Last week the First Minister set out the Scottish Government’s 2020-21 Programme for Government. The Programme for Government focuses on protecting public health through suppression of COVID-19, and sets out the wider measures that will be taken to ensure Scotland’s economic, health and social recovery from the pandemic. Today the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) launched a blueprint for Scottish Local Government. This highlights that pre-COVID, during COVID and after COVID Local Government has been a vital anchor to communities in response to COVID-19.

Public Health Scotland is jointly accountable to both Scottish Government and COSLA and will work across and with both to take action to protect and improve the health and wellbeing of our nation.

Angela Leitch, Chief Executive of Public Health Scotland, said:

"Both the Programme for Government and the Blueprint for Scottish Local Government share our vision of making Scotland a place where everybody can thrive. With our dual responsibility to local and national Government, as well as working with communities across Scotland, we are pleased to be able to support both spheres of Government to prioritise and take action on public health. We are confident that together, we can tackle the public health challenges we face.

"Whilst COVID-19 has become the defining public health challenge of our time, we know the pandemic has also magnified many of the long-term public health challenges and health inequalities we already faced. In doing so, we welcome the focus on the health protection response to the pandemic in both the Programme for Government and the Blueprint for local Government as well as the commitments intended to promote physical and mental wellbeing, address poverty, support communities and improve places.

"Later this month we will publish Public Health Scotland’s first strategic plan. We will outline how – together with local and national partners across all sectors – we will build on the best of the past to do different things, and do things differently, to make a difference for Scotland’s people and communities.

"The implementation of our strategic plan will support and be supported by the commitments made by both COSLA and the Scottish Government, and we look forward to working to deliver on them".

Last updated: 07 September 2020