Coronavirus (COVID-19): PPE Strategy and Governance Board minutes: 17 September 2020

Minutes from the meeting of the board on 17 September 2020.

Attendees and apologies


  • Caroline Jack (CJ) (Chair),
  • Richard McCallum (RM),
  • Julie Welsh (JW),  
  • Alpana Mair (AM),
  • Alison Bell (AB),
  • Nick Ford (NF),
  • Dermot Rhatigan (DR),
  • David Leven (DL),
  • Chris Dunne (CD),
  • Gordon Beattie (GB),
  • Jayne Sledmore (JS) (Secretariat)


  • Fiona Bennett (FB), Colin MacBean (CM)

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

CJ opened the meeting and welcomed the attendees.  

Minutes from 3 September 2020 and actions outstanding

JS gave an overview of the actions from the previous meeting.  

No comments were received therefore the minutes were agreed.

PPE action plan – papers 1 and annex A

AB gave an overview of the PPE Action Plan and its Annex (detailed actions).  In the previous fortnight these papers had been circulated to various other groups who discuss PPE as part of their remit, specifically: Centres of Procurement Expertise; SPoCs Strategic Group; Primary Care Group; and National Clinical Group.  There were still comments to come in from some of these groups which will be incorporated in due course.  

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care was keen to see a version of the Action Plan published in the next 2 -3 weeks.  

Action 11.1 – Board Members to provide additional comments to AB before COP on 22 September 2020.  

The documentation was well received by members although they noted more work was required to finalise the Action Plan and that they would be kept in touch as it developed. All board members gave feedback on the strategy and the following points were made:

  • it would be important to be clear about what the objectives of the plan were, and whether and to what extent they went beyond the agreed primary objective of the health and safety of frontline workers
  • section 4 (supply) needed to make as clear as possible that emergency procurement powers had been used in the early phase of the pandemic and had enabled rapid changes to be made to manufacturing output in Scotland. The joint challenge now is in finding a route towards a stable, resilient supply chain under a “business as usual” procurement approach
  • it would be helpful to have more detail about support to manufacturers.  The Programme for Government 2020-2021 commitment on manufacturing is key to how this work is framed, and should be referenced here
  • the Action Plan was relatively light on detail on the needs of non-health and social care settings, particularly how demand will be modelling and met under various scenarios.  Given it has a scope across all relevant sectors, and without understating the importance of the Health and Social Care sectors in this context, there is a need to rebalance the text
  • thought to be given on increasing the information on winter planning, resilience and what the demand model may look like if there is a 2nd wave 
  • the Action Plan should set out a potential approach to prioritisation, should shortages occur and this be required
  • more work needs to be done to ensure that the governance landscape is understood and that we are engaging with it as constructively as possible, including potentially asking other groups to take the lead on certain actions if they are willing to do so

The Board asked that, building on previously-circulated information, a revised “landscape” document be included in the papers for its next meeting.

Action 11.2 - AB to revise the Action Plan in the light of comments received in the meeting

Action 11.3 - JS to use information from the SPoC Strategy Group’s landscape survey and other information about non health and social care settings to revise the “landscape” survey.

Action 11.4 - Board and chairs of other PPE groups to consider the governance landscape and how they could work together to deliver actions.

PPE division timeline (paper 2)

AB presented the timeline that had been circulated to the board prior to the meeting.  This timeline details the PPE Division response to between April and September 2020.  

Action 11.5 – Board members to consider the timeline with colleagues and provide any additions or corrections to AB before 24 September 2020.

Publishing of Board minutes

JS advised that there is a precedent to proactively publish board minutes onto the SG website.  Other similar board within the Health portfolio already do this.  Now that the terms of reference for the board have been agreed this would be the right time to publish.

Action 11.6 – JS to issue the link to board members when these minutes have been published.

Frequency of Board meetings

CJ proposed that the board continue to meeting fortnightly, however keep the frequency under review.  The board agreed with this approach.


There was no AOB.

The next board will take place on 1 October 2020 at 1615.

Meeting closed.

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