Adult Support and Protection National Strategic Forum minutes: September 2022

Draft minutes still to be agreed from the meeting of the group on 5 September 2022.

Attendees and apologies


  • Kevin Stewart (chair), Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care
  • Iain MacAllister, Scottish Government
  • Paul Ingram, Scottish Government
  • Vikki Milne, Scottish Government
  • Jamie Aarons, Scottish Government
  • Heather Gibson, Scottish Government
  • Kristy Adams, Scottish Government
  • Clare Mills, Scottish Government
  • Trish Quinn, Scottish Government
  • Stuart Muirhead, Iriss
  • Julie Paterson, Mental Welfare Commission
  • Alyson Paterson, Mental Welfare Commission
  • Paula Ross, Care Inspectorate
  • Kevin Mitchell, Care Inspectorate
  • Maureen Scott, Healthcare Improvement Scotland
  • Jane Byrne, Healthcare Improvement Scotland
  • Sharon Carmichael, Healthcare Improvement Scotland
  • Brenda Walker, Social Work Scotland ASP Leads Network
  • John Paterson, ASP Conveners Group Scotland
  • Cathie Cowan, Chief Executive, NHS Forth Valley
  • John Urquhart, COSLA
  • Kirsty Pate, Chief Social Work Advisor, Scottish Government
  • Craig Naylor, HMICS
  • Val Vertigans, ASP Lead Officer
  • Suzanne Swinton, Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance
  • Samantha Faulds, Police Scotland
  • Filippo Capaldi, Police Scotland
  • Gillian Faulds, Police Scotland
  • Sylvia Chatfield, Chief Social Work Officers Group, West Dunbartonshire HSCP
  • Fiona Brown, Office of the Public Guardian (Scotland)
  • Grace Gilling, NHS ASP Leads Network Group


  • Mike Harkin, Care Inspectorate
  • Kirsteen MacLennan, Care Inspectorate
  • Ruth Gottardi, Glasgow HSCP
  • Claire Wilson, Aberdeen HSCP
  • David Thomson, National Mental Health Nurse Leads Group
  • Karen Hedge, Scottish Care
  • Jeff Ace, NHS Chief Executive
  • Austen Smyth, Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland

Items and actions

Welcome, introductions and business from last meeting

Kevin Stewart welcomed everyone to the forum. Mr Stewart noted a copy of the previous meeting’s minutes and invited the forum to respond on whether the minutes were an accurate record of the last meeting in September 2021, and whether there were any matters raising from the minutes (none were raised) and minutes were agreed by members.  

ASP national implementation group update – Iain Ramsay (Office of Chief Social Work Advisor, Scottish Government)

Mr Stewart invited Iain Ramsay as the chair, to provide an update on the ASP National Implementation group:

  • first Implementation group event took place on Monday 22 August. The response was very positive and appetite from all to participate was very clear
  • Brenda Walker will take up her role as National Adult Protection co-ordinator (NAPC) on October 10 and will be vice chair of the group
  • the main aim of the group is to embed consistency and identify good practice
  • initially the Group will be focusing work through 4 subgroups, which are:
  • chronologies – an effective timeline
  • self-Evaluation – practice and process reflection for improvement and sharing learning
  • advocacy and the voice of the service user and carers – putting the     individual at the centre of ASP processes and practice and how applying a trauma informed approach enhances practice
  • revised outlook on inquiries and investigatory powers – how do these interact, and what is the Council Officer role?
  • each of the subgroups has a lead person to act as a contact and co-ordinator for that subgroup, and they will feedback to the main implementation group and give written reports regularly to Iain Ramsay as the chair of the group. The chair will then report to the National Strategic forum twice yearly
  • the intention is to identify other themes, which would add new subgroups in future
  • the process of the main group is to be driven by practitioners and the ASP community
  • Iain noted his thanks to ASP colleagues in SG and Iriss for their intensive work on pulling together the group and for their ongoing support

ASP multi-agency joint inspection programme – Chief Inspector Craig Naylor (HMICS)

Mr Stewart invited CI Craig Naylor to update members on current work being undertaken, and how the Inspection Programme is progressing.

Key points were then raised by forum members following the presentation:

  • it was noted that after reflecting on inspection partners’ emerging findings report from the first ten inspections, published in May, chronologies are hugely important on the focus going forward in the inspection and improvement programme. Key emergent challenges include the recording and sharing of information appropriately, so that practitioners across agencies can access the right information at the right time
  • it was raised that the NES ASP e-learning public protection resource for NHS staff will be released in September 2022
  • it was noted that as part of the Scottish Mental Health Law Review, the Review undertook work to consider ASP and advocacy. As it stands, advocacy is referenced in ASP legislation to the definition provided in mental health legislation
  • inspection partners are currently considering findings, which can inform phase 2 of the programme

ASP awareness and skills – training topic – trauma informed approach – Kirsty Pate (Office of Chief Social Work Advisor, Scottish Government)

Mr Stewart invited Kirsty Pate to highlight to members the importance of embedding a trauma informed approach in their work, and what training may be required to support them to do this.

Key points were then raised by forum members following the presentation:

  • it was raised by members that to help practitioners understand the ways that trauma may cause people to refuse services or support, policies, procedures and practices could change. An enhanced training pack and sessions are already provided to help practitioners embed some interpersonal work into practice
  • Kirsty Pate is undertaking a piece of work on creating a quality indicators framework on trauma informed services and workforce, which will review evidence from staff and individuals involved with services. The framework will include indicators relating to training, data collection, service delivery and design
  • it was raised that there is a wide range of support available for assisting frontline workers to become trauma informed. There is a focus on making the training materials and tools widely known to organisations
  • Mr Stewart emphasised that better recording of information is needed as it can be triggering for people being asked the same information multiple times, by practitioners
  • members raised that it would be good to include trauma informed elements in other training offerings across ASP and wider public protection training, as well as the specific trauma informed training, to reinforce the messages as much as possible

Ukraine – public protection guidance update – DCS Sam Faulds and DSU Fil Capaldi (Police Scotland)

Mr Stewart invited Fillipo Capaldi and Samantha Faulds from Police Scotland to give an update on the continued work around safeguarding those coming to Scotland from Ukraine. Key points were then raised by forum members following the discussion:

  • it was raised that Police Scotland have some concerns around ASP challenges, these include:
  • there is limited intelligence or criminal convictions notes for people arriving from Ukraine
  • Police Scotland don’t have access to systems which will note Ukrainians’ vulnerabilities
  • People may have experienced abuse before coming to Scotland and Police Scotland will be unaware of this
  • There are issues in terms of additional support e.g arrivals not being able to speak English and having a language barrier
  • Mr Stewart raised that the Scottish Government are taking a number of actions regarding addressing mental health issues for Ukrainians and that it may be a while before the full impacts on people arriving is seen
  • thus far, Scotland are doing very well on the arrival process for Ukrainians
  • regarding those individuals who were already in Scotland prior to the war in Ukraine and had accommodation linked to employment, members noted that there is a need to ensure that people know their rights, the ASP and other safeguarding processes and that people are aware of pathways to access safety and support services
  • the Adult Protection committee in North Ayrshire has requested a presentation from local authority supports regarding Ukrainian refugees and potential links to ASP. It was noted that all staff supporting refugees have had ASP training locally

Chronologies – current developments in ASP – Ellen Daly (Iriss)

Mr Stewart welcomed the video presentation prepared by Ellen Daly from Iriss to discuss the review they are undertaking on chronologies and why this is important for ASP. Key points were then raised by forum members following the presentation:

  • Mr Stewart raised that there is the opportunity for cross working across the board, including Adult Protection and Child Protection, on chronologies
  • chronologies are a challenge and there has been misunderstanding on how to use them properly
  • Mr Stewart emphasised that there are situations which can be frustrating for staff. There are many perceived barriers when it comes to data sharing, and we need to work together to eliminate these. Staff need the right guidance at the right time to get rid of these barriers
  • Mr Stewart raised that he previously asked officials to have a roundtable event on the lessons learned, particularly on the Angus SCR P19 case
  • members raised that there is a need to embed the implementation of the revised ASP Code of Practice and associated guidance and work with staff on the frontline of ASP

ASP national challenges – information sharing – Trish Quinn (Interim Deputy Director for Data and Digital, Scottish Government)

Mr Stewart invited Trish Quinn from Data and Digital in SG to give an update on the work being taken forward by her team for the National Care Service, which includes creating an integrated case record system.

Key points were then raised by forum members following the presentation:

  • Mr Stewart noted that quite often on large data projects, ideas come from people within different organisations to benefit the wider system. SG want buy-in from many organisations to get this process of an integrated case record to work, and for it to be the best it can be
  • it was raised that if there is an integrated record where people don’t need to tell their story multiple times, it will help massively
  • SG need to have everyone’s view on the way it is designed and how the record will be viewed, and need to ensure that there are controls in place to ensure information cannot be viewed inappropriately
  • Mr Stewart noted that Trish and her team will gather information on this. SG and organisations need to work together and it will be staff on the frontline that will help get this system right
  • it was reflected that IT system integration can be more expensive than originally planned
  • members agreed it is essential to get as much detail as possible on IT systems to ensure it is properly costed
  • Trish and her team are keen to spread the word to enable a wide range of organisations to get involved in this process, and to endeavour to get it right first time

Thanks and close

Mr Stewart closed the meeting by thanking forum members for the work they have done and are doing to continue to support and protect adults at risk of harm. He noted in particular the hard work and commitment shown by members and their colleagues in response to the pandemic.

The next meeting of the Forum is likely to take place in March 2023 with invitations to be issued in due course.

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