This paper outlines a public health framework for prevention and the key contribution NHSScotland makes to preventing poor health outcomes.

There is broad recognition and support for preventative action to address Scotland’s health challenges but a lack of a clear and shared language on the spectrum of action needed. This is inhibiting investment in the most effective preventative actions within NHSScotland.

The same commitment to prevention but lack of a shared language is also seen across other social policy.

PHS is proposing the adoption of a public health approach to bring clarity and focus to whole-system discussions on prevention. PHS believes this will also enable decisive investment in primary prevention needed both within NHSScotland and across the system.

The health and economic case for primary prevention is well evidenced. 

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Last updated: 21 March 2024