Health in a Changing Scotland: The Ball's in Our Court

The title and cover picture for this year’s conference are intended to reflect 2 key events in 2014 which could have significant implications for Public Health in Scotland – the Independence Referendum and the Commonwealth Games (although not on the 2014 programme, tennis has long been on the list of approved optional Commonwealth Games sports). By the time of the conference both of these will have taken place, and this provides an ideal time to discuss how we can proactively use the opportunities that the Games and Referendum provide toshape the health of our population and the structures that support this.

The FPH Scottish Conference is an important opportunity for those working across the spectrum of public health to come together in order to provide context for their work, develop new and strengthen existing networks, and gain inspiration. This year’s themes combine the established domains of public health practice with topic areas which represent extensive challenges and opportunities for a range of other agencies, but in which a strong public health voice is needed. We will hear from interesting and motivational speakers from a variety of backgrounds, and hold what we are sure will be a lively panel session to get those critical juices flowing.

Politicians from all of the mainstream political parties have been setting out a vision for a more progressive, equal Scotland, and there is agreement that whatever the result of the Referendum, there will be changes to the landscape in which we operate. So, as we enter a new era in Scotland, we hope that the conference will encourage and inspire delegates to develop a vision for our country’s future. What messages do we want to give the public and politicians about the importance of the health of the whole population? What can we do and how do we position ourselves to deliver this vision? The ball is in our court.

Pip Farman and Simon Hilton
Co-Chairs of the Conference Planning Committee