Public Health Scotland (PHS) was established one year ago today, on Wednesday 1 April 2020. While a national Health Board PHS is jointly accountable to both the Scottish Government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) in recognition of the importance of collaboration and partnership in addressing the public health priorities. It brought the functions of Health Protection Scotland and Information Services Division (formally within NHS National Services Scotland) together with NHS Health Scotland.
The organisation opened against the backdrop of an unprecedented public health emergency. Since then, PHS has played a significant part in the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, working in collaboration with NHS Boards, the Scottish Government, Local Authorities and many others to tackle the virus, improve and protect health, and reduce health inequalities.
Angela Leitch, Chief Executive of Public Health Scotland, said:
"Today marks one year since the launch of Public Health Scotland. On behalf of the Board, and of all our staff, I want to thank the many organisations, stakeholders and sponsors in the Scottish Government and COSLA for your partnership with us during our first year.
"Public Health Scotland was established in recognition of the scale of the public health challenges Scotland faces. By working together this year with a shared purpose, across the whole system: – local and national Government; public and third sectors; public health protection, intelligence and improvement; the workforce and with people in our communities – we have applied the skills and effort of everyone to address these challenges head on, to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, and to do all we can to protect the health of all of Scotland’s people.
"No organisation or profession alone can address the population challenges. As we’ve shown this year, by working together, we can. We now have plans in place to build on this strong foundation and will continue to work with others for a Scotland where everyone thrives."