On 28 May 2019, Joe FitzPatrick MSP, the Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing, and Councillor Stuart Currie, Health and Social Care spokesperson for COSLA, launched "A consultation on the new National Public Health Body 'Public Health Scotland'".

The consultation closed on 8 July 2019 and the analysis of the responses is now available here.

At national level, it was proposed that a new Special Health Board (to be called Public Health Scotland) would provide professional and strategic leadership in relation to the public's health and wellbeing in Scotland.

To create a culture for health in Scotland, Public Health Scotland will need to take a whole system approach – providing leadership, supporting and collaborating with partners across sectors who impact directly on the public's health and wellbeing. 

The body will support local authorities, the NHS, third sector and other partners to work ever more closely together to address the social determinants of health, improving and protecting the health and wellbeing of individuals and the communities in which they live.

Under the new model, the existing bodies Health Protection Scotland (a division of NHS National Services Scotland), Information Services Division (also a division of NSS) and NHSHealth Scotland (a Special Health Board) will cease to exist. Public Health Scotland will take over the relevant functions and services from 1 April 2020.

The consultation sought views on the role, structure and expected functions of Public Health Scotland, with some discussion of its interface with other bodies, partnerships and statutory frameworks.

By and large, respondents have expressed broad support for the establishment of the new body and the proposals contained within this consultation. 

Clarity has also been sought on a number of key areas presented in the consultation, including on the specific functions of PHS and the detail of its anticipated relationship with other bodies and partnerships.