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 has identified that public health surveillance can 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 aiming to set out a clear statement of what is needed for a Public Health Surveillance System (PHSS) in Scotland, how it can be established, and how it will function to support whole system, public health action to prevent and address harms from drug use.