This website is now part of Public Health Scotland. Publications released after 16 March 2020 are now published on the Public Health Scotland website.
Improving health
Previously NHS Health Scotland

Impact Assessment

We measure our impact against our short and long-term outcomes which are steps on the way to achieving our vision of a fairer, healthier Scotland.

Long-term outcomes are in our Strategic Framework for Action 2017-2022 and short-term outcomes are in our annual Delivery Plan. Our Delivery Plan also includes Performance Indicators, which are measurable steps on the way to achieving our outcomes. 

We report on our impact annually.  

2018-19 impact

We looked at our impact for 2018-19 at our June 2019 Board meeting. Impact was recorded in the Quarter Four and End of Year Impact Report.

This approach was different to previous years, when we produced Impact Assessment Reports. The reason for this change is that we are in a period of transition and our Board will cease to exist from the end of March 2020. As part of public health reform the health inequalities agenda will become part of Public Health Scotland.

Examples of impact

Income inequality

Income is a key social determinant of health, but we know little about how income-based policies compare in terms of their effects on health and health inequalities. Our research to fill this evidence gap for Scotland is part of the Informing Interventions to reduce health Inequalities (Triple I) project, undertaken through the ScotPHO collaborative with Information Services Division (ISD) and others. 

As part of this work, we used robust data and evidence to model various policies and compare how they would affect household incomes, population health, health inequalities and government revenues. The findings of the research are being used with and by a number of stakeholders including the Dundee Fighting for Fairness Commission, Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal and the new Social Security Agency.

Child poverty

We have facilitated closer and more coordinated working between national partners to support efforts to tackle child poverty. As part of the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017, local authorities and NHS Boards must jointly report annually on the activity they are taking, and will take, to reduce child poverty. These reports are called Local Child Poverty Action Reports

A number of national partners offer support on this and we have been working to co-ordinate the effort and resources. We developed a model of working between national and local structures by establishing a Local Child Poverty Co-ordination Group. We chair the group, which includes membership from the ISD LIST team, Improvement Service, The Poverty Alliance, Scottish Government and COSLA. The needs of local child poverty leads drive the work of the group and there is an ongoing two-way conversation with local partners to make sure their needs are being addressed.

Social security

We have been influential in developing and putting forward the case for the strong connection between social security policy and health inequalities. We published Working and Hurting, the third report in a series looking at developments in income, employment and social security alongside trends in health and health inequalities in Scotland. 

The report was widely reported in the press and was also presented at the annual Public Health Information Network for Scotland (PHINS) seminar. It has helped in the recent interpretation of the stalled life expectancy in Scotland.

We also presented relevant findings to the Scottish Government Welfare Reform Health Impact Delivery Group and the Lothian Deprivation Interest Group in order to inform action to mitigate the health impacts of current welfare reforms.

​Place Standard tool

We have further embedded the Place Standard tool in national policy and local practice. It’s starting to become embedded in national policy and legislation and international interest continues to increase with a host of other countries now using and embedding it. 

Every local authority in Scotland has either used the tool or is planning to use it and there are well over 100 separate uses totalling approximately 14,000 individual responses mainly from local communities.

Right to health

We worked with partners including The Alliance and the University of Strathclyde to deliver Scotland’s first Citizen’s Hearing on the right to health

This enabled policy makers, including NHS Boards, local authorities and health and social care partnerships to hear personal testimonies from rights holders reflecting on violations of their rights. This will inform further work around rights based health.

Get in touch

Please contact us if you have any questions or would like to discuss.