Public Health Scotland (PHS) has today launched a new strategy which presents a digital ambition to deliver a world-class public health system for a Scotland where everybody thrives.

In line with Scotland’s Digital ambition set out by Scottish Government and COSLA, the PHS digital and data strategy sets out how we will create better public health outcomes for Scotland by working collaboratively across the public health network to collect a wide range of insight, which we can then apply to developing digital solutions across the areas where we believe can make the biggest difference to community health and wellbeing.

Our digital vision is firmly rooted in our core values of collaboration, innovation, excellent, respect and integrity. To ensure the strategy reflected what our many partners and stakeholders need from us, a 2-day workshop was held earlier this year with the Digital Office for Scottish Local Government, COSLA, SOLACE, the Improvement Service, NHS Boards and others, to listen to them and learn from their experiences.

Vicki Bibby, Director of Strategic Planning and Performance at PHS, said:

“PHS has a vision of a Scotland where people live healthier lives, for longer. To make this a reality we need to be innovative in what we do and how we do it. Digital technologies are key to this. They can help us connect and collaborate with communities and partners, leading to better population health. Improved outcomes are our goal and digital has an exciting and critical role to play.

“The production of the strategy has been a truly collaborative effort, produced with national and local government, the NHS, third sector and other public bodies. We greatly value the joint working with those who share our commitment and ambition to improve health outcomes through digital.”

Digital solutions can also help us to evaluate and improve our impact. To be confident we will make a difference the digital strategy has four outward-looking priorities: engaging and empowering the public; creating actionable insight across the public health system; leading digital collaboration across the public health system; and accelerating digital innovation for the public health system. Each priority has a set of outcomes which we will set out to achieve by channeling our digital efforts through the four priority areas in our strategic plan – COVID-19, mental wellbeing, community and places, and poverty and children.

Scott Heald, Interim Director of Data Driven Innovation at PHS, said:

“This year more than ever we have seen the necessity for good data and the urgency for digital solutions. The public COVID-19 dashboard is an example of this, providing accurate, timely data at speed and challenging PHS to work differently.

“Going forward we will work with partners to create even richer sources of data that can lead to targeted public health interventions. The digital and data strategy is a significant step in progressing our long-term vision of a Scotland with flourishing communities.”

PHS is proud to be contributing to Scotland’s digital revolution. While digital technologies are transforming the way in which people live, learn and play in Scotland, PHS is committed to being inclusive and will ensure that non-digital alternative products are available to those that are digitally excluded.

View the Digital strategy

Last updated: 19 June 2021