As a starting point, the Scottish Government and COSLA agreed six national Public Health Priorities in June 2018, which are intended to support national and local partners across Scotland to work together to improve healthy life expectancy and reduce health inequalities in our communities.
- Priority 1 - A Scotland where we live in vibrant, healthy and safe places and communities
- Priority 2 - A Scotland where we flourish in our early years
- Priority 3 - A Scotland where we have good mental wellbeing
- Priority 4 - A Scotland where we reduce the use of and harm from alcohol, tobacco and other drugs
- Priority 5 - A Scotland where we have a sustainable, inclusive economy with equality of outcomes for all
- Priority 6 - A Scotland where we eat well, have a healthy weight and are physically active
Whole System Approach
To realise Scotland’s public health priorities we need to work more effectively together as part of a whole system approach (WSA). Whole system working can be defined as applying systems thinking and tools that enable:
"An ongoing, flexible approach by a broad-range of stakeholders to identify and understand current and emerging public health issues where, by working together, we can deliver sustainable change and better lives for the people of Scotland."
A whole system approach works with communities and stakeholders to both understand the problem and to support identification and testing of solutions. System change is a long-term project, often delivered through small steps and in collaboration with many partners.