After decades of struggling with public health issues, in 2010 Scotland was being described as the ‘sick man of Europe’, suffering higher mortality rates for cancer, heart disease and stroke than anywhere else in the UK. A study revealed that unhealthy living was almost universal in Scotland, with virtually every individual putting themselves at risk. Although it was fair to argue there had been improvements in death rates from major disease, in part due to initiatives such as the smoking ban, it became obvious that much more still needed to be done.
Three years on and after millions of pounds having been spent by the Scottish Government on education programmes and advertising campaigns, health overall struggles to improve. Scotland still has the lowest life expectancy in Western Europe with rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer remaining amongst the highest in the world. Diabetes continues to increase at a rate of 10,000 a year, one in seven is on anti-depressants and alcohol consumption remains 20% higher than in the rest of the UK.
At Public Health Scotland, experts will highlight the current situation and future outlook for the health of the nation, and discuss possible strategies that can be employed to deliver the necessary improvements. Delegates will be given the opportunity to be fully informed of current thinking and practice, which can be implemented within their own initiatives to improve population health.