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NHS Education for Scotland

A skilled and sustainable workforce for a healthier Scotland

Health protection

Health protection is a term used to encompass a set of activities within the public health function.

It involves:

  • Ensuring the safety and quality of food, water, air and the general environment
  • Preventing the transmission of communicable diseases
  • Managing outbreaks and the other incidents which threaten the public health

The profile of health protection has increased significantly in recent years with issues such as immunisation, food borne infections, pandemics, healthcare associated infection and communicable diseases regularly being in the public eye. The quality of public protection from hazards demands a workforce, educated and trained to the highest standards.

National strategy

Since 2005, NHS Education for Scotland has worked in close partnership with Health Protection Scotland (national coordinating body for health protection in Scotland) and stakeholders to progress a cohesive, integrated and progressive approach to workforce education development.

This work has included the development of a national strategy, one part of which was the development and implementation of the 'Framework for Workforce Education Development for Health Protection in Scotland' (NES and HPS, 2006) which set the context for joint working and continues to deliver in three main areas:

  1. Continuing the implementation of the National ‘Framework for Workforce Education Development for Health Protection in Scotland’
  2. Developing and rolling out educational packages on specific health protection topics
  3. Participating in the definition and implementation of European, UK and Scottish knowledge, skills and competencies requirements.

Scottish Health Protection Network

This work has continued over the years and actively supports the work of the obligate Scottish Health Protection Network. This multiagency network covers areas such as:

  • Immunisation
  • Blood borne viruses and sexual health
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Gastrointestinal and zoonotic diseases
  • Public health microbiology
  • Preparedness

In addition, the network facilitates an overarching health protection workforce education group that regularly meets allowing this multidisciplinary and multi-agency workforce to come together to discuss areas such as workforce and career development pathways.

In April 2020, a new lead national agency for improving and protecting the health and wellbeing of all of Scotland’s people was launched of which Health Protection Scotland became an integral part.

The strategic partnership between NHS Education Scotland, Public Health Scotland and partners is seen as key in the ongoing delivery of health protection workforce education to help ensure a confident and resilient workforce equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills in this rapidly evolving field.

Access to health protection education resources

All health protection education resources and support materials are freely available on Turas Learn in the Health protection zone.

Completion of health protection eLearning

If you would like to complete any eLearning modules on Turas Learn, you need to first log in to Turas Learn.

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Last updated: 10/05/2022

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