Adult Support and Protection National Strategic Forum: terms of reference

Terms of reference for the Adult Support and Protection (ASP) National Strategic Forum, last updated in June 2019.

Role of National Strategic Forum

The National Forum will provide a strategic and cross sectoral view of what is needed to improve the delivery of adult support and protection across Scotland. The Forum will assist Scottish Government and delivery partners in identifying the workstreams required to improve the assurance and operation of adult support and protection and its interface with existing and developing legislative and policy areas. The Forum will provide oversight of and advice on the improvement plan which is being developed by Scottish Government. The role will include:

  • maintaining oversight of the effective implementation of ASPA and its statutory duties
  • ensuring that work undertaken dovetails with relevant policy developments
  • maintaining oversight of assurance, inspection and data collection activities in ASPA
  • exploring how best to measure the impact of ASPA
  • ensuring that service users’ and carers’ voices are heard
  • identifying future developments impacting on adult support and protection
  • ensuring that Scottish Ministers are informed of relevant developments
  • ownership of and championing ASPA improvement work across Forum membership organisations, feeding in and out of the Forum

Areas of focus

The Forum will focus on:

  • the key areas of improvement work required in adult support and protection
  • the key changes in legislation, policy and practice affecting adult support and protection
  • the key actions and activities for preventing harm
  • the current barriers and the enablers to address them
  • the specific outcomes of any work streams to be undertaken


  1. The group will be chaired by Scottish Government.
  2. Where agreement cannot be reached the Chair will hold the casting vote.
  3. The Chair will deem meetings quorate where representation is in place relevant to the agenda.
  4. Secretariat will be provided by Scottish Government.
  5. Minutes will be distributed for sharing with Forum members’ networks.
  6. Decisions agreed outwith meetings will be raised at the next available meeting.
  7. Agenda items will be submitted to the secretariat 8 weeks prior to the meeting.
  8. The group may set up sub-groups as required to address specific issues.
  9. The group will have an initial introductory meeting in 2018 and thereafter meet quarterly in 2019.
  10. The role, remit and frequency of the group will be reviewed annually (next review March 2020). 


Forum members will provide a strategic view on the work required, representative of their network or organisation, whilst also promoting and supporting the work being undertaken. Members will support and own the decisions of the Forum and represent those decisions across their own organisations or groups. This may be in the form of advising on who/where/how best to deliver the improvement plan and providing effective representation of stakeholder views. The membership list is at Appendix 1. Membership of the group is based around:

  • those representing agencies in Sections 5 and 42 of ASPA
  • those supporting policy, strategy and practice developments and improvement
  • those responsible for inspection and scrutiny
  • those representing service users, carers and service providers
  • the ability to co-opt additional members into the Forum as required

Forum members will declare any conflict of interest at the start of meetings in relation to specific agenda items. 

Appendix 1: National forum membership

  • Clare Haughey (chair), Minister for Mental Health
  • Jamie MacDougall (co-chair), Scottish Government
  • Vikki Milne, Scottish Government
  • Jean Harper, Scottish Government
  • Kiran Haksar, Scottish Government
  • Dale Meller, Office of the Chief Social Work Adviser SG
  • Mike Diamond, Mental Welfare Commission
  • Fiona Brown, Office of the Public Guardian
  • Elaine Galbraith, Police Scotland
  • Fidelma Eggo, Care Inspectorate   
  • Maureen Berry, Health Improvement Scotland        
  • David Lynch, IJB Chief Officers Group    
  • Alex Taylor, Chief Social Work Officers Group            
  • Paul Comley, Stirling University    
  • John Paterson, SASPICA National Convenors Group
  • Brenda Walker, Social Work Scotland ASP Leads Network
  • Shaben Begum, Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance
  • Karen Hedge, Scottish Care           
  • David Thomson, National Mental Health Leads Group
  • Jeff Ace / Cathie Cowan, NHS Chief Executives
  • Austen Smyth, Coalition of Care & Support Providers in Scotland       
  • Laura Caven, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and SOLACE
  • Grace Gilling, NHS ASP Leads Network


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