Healthier Scotland Report


In August 2015, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing launched a national conversation on the future of health and social care to help shape a transformational change on Scotland’s approach to population health, and to the delivery of health and social care services by 2030. To ensure young people could play a leadership role, Young Scot was commissioned by the Scottish Government’s Creating a Healthier Scotland Joint Improvement Team to involve young people in the national conversation in a meaningful and informed way to explore three broad questions:

  1. What support do we need in Scotland to make healthier choices?

  2. What areas of health and social care matter most to you?

  3. Thinking about the future of health and social care services, where should our future focus be?

Young Scot hosted an online discussion and supported us, the Youth Investigation Team, to explore the aims of the conversation and used codesign methodology to identify what a healthier Scotland should look like from a young person’s perspective.

The online discussion, hosted on Young Scot Rewards, had over 300 young people responding to the conversation questions, with many issues being raised. The data from the online discussion contributed directly to the Scottish Government’s own national conversation, and also supported the start of our work. Some of the most common themes and issues we identified included:

  • A stronger focus on eating better and exercising

  • Specific health care professionals - and the importance of specific health care professionals and the NHS

  • Young people having more of a say in how health services are developed

To form the Healthier Scotland Youth Investigation Team, Young Scot promoted the opportunity nationally to encourage young people with a passion in the areas of health and wellbeing to get involved. Young Scot reached out to specialist organisations to ensure the group was representative and inclusive.

Supported by staff, where appropriate, we worked through Young Scot’s co-design methodology to ensure the project was led by us but also included the views of key stakeholders. We were encouraged to recognise gaps in own knowledge and experience and seek the views and opinions of experts, service users and other young people throughout the project.

We mapped out, social and material (infrastructure) change factors to understand the wider health and social care system for young people in Scotland. We used this work as the basis to explore what we think needs to change and what the impact would be, before exploring and challenging our ideas with other young people at an ideas gathering session.

In this final report, we are contributing to the wider Creating a Healthier Scotland conversation and identify how our group can evolve to continue young people’s leadership in creating a healthier Scotland.

You can download a PDF version of the full report or read a text only version below.