As we move into the recovery phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to take an explicit public health focus to how we prioritise and deliver health and social care to the people of Scotland. We have collectively experienced a period of great challenge, with widening health inequalities and access to services frequently disrupted to accommodate the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. During this difficult time, I am proud of the hard work and dedication shown by our Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) in their resilience and ability to adapt when providing their services and care.
AHPs work across health and social care in Scotland, to enable those who need services to live their lives to the full at home, in the community, in education and at work. The breadth of services they provide and their range of expertise makes them ideally placed to continue to build on good practice in public health, with their focus on early intervention, prevention and wellbeing.
I am pleased to present the Scottish AHP Public Health Strategic Framework Implementation Plan, which clearly sets the ambition that in Scotland AHPs will be leaders in public health. It is a plan of how AHPs can be supported and empowered to expand upon and develop further the leadership role in public health improvement that they already play.
The overall ambition for the role of AHPs in public health has been set through collaborative work across the four nations, with the development of the UK AHP Public Health Strategic Framework 2019 – 2024. We have taken the ambition and goals from the UK Strategic Framework and set it into the relevant context for Scotland. In order to achieve this, a Stakeholder Reference Group was established and was chaired by Dr Ruth Campbell (Consultant Dietitian in Public Health Nutrition NHS Ayrshire & Arran). I am grateful for the time, dedication and ambition that Dr Campbell has put in to the development of this Scottish Implementation Plan. I would also like to thank the members of the Stakeholder Reference Group who provided detailed engagement in setting the UK Strategic Framework's goals into the Scottish context.
We have taken a five year view when establishing the actions that are required to help us meet the ambitions of the UK Strategic Framework. We know that to achieve our goals in an ever shifting and challenging healthcare context, that a degree of flexibility will be required. It will also require the collaborative effort of all stakeholders in Scotland at national and local levels, to embed the aims of this implementation plan into their work and to recognise that public health continues to play a core part of the role of all AHPs. I am proud of the ambition of this Implementation Plan and hope that stakeholders will find it a helpful starting point to create their own implementation plans to continue to embed public health practices in their work and services locally.
Chief Allied Health Professions Officer
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