The consultation responses have emphasised the vital importance of PHS building good relationships and a shared, agreed vision between all system partners across sectors. This should recognise both local and national needs. The Board and Committee Governance Project within the Public Health Reform Programme is currently identifying options for how PHS' committee structure is designed, drawing on a range of perspectives and benchmarking. It has been undertaken to identify examples and characteristics of innovative & best practice in board committee governance, leadership and performance in public health (& other public sector) organisations from the UK and internationally. The consultation responses will be considered alongside those recommendations and the Target Operating Model in shaping the new governance structure and Board make-up of the organisation.
The responses also highlight that PHS will have to contend with a complex network of different types of relationships with other entities. The wider determinants of health and wellbeing clearly encompass many diverse drivers and influences. Clarifying the purpose, objectives, and defined outcomes for each of these emerging relationships will necessarily take time. Further developing, defining and maintaining those key partnerships will be a key early objective of the new body. The consultation responses will help us ensure that dynamic relationships are cultivated across the entire system.
We will explore new partnership and engagement structures and approaches which allow PHS to understand the experiences of stakeholders across sectors, sharing learning and lived experience, and helping to maximise promising practice on the ground. Ultimately, we want to create a robust and sustainable whole system partnership approach that refreshes our thinking and reflects new influences and opportunities, including methods to provide ongoing feedback into the system.
The majority of consultation responses supported adding PHS as a statutory community planning partner. However, some concerns were expressed about the capacity of a national body to engage meaningfully with every CPP across Scotland. Before bringing forward any legislative changes, we will consider further how PHS may most appropriately interact with, enable and support CPPs to improve health and wellbeing in their communities.