Coronavirus (COVID 19) Covid Recovery Strategy Programme Board minutes: 26 January 2023

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 26 January 2023.

Attendees and apologies


  • John Swinney, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Covid Recovery
  • Cllr Shona Morrison, President of COSLA                         


  • Sandy Begbie, Chief Executive, Scottish Financial Enterprise
  • Greg Colgan, Chief Executive, Dundee City Council
  • Anna Fowlie, Chief Executive, SCVO
  • Cllr Steven Heddle, Vice President, COSLA
  • Paul Johnston, Director General Communities, Scottish Government
  • Tom Lamplugh, Head of Social Policy Unit, Scottish Government
  • Angela Leitch, PHS
  • Sally Loudon, Chief Executive, COSLA
  • Ben Macpherson, Minister for Social Security and Local Government
  • Mary McAllan, Director, Covid Recovery and Public Service Reform, Scottish Government
  • Cleland Sneddon, Chair, Solace


  • Linda Bauld, Chief Social Policy Advisor, Scottish Government
  • Kate Forbes, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy
  • Linda McKay, Non-Executive Director, Scottish Government
  • Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government

Items and actions

Summary of discussion points

The board accepted the minutes from the previous meeting on 7 September 2022.

The board discussed the challenges from the high inflation costs and winter pressures in the social care system, and the resulting impact on the delivery of public services. Given this context, the members reflected on the need for further joint-up thinking on a delivery approach that is both effective in securing value for money for the public purse, and coherent across the system, in terms of lowering barriers and providing services that are place-based and person-centred.

The board considered the details of the work outlined in the main paper, including: the breadth of work on the pathfinders, the approaches to relational understanding of people’s needs, and the monitoring and independent evaluation process of the pathfinders, being an important step of the evidenced based approach to learning about the characteristics of success and driving further system change. Attendees reflected on the need to intensify the work on barrier reduction and maintain a sharp focus on approaches to align funding policy within government, at scale, and work with local partners to agree joint outcomes and actions around this funding, and how impact would be assessed.

The board was updated on the progress of the Dundee pathfinder and the success in its cross-organisational collaboration to deliver person-centred services to families, including individuals that had never previously engaged with the system. Taking a rigorous approach to working across silos resulted in effective use of funds and a better understanding of the barriers the service users were faced with.

The board discussed the importance of data in supporting evidence based decision making at a systems’ level, and the importance of leadership attention required in ensuring the lessons learned from the pathfinders are intensified and used to drive change towards shared outcomes. The board considered this work to be pivotal to achieving the positive outcomes for communities, and encouraged officials to maintain their focus, and going forward, making it systemic.


  • members to consider wider partnership and joint working in the Dundee Pathfinder
  • collate and utilise CPIB working group output on financial security and children wellbeing
  • officials to continue on the next stage of planned activity to delivering on the Covid Recovery outcomes by sharing learnings and best practice of person-centred approaches, working across silos, and lowering barriers
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