Established in 2006, the Scottish Public Health Network (ScotPHN) continues to deliver its major remit to undertake projects of national priority, eliminate unnecessary duplication in public health effort within NHS Boards, and facilitate leadership, engagement and communication throughout the public health community in Scotland.
Throughout its existence, ScotPHN has been committed to its own continued development to remain fit for purpose. Most recently, this has included the completion of work responding to the outcome and recommendations of its external review undertaken in 2013. This has included updating the network’s governance arrangements with a new Executive and an Advisory Board. It has also led to work that has helped increase resources from NHS Boards, especially from the Specialist Registrars Group.
This brief summary highlights some of ScotPHN’s work since 2014.
Building on the guidance produced by ScotPHN in 2013 on mitigating the impact of welfare reform, Kate Burton, NHS Lothian has continued to lead a programme of work on behalf of Scottish Government for the last 4 years. This has influenced work on fuel poverty undertaken by ScotPHN and NHS Health Scotland (2016).
ScotPHN has undertaken projects which have reinvigorated the health and homelessness (2015) and housing (2017) agendas and helped create important strategic and operational relationships; NHS Health Scotland has instigated work programmes for homelessness and housing.
On behalf of Scottish Government ScotPHN reviewed and made recommendations on the future of the Child Healthy Weight Programme (2014) and reviewed the Obesity Route Map (2015).
Also on behalf of Scottish Government ScotPHN undertook a process of engagement as part of the Public Health Review (2015). In 2016, it undertook developmental work on the Shared Services Portfolio – Public Health Programme (2016) on behalf of NHS Chief Executive’s Shared Services Programme.
ScotPHN has produced literature reviews and / or guidance on skin cancer, palliative and end of life care, adverse childhood events, and gambling related harm.
Current projects include:·
• developing advice on injury primary prevention to help inform national development of major trauma services;
• creating guidance to support population health input to the national chronic pain, building on work being undertaken by NHS Lanarkshire; and
• supporting the pilot to develop an ecological model of palliative and end of life care in Renfrewshire which has been developed in response to the ScotPHN work on palliative and end of life care.
This work will identify national learning which can be shared across the health and social care integration authorities in Scotland.
Projects in development include a needs assessment of ophthalmology services, establishing the public health input to addressing loneliness and social isolation, and developing the national component of a needs assessment of gender services being undertaken in NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde.
In its role to support leadership in Scotland, ScotPHN has continued to support the Scottish Directors of Public Health, the Health Promotion Managers, Consultants in Dental Public Health and those working in Pharmaceutical Public Health. More recently, it has established various special interest groups on behalf of the SDsPH. These include groups looking at violence prevention, public mental health, and obesity.
ScotPHN has also supported national public health networks: Scottish Health and Inequalities Impact Assessment Network; Scottish Managed Sustainable Health Network; Health Economics Network for Scotland. These have led to: updated guidance on health impact assessment (HIA) and the national HIA on rural development (SHIIAN); developing the public health support for embedding sustainability onto the work of the NHS in Scotland (SMaSH); and developing resources and support for strengthening health economic capacity and use across health care systems (HENS).
Further information on the work of all these networks, groups and all ScotPHN’s projects and the work we do can be found on the ScotPHN website