The Scottish Government has launched a consultation on their proposals for a new national public health body in Scotland, to be known as ‘Public Health Scotland’ (PHS). In our response we made clear the public health nature of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (SRH), with key areas needing to be included within the remit of the new agency.
With this mind, we made the following key points and recommendations:
• We recommended that Public Health Scotland (PHS) should ensure that positive SRH across the life course is fully understood as a key health public area, with the need to take a whole-system approach to population and public health. Integrating currently separate agencies into one organisation provides a solid basis for realising this.
• We drew attention to the challenging contexts of people’s lives: new demands on services; progresses in treatment; increasing understanding of the impact of inequalities on poor SRH outcomes.
• We recommended that PHS should strengthen data and intelligence functions by widening public access to information and encouraging wider awareness of public health data including on SRH-related issues.
• Addressing governance and accountability arrangements, we recommended PHS influences, supports and advocates for the NHS and key partners to continue to deliver accessible, appropriate and high-quality SRH services across Scotland that are non-judgemental and non-conditional in how care is provided.
• To ensure these arrangements are delivered, we made clear that PHS should develop good working relationships with professional bodies like the FSRH Scotland Committee, and groups like SRH Lead Clinicians, to maintain relevant knowledge and expertise.
You can download our response below.