New national public health body 'Public Health Scotland': consultation

This consultation document invites views on the proposals for a new national public health body in Scotland, to be known as ‘Public Health Scotland’.

Chapter 7: Structure of Public Health Scotland


1. Public Health Scotland will have a Board which will hold to account the Chief Executive and the Executive Team of the body.  Appointments to the Board will be based on the skills, experience and qualities required to govern the body.

2. To help it discharge its functions, the Board will have the ability to establish committees, which will function on behalf of the Board with membership drawn from non-executive Board members. Advisors from the professional landscape of public health and elsewhere may also be in attendance. Boards establish committees to function on behalf of the Board as part of the Board governance structure and assurance process. 

3. As a body corporate, Public Health Scotland will have the facility to recruit and appoint its own staff within the budget that has been set.  The Chief Executive will oversee the appointment of staff to the body, making reference to the Board as required.

Organisational structure for Public Health Scotland

4. Public Health Scotland will need to have a staffing complement sufficient in size, skills and experience to deliver its required functions, whilst working to the principles of both flexibility in resourcing and non-duplication of effort and remit of existing structures and organisations. The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) or the Cabinet Office Statement of Practice on Staff Transfers in the Public Sector (COSOP) may apply on the creation of Public Health Scotland to transfer staff from Health Protection Scotland, Information Services Division and NHS Health Scotland. If there is such a relevant transfer for the purposes of TUPE or COSOP, those provisions provide important protection of employees’ rights.

5. The Public Health Reform programme is committed to a shared services provision within Public Health Scotland, in line with the foundations established by the Christie Commission. The programme is considering which corporate services will be provided by a shared services provider or providers to Public Health Scotland. This is being explored in partnership with the staff and their representatives within NHS Health Scotland, Health Protection Scotland and Information Services Division that are potentially affected by this, and in line with the NHSScotland Staff Governance Standard and Organisational Change Policy.

6. Given the key role of leadership for Public Health Scotland it is anticipated that some new senior executive roles will be created within the organisation. These are likely to include roles which focus on: strong engagement and partnership across the whole system, leadership for data science and innovation, and professional public health leadership, strategy and policy. 

7. It will be the responsibility of the Chief Executive to take forward any review and reshaping of this structure following its establishment. As a Special Health Board, the staff pay systems and terms/conditions for existing NHS staff will remain the same, falling within the Public Sector Pay Policy, Agenda for Change and Terms and Conditions of Service for Medical and Dental Staff.

Location for the staff and for the headquarters for Public Health Scotland

8. Details such as the location for the headquarters for Public Health Scotland and location of staff will be determined as part of the establishment of the body. At the point of establishment the majority of staff will be based in current accommodation (predominately Gyle Square in Edinburgh and Meridian Court in Glasgow), and the Board will over time take decisions about what sort of accommodation best meets the needs of the organisation. 

9. As the remit of Public Health Scotland extends across the country, the accommodation for the organisation may change over time. We expect that it is possible that staff may be based in its headquarters and related offices, home-based or that arrangements are taken forward with local delivery partners to host staff as appropriate to their remit and local needs and circumstances.

Question 10: (a) Would new senior executive leadership roles be appropriate for the structure of Public Health Scotland and,
(b) If so, what should they be?

Question 11: What other suggestions do you have for the organisational structure for Public Health Scotland to allow it to fulfil its functions as noted in chapter 5?

Question 12: What are your views on the proposed location for the staff and for the headquarters of Public Health Scotland?



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