Although improving, average life expectancy in Scotland is still significantly lower than in other countries of the UK and the rest of Western Europe. There are substantial differences in health outcomes between the most and least deprived areas in Scotland.

We aim to reduce the health gap between the most deprived community and our wealthiest. 


We are:

We have also: 

Find out more about what we are doing about illnesses and long-term conditions.


Public Health Reform

Public health reform aims to challenge our current ways of working, put more decisions directly in the hands of citizens and provide support to local communities to develop their own approaches and solutions to local population health challenges.

The main reasons behind the reform are:

To deliver the vision for public health reform, Scottish Government and COSLA will:

  • agree public health priorities for Scotland that are important public health concerns and that we can do something about
  • establish a new national public health body for Scotland bringing together expertise from NHS Health Scotland, Health Protection Scotland and Information Services Division
  • support different ways of working to develop a whole system approach to improve health and reduce health inequalities

More information is available on the public health reform website. 

Public Health Scotland

We are establishing Public Health Scotland as a new public health body in April 2020. 

The new body is being designed and created using a collaborative approach. This has involved stakeholders from across the whole system including:

  • local government
  • community and voluntary organisations
  • the wider public sector

Creating a culture of health in Scotland will require effective leadership nationally and locally. Public Health Scotland will bring together public health intelligence, health protection and health improvement expertise and knowledge in a single body.

The new body will provide a clear vision and strong voice for the public's health in Scotland. It will be accountable to Scottish Government and COSLA and will support, enable and provide challenge to the whole system of partners in the public, private and third sector.

Bills and legislation

The Public Health etc (Scotland) Act 2008 updated the law on public health and enabled Scottish Ministers, health boards and local authorities to better protect public health in Scotland.


Email: Central Enquiries Unit

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