There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the profile of public health. The general public is now widely familiar with public health advice and guidance to stay safe and stop the spread of the virus, such as washing hands, cough and sneeze etiquette, and ventilation.
It may be less familiar to more people that death rates from COVID-19 are higher in the most deprived areas of Scotland and among some population groups, such as ethnic minority people. And that among these groups of people, vaccination uptake is lower.
Where we live, how we live, learning opportunities and the type of job that we do all has a significant influence of when we die and why we die. Even before the pandemic, differences in life expectancy persisted in Scotland – when life expectancy was increasing, it was not increasing equally. So, improving the long lasting good health and wellbeing of local communities has become even more necessary.
In the past public health has been seen as or part of a health system that provides advice and treatment for individuals to be healthy. Or, as ‘someone else’s job’.
In fact, public health is about people working together to help address the wider factors affecting people’s lives (where we are born, and how we live, learn and work) – and as a consequence, their health. That’s why Public Health Scotland launched a new learning hub in December to help anyone supporting the ambition to build better lives for people in Scotland to understand how they can contribute through our collective actions.
Many people have already engaged with the learning hub. We now encourage you to take this introduction to public health further by signing up to one of our live online learning sessions, where you’ll hear from others about what different sectors can do and how to take joined up approaches. You’ll also be invited to generate and discuss ideas of your own.
Join us for one of three available sessions in March, and take the opportunity to ‘bring public health into your living room’ and consider how we can start to build better lives for the people of Scotland.
Sign up to a public health learning into practice event.
View the Introduction to Public Health Hub.