Establishing a new public health body for Scotland - consultation response

In July 2019 RCPCH Scotland responded to The Scottish Government's consultation on a new National Public Health body, 'Public Health Scotland'.

RCPCH Scotland is supportive of the principles for the proposed arrangements for Public Health Scotland. However, we are concerned that there is no explicit mention of children and young people engagement.

The focus of the consultation was on describing and seeking input on the role, functions and structure of the new Special Health Board to be called 'Public Health Scotland'. Included in this is some discussion of how the body will interact with other organisations and partnership frameworks.

Our response

  • Empowering people through the embedding of a human rights approach, and particularly the UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child), to ensure that children and young people’s (CYP) rights are put at the centre of Public health Scotland’s policies and practice.
  • We welcome the critical role of national oversight Public Health Scotland will play to ensure targets and deliverables are being met and that there is a standardised approach to service delivery.
  • We welcome the recognition of the importance of data and intelligence, public health research and innovation, and a robust, resilient and competent health and social care workforce.

Our recommendations

  • In order to support whole communities to engage in decisions affecting their health and wellbeing, Public Health Scotland will need to provide information in an accessible way for CYP, and their views and opinions must be sought, measured and followed over time.
  • Public Health Scotland should be given appropriate decision making capability and sustainable funding streams to develop data collection further, with and the introduction of SNOMED-CT as an immediate priority.
  • There should be a senior executive leadership role of child health supporting a ‘child health in all policies’ structure for Public Health Scotland.
  • There should be the addition of paediatric public health expertise to the board to ensure that child health receives the attention it deserves from Public Health Scotland.

We respond to a wide range of consultations to ensure that the College’s position, and ultimately children’s health, is represented. Members can get involved in current consultations by contacting the Scotland Team: