Information on SSP (PH)

NHS Scotland Shared Services Portfolio was established in July 2015. It reported to NHS Chief Executives. Its vision was to:

  • transform the way support services are delivered by integrating services and working across boundaries;
  • support Scotland’s health with a sustainable, consistent and effective service which meets customers requirements;
  • be fully accountable to their customers for the quality and effectiveness of their services;
  • exploit economies of scale to increase efficiency, reduce costs and maximise returns from continuous improvement; and
  • embed governance to set strategic direction, prioritise service improvements and resolve day to day issues.

Public Health was included in the Health Portfolio. This component of the SSP had awaited the outcome of the Public Health Review (PHR), commenced in November 2014 and published in February 2016, so that the recommendations of the PHR could be fully integrated into the SSP-PH.

Project Scope:

The purpose of this project was to explore the public health function and identify current and future opportunities for ways in which the function could contribute to the overall review of shared services. In doing this, it developed further the recommendations of the PHR.

The work focused on the public health function at national, regional and local levels, and how these interconnect. It reflected the key themes arising from the PHR i.e. workforce, leadership and partnership.

The project aims were:

  • To understand the current public health function in Scotland through mapping current activity and the mechanisms and relationships required for delivery at local, regional and national level.
  • To understand how the public health function can be made more effective and efficient and what modifications may be required to local, regional and national working to achieve this.
  • To identify appropriate governance arrangements.
  • To inform future work on the structure and organisation of public health in Scotland.
  • To engage with the all the key bodies delivering public health.
  • To make recommendations for implementation of any changes in the delivery of public health functions. These will consider all aspects of service delivery including efficiency, quality, equity and stakeholder acceptability.


A small project group, led by Mahmood Adil (Medical Director, PHI, NSS), guided by a Professional Advisory Group undertook this project. It was supported by NSS Shared Services Portfolio Programme Management. Information on the Shared Services Portfolio can be found on the Shared Services website.

Further details of the project and its governance can be found in the documents included on this page.


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