity.
  • Build on the lessons from existing practice to provide improved infrastructural support and put in place appropriate strategic and operational frameworks for the long-term sustainability of community-led health improvement activity.

The Next Steps

The Task Group recommends the immediate implementation of the following recommendation:

  • Build on the success of partnership working in the Task Group and create a new national group to oversee the implementation of the Task Group's recommendations following their joint ministerial endorsement.