About us


We plan and deliver effective and specialist national services which co-ordinate, strengthen and support activities aimed at protecting the people of Scotland from infectious and environmental hazards.

We do this by providing advice, support and information to the following groups:

  • health professionals
  • national and local government
  • the general public
  • a number of other bodies that play a part in protecting health

Our functions include:

  • surveillance and monitoring the hazards and exposures affecting people and the impact they have on their health
  • co-ordination of national health protection programmes, for example, immunisation and antimicrobial resistance
  • expert advice and horizon scanning
  • effective preparation and response to outbreaks and incidents
  • enabling good professional practice
  • supporting the ongoing development of a confident and competent health protection workforce
  • support commissioning specialist/reference lab services
  • research and innovation to provide evidence for action

Who we are

Formerly the Scottish Centre for Infection and Environmental Health (SCIEH), Health Protection Scotland (HPS) was established in 2005.

As of 1 April 2020, Public Health Scotland brings together parts of NHS National Services Scotland – Health Protection Scotland (HPS) and the Information Services Division (ISD) – with NHS Health Scotland to form Public Health Scotland.

Health protection is one of the three domains of public health, alongside health improvement and health services.

Our priority topics include :

  • antimicrobial resistance (AMR)
  • healthcare associated infection (HAI)
  • blood borne viruses (BBVs)
  • environmental public health (EPH)
  • gastrointestinal and zoonotic infections
  • immunisations
  • public health microbiology
  • respiratory infections
  • sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • travel health
  • emerging infections

Health protection expertise is provided by a multi-disciplinary workforce, which includes:

  • doctors
  • nurses
  • scientists
  • information staff

We work with our stakeholders via the Scottish Health Protection Network (SHPN).

Scottish Health Protection Network

The SHPN is an obligate network co-owned by stakeholders, including some from our organisation, as well as stakeholders from across the health protection community in Scotland, including:

  • NHS Boards
  • local authorities
  • Scottish Government
  • NHS Education for Scotland
  • Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)
  • Food Standards Scotland (FSS)

The network was established in 2015 and founded on these several key principles:

  • commitment and clarity of responsibilities at different tiers
  • supporting delivery and driving improvements through sharing of lessons learnt
  • a core purpose of consistency, standards of best practice, efficiency and resilience

The SHPN will provide a focus on the following key areas to strengthen health protection in Scotland:

  • the development, quality and effectiveness of health protection services
  • high quality professional practice
  • workforce development
  • resilience and capacity, both in major outbreaks and in routine on call

Job vacancies

Our latest vacancies are posted on the NHS Scotland Recruitment website.

In the section

About us