Mental Health Quality and Safety Board


The purpose of the Mental Health Quality and Safety Board, which is chaired by the Minister for Mental Health, is to provide advice on the development and implementation of policy in relation to safe, effective and quality mental health services in Scotland. Importantly, the voices and experiences of those with lived experience and a rights’ based approach, as enshrined in mental health legislation, are at the centre.

The Board has an advisory function in relation to patient safety and care, data and evidence, improvement and scrutiny and assurance. 

It also provides advice on progress in relation to two of the national recommendations made by David Strang in the Independent Inquiry Report on Tayside’s mental health services:

  • a national review of the guidelines for responding to substance misuse on inpatient wards is required
  • a national review of the assurance and scrutiny of mental health services across Scotland, including the powers of Health Improvement Scotland and the Mental Welfare Commission Scotland

The Quality and Safety Board also provides advice on progress against key commitments within the Mental Health Transition and Recovery Plan:

  • setting high standards: We will support the collaborative development, implementation and assessment of quality standards for mental health services. These will build on the approach we took to develop a revised Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) Service Specification, which, for the first time, set a national standard of service to be received by children, young people and families who are supported by CAMHS anywhere in Scotland. Our Quality and Safety Board will play an important role in this programme of work
  • access and quality: Working with Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Public Health Scotland we will establish a new Performance and Quality Improvement Programme. The new Scottish Benchmarking and Quality Improvement Network will also play an important part in this. This work will seek to enhance access to and the quality of services against the new standards outlined above
  • patient safety: Through the Quality and Safety Board we will review the assurance and scrutiny of mental health services across Scotland, including the powers of Healthcare Improvement Scotland and the Mental Welfare Commission, as recommended by the Independent Review of Mental Health Services in Tayside. This will seek to ensure safe delivery against the new standards outlined above


  • Royal College of General Practitioners - Dr Munro Stewart
  • Convention of Scottish Local Authorities - Hannah Axon, Policy Manager
  • Royal College of Psychiatrists - Dr Jane Cheeseman
  • Royal College of Nursing - Susan Aitkenhead, Director, Scotland
  • Royal College of Nursing - Ross Sanderson 
  • Royal College of Nursing - Eileen McKenna, Associate Director, Nursing, Policy and Practice
  • Scottish Executive Nursing Directors - Mark Richards, Director of Nursing and Allied Health Professionals, Deputy CEO of The State Hospitals Board for Scotland 
  • Healthcare Improvement Scotland - Ruth Glassborow, Director of Improvement Support and ihub
  • Healthcare Improvement Scotland  - Michelle Miller, Portfolio Lead: Focus on Dementia and Mental Health Improvement Portfolio
  • Mental Welfare Commission - Julie Paterson, Chief Executive
  • Health and Social Care Alliance - Irene Oldfather, Director of Strategy and Engagement
  • VOX - Gordon Johnston, lived experience representative
  • UNISON -  Willie Duffy, Secretary and Head of Bargaining for Health
  • UNISON - Martin McKay, Grampian Health Branch
  • Association of Clinical Psychologists - Ruth Stocks, ACP-UK Director and Representative for Scotland
  • NHS Chief Execs - Carol Potter, NHS Fife Chief Executive
  • Integration Joint Board Chief Officers - Angie Wood, Chief Officer, Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership
  • Chief Social Work Officers - Julie Lusk, Chief Social Work Officer and Head of Adult Services, Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership. 
  • Chief Social Work Officers - Alison White, Chief Social Worker, Midlothian
  • Carers’ Trust - Karen Martin, Mental Health Co-ordinator