The Chairman of Greater Glasgow NHS Board, Professor Sir John Arbuthnott, today confirmed that a Centre for Population Health is being established in Glasgow
Until now it has been difficult to pinpoint the X factor of why Scotland's health remains amongst the worst in the world but building on existing health expertise and using the research excellence that exists in our universities, the Centre for Population Health will focus on Glasgow's health and social needs and examine better ways of meeting those needs.
The Centre will incorporate scientific research and health expertise into why Scotland's, and in particular Glasgow's, health remains a major problem.
It will establish in Scotland an international research and development facility concerned with how to improve health and how we use the knowledge gained for the advantage of the people of Scotland.
The Centre has the backing of Malcolm Chisholm, the Minister for Health and Community Care, the University of Glasgow and Glasgow City Council.
Funding for the Centre has still to be finalised and premises sought but the expectation is within six months the Centre will up and running.
Professor Sir John Arbuthnott, Chairman, Greater Glasgow NHS Board said today "There is no doubt that fresh thinking is needed to improve the health of people in Glasgow and the challenge is to change the current pattern of unhealthy lifestyles led by many Glaswegians.
"In the face of an enormous challenge, Glasgow is leading the way in combating poverty and ill-health. The Centre will be international and will enable good practice developed in Scotland to be developed worldwide.
"We should build upon the gains of the last few years and working in partnership with the Universities, the City Council and communities we serve, be a leading force in linking health improvement action in Scotland with other health improving activities elsewhere in the world.
Dr Harry Burns, Director of Public Health, Greater Glasgow NHS Board has given the Centre a thumbs up and said today "Health in any community is determined by a complex mix of social, environmental and behavioural factors.
"The City Council and the Health Board have worked closely over the years on a number of projects which are slowly improving health in the City. By working more closely in partnership in this Centre, and by establishing closer links with researchers in public health, policy research and business schools, we hope to achieve a step change in how quickly we can bring real health improvement to the people of Glasgow."
Professor Kevin Woods, Chair in Health Policy and Economic Evaluation, University of Glasgow is part of the team working with Professor Sir John Arbuthnott in taking the Centre forward. He believes this is an important step in improving Scotland's health.
He said "There is a huge enthusiasm to go a step further in researching this vast and complex issue. An immense amount of work has already produced detailed results that have helped health professionals target health improvement measures for local and national populations.
"But despite this level of activity there remains an unfound key to unlock the door to Glasgow's unique and seemingly enduring dreadful health status."
Deputy Leader of Glasgow City Council, Councillor Jim Coleman said "Glasgow City Council welcomes the announcement of a "Centre for Population Health".
"It is only by everyone working together that we can start to turn around Glasgow's poor health record.
"The Council for the first time now has a full committee dealing with Community Health and Safety, clearly demonstrating the Council's commitment to improving the health of the people of Glasgow.
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