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Information and guidance for public, NHSGGC staff, and community-based services.  Hospital visiting restrictions now in place.

About the Public Health Directorate


This section provides information on Public Health issues and functions. Much of the information will be of interest to staff and professional audiences working in the fields of Public Health and health improvement.

If you are looking for:

  • Information about services that can support your health and wellbeing please visit the Healthy Living  section of the website.
  • Quality assured health and care information please visit NHS Inform 
  • Personalised Support & Information Services for patients, visitors or staff based on some of our hospital sites 
  • Our Know who to turn to section explains how and when to access essential services, day and night all year round.
  • For all other general health information contact your GP, or for urgent help contact NHS24 (Freephone telephone no:111 )

What we do:

Our Public Health Directorate aims to:

  • Influence policy and strategy including legal and fiscal measures to protect and promote health and reduce health inequalities.
  • Work with communities and partner organisations to improve health and reduce inequalities
  • Provide leadership for Public Health across NHSGGC and partner organisations
  • Ensure the protection of the public from communicable and non-communicable diseases and environmental hazards
  • Monitor the pattern of disease in the community
  • Assess the health needs of the population and advise how these needs can be met
  • Facilitate the strategic development of health care services provided
  • Ensure the systematic implementation of evidence based practice, clinical and quality standards for healthcare, preventative programmes and interventions such as screening; immunisation and behaviour change
  • Provide support for professional development - building capacity, research and evaluation services, access to evidence base and services to ensure dissemination of resources

On 21st August 2018 NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Board approved "Turning the tide through prevention", our new ten year Public Health Strategy. 

Read our press release about the "Big six" actions to improve our population's health.

Find out more about our work and achievements in our 2015-2016 Out-turn report (pdf)

How we work:

Our vision is to improve our population’s health and tackle health inequality.

We will build on our relationships with staff and residents across NHSGGC to adopt healthier lifestyles by working with, and supporting local communities, employers and staff.  To deliver our vision, our mission is to focus on the changeable determinants of ill health and provide clarity and co-ordinate efforts to prevent health inequalities and to enable our staff and partners to deliver our vision. 

The core elements of our work are delivered through the following departments: 

Health Protection

The Public Health Protection Unit (PHPU) is responsible for key aspects of communicable disease and infection control, emergency planning, waterborne incidents, chemical and microbiological incidents and environmental health work.

Visit the Public Health Protection Unit microsite to find out more.

Health Services

Provides public health leadership and expertise for the implementation of national policy around primary care, acute secondary care, screening programmes and maternal and child health. We also provide public health surveillance and evidence based intelligence to support local decision making for improving our population’s health and addressing health inequalities.

For more information on our screening programmes visit the Public Health Screening microsite

The  Maternity, Children and Public Health Team provides co-ordinated public health leadership, advice and support on maternal, child, young people and families issues within NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. In addition, the team seeks to influence the development and implementation of national and local policy.

To find out more visit the Maternity, Children and Public Health microsite.

Health Improvement

Health Improvement describes our work to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals or communities through enabling and encouraging healthy choices as well as addressing underlying determinants of health such as poverty and lack of educational opportunities. We work with a wide range of partners to influence policy, service provision and wider environmental factors that help support positive health outcomes for our population, especially those in greatest need.

For more information on the work visit the Health Improvement microsite.

Our Public Health Challenge 

  • High numbers of children and families who continue to experience poor outcomes
  • Increasing number of individuals and families affected by poverty, debt, fuel and /or food poverty and homelessness
  • Poor life expectancy, high levels of morbidity and disability and the need to access a wider range of health (and other) services at a younger age and for longer than other areas of Scotland
  • Appropriately meeting the needs of an increasingly ethnically and culturally diverse population and delivering accessible, needs based services
  • High demand on resources associated with mitigating the impact of health inequalities on individuals rather than influencing their prevention upstream 

Priorities for preventing ill-health and early intervention include: 

  • Improve identification and support to vulnerable children and families
  • Enable disadvantaged groups to use services in a way which reflects their needs
  • Increase identification of and reduce key risk factors including those associated health inequalities (smoking, healthy weight, drug, alcohol use and poverty mitigation)
  • Promote mental well-being, reduce disabling distress and suicide  and ensure early intervention for mental ill health
  • Embed the principles of the health promoting health service across care settings
  • Increase the use of anticipatory care planning; vaccinations and screening
  • Increase the proportion of key conditions including cancer and dementia detected at an early stage
  • Enable older people to stay healthy
  • Reduce harm from external hazards to health

Our programmes to deliver on these priorities are:

Further professional support for Public Health and Health Improvement is delivered via dedicated functions for:


Last Updated: 28 July 2020