Optimising Public Health Surveillance

Public Health Surveillance is the discipline involving the continuous, systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of health-related data needed for the planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health practice. Within the context of drug-related deaths in Scotland, the Taskforce identified that public health surveillance could create the intelligence to enable early detection of emerging harms or trends, and therefore better deployment of resources against them, and more effective, early interventions that can save lives.

The Taskforce is aimed to set out a clear statement of what is needed for a Public Health Surveillance System (PHSS) in Scotland, how it could be established, and how it would function to support whole system, public health action to prevent and address harms from drug use.

Our aims here are for a complete paradigm change. We will work through from mapping out what data is already out there and available to be collated, to creating a detailed understanding of the aspirations and scope for a new PHSS across Scotland, to an implementation plan to bring it into being