COVID-19 Nosocomial Review Group



The Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) and Chief Medical Officer (CMO), in consultation with the HCAI/AMR Policy Unit and the National ARHAI service within NHS National Services Scotland (NSS), have identified the need for additional analysis of nosocomial (hospital associated and onset) transmission of COVID-19 in Scotland.

The Scottish Government COVID-19 Nosocomial Review Group will be a time limited expert group chaired by Professor Jacqui Reilly, Nurse Director and Healthcare Associated Infection (HCAI) Executive Lead at NSS.

The advisory group will consider the scientific and technical concepts and processes that are key to understanding the evolving COVID-19 situation and potential impacts in hospitals in Scotland.  The advisory group will apply the advice coming to the four nations from the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (SAGE), the UK-wide Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) guidance cell and other appropriate sources of evidence and information and use it to inform the decision-making process in Scotland during the pandemic.

The group will be accountable to the Scottish Government, through the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO), and will provide the HCAI/AMR Policy Unit with advice. It will also report into the Chief Medical Officer’s Scientific Advisory Group to ensure two-way information and evidence sharing within Scotland but also with wider UK groups, such as SAGE’s nosocomial and hospital onset sub-groups. This will also enable Ministerial updates to the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, the First Minister and other portfolio interests.


The group will support Scottish Ministers and senior clinical advisers to:

  • Interpret SAGE outputs and other emerging scientific evidence in relation to nosocomial infection in the context of Scotland.
  • Provide expert advice spanning the disciplines of infection prevention and control, clinical advice, nosocomial infection, clinical advice, epidemiology, virology and statistical modelling.
  • Make recommendations to CNO and CMO in relation to reducing and mitigating against COVID-19 nosocomial infection, including but not limited to the following subject areas: national surveillance, testing, screening, research, guidance and policy.
  • Support the Scottish Government COVID-19 Corporate Analytical Hub, overseen by the Chief Statistician, through analysis of nosocomial infection data in Scotland.
  • Advise the Scottish Government, SGHSC Directorates, and Covid-19 Corporate Analytical Hub on strategic approach to identifying, accessing and using data to support our understanding and response to nosocomial transmission of COVID-19 in Scotland.
  • Develop links with other SG COVID-19 Advisory Groups; including co-opting members to the group as appropriate and taking early decisions on whether any supporting groups should be established.
  • Maintain close engagement with SAGE and their nosocomial sub-group, as well as the UK-wide Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) guidance cells.
  • The focus of this group will be on nosocomial (hospital associated) infection and transmission, however it will maintain close engagement with colleagues in SG, NSS ARHAI service and Public Health Scotland leading on reducing transmission of COVID-19 in community care settings to ensure findings are shared and that policy recommendations are developed with system considerations and collaboratively.

The recommendations from the COVID-19 Nosocomial Review Group in Scotland will largely be taken forward by the National ARHAI Unit within NSS, the HCAI/AMR Policy Unit within the Scottish Government will work closely with the group to progress policy development and implementation, as well as providing secretariat support.

The existing identified evidence gaps and the recommendations are outlined in the Terms of Reference.


Members are infection prevention and control experts, clinicians and academics spanning the disciplines of epidemiology, virology, public health and statistical modelling.

  • Professor Jacqui Reilly, NHS National Service Scotland (NSS) and Glasgow Caledonian University (Chair)
  • Deputy Chief Nursing Officer, SG
  • Laura Imrie, Lead consultant for National ARHAI service, NSS
  • Professor Tom Evans, University of Glasgow and Consultant in Infectious Disease and General Medicine
  • Dr Colin Ramsay, Public Health Scotland
  • Professor Matt Holden, University of St. Andrews
  • Professor Chris Robertson, University of Strathclyde and NSS
  • Professor Stephen Reicher, University of St. Andrews
  • Professor Alex McMahon, Chair of SEND and HAI Executive Lead
  • Dr Andrew Seaton /Jacqui Sneddon, Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group (SAPG)
  • Ruth Robertson, Head of Programme, Healthcare Associated Infections
  • Sandra Devine, Infection Control Managers’ Forum
  • Dr Aleks Marek, Chair, Infection Control Doctors
  • Pamela Joannidis, Chair, Infection Control Nurses
  • Dr Emmanuel Okpo, SD'sPH Group representative on behalf of NHS Grampian, Director of Public Health
  • Kate Templeton, Consultant Clinical Scientist, NHS Lothian
  • Dr Martin Connor, Consultant Microbiologist, Clinical Lead SMVN
  • National Clinical Lead for Quality and Safety, SG
  • Dr Alastair Leckie, Consultant in Occupational Medicine, Director NHS Lothian Occupational Health and Safety Service
  • Interim Deputy CMO and/or Senior Medical Officer, Chief Medical Officer Directorate

Membership will be kept under review.


Published muinutes are available at: COVID-19 Nosocomial Review Group: minutes