Coronavirus (COVID-19): PPE Strategy and Governance Board minutes: 18 February 2021

Minutes from the meeting on the 18 February 2021 of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) PPE Strategy and Governance Board.

Attendees and apologies


  • Alan Morrison (AM) (Chair)
  • Alison Bell (AB)
  • Moira Parker (MP)
  • Julie Welsh (JW)
  • Nick Ford (NF)
  • Gordon Beattie (GB)
  • Jim Wilson (JWi)
  • Morag Watt (MW)
  • David Leven (DL)
  • Chris Bierley (CB)
  • Emma Nycz (EN)
  • Irene Keith (Secretariat)


  • Catriona Dalrymple (CD)
  • Colin MacBean (MacB)
  • Chris Taylor (CT substituting for M Healy)

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

AM opened the meeting and welcomed the attendees.

Minutes from 21 January 2021 and actions outstanding

AM indicated actions from the previous meeting would be raised later on the Agenda. The minutes were agreed by board members.

Update from sectors post EU Exit   

GB advised NSS had not received any indication that Brexit was having an adverse effect on the supply of PPE. The matters raised had been around regulatory changes and requests for training modules around customs duty. He felt IPG should look at training support. MP also confirmed there had been no issues. She advised the Scottish Statutory Instrument (SSI) on CE easement on CE marking went through and that work was under way on forward planning around the CA marking (the UK equivalent of CE) proposed by the UK Government. (CE marking is an administrative marking that indicates conformity with health, safety, and environmental protection standards for products sold within the European Economic Area (EEA). (It is not a quality indicator or a certification mark. ) The CE marking is also found on products sold outside the EEA that have been manufactured to EEA standards.)

It was agreed to keep this item on the agenda as some quarters had raised the possibility that issues might arise around Easter time.

Deep Dive Meeting on the potential of one Scotland wide PPE framework

MP advised an initial paper had been circulated internally on possible options. An initial date for this meeting was set for 1 March but was not suitable to ensure appropriate attendance. She therefore proposed the 4 March as this slot was already in diaries and at a previous meeting it had been agreed to reduce the Strategy and Governance Board meetings from fortnightly to monthly.

It was agreed to proceed with the Deep Dive on 4 March.  NF asked that Angus from APUC be invited.  MP confirmed Graeme Cook and Angus were on her list.  MP also asked to invited SCJD (

JW that their planned procurement exercise had been delayed due to identifying a global shortage of shipping containers as a result of global demand during the pandemic. This delay would allow them to participate better in plans for a one Scotland procurement framework approach.


  • members to provide details of any additional attendees for the Deep Dive on 4 March to MP

Long term BAU-PPE use

NF highlighted that whilst the work had been around responding to a crisis it was important we now consider what the future priorities are and start to forward plan. He highlighted the need for a more sustainable procurement model, however at the moment it is difficult to understand how we determine that model. He suggested we needed to start by looking at what systems and processes need to be in place in two scenarios (1) where we return to BAU and (2) are hit by another pandemic.

There was a general discussion around Audit Scotland’s recent comments in the media which related mainly to the pre-pandemic situation and the need to take onboard the lessons learned and to make clear recommendations. GB highlighted that the current 16 week stockpiles of type IIR masks were only needed in the volumes pre Covid then we would have sufficient stock for 16 years. The main action is to be involved in the next modelling and clearly factors around the uncertainty with the vaccines has to be taken into account along with a lot of other factors. It is clear decisions need to be made in spring around autumn procurement.

AB proposed a draft paper could be prepared at least outlining the questions that need to be raised and highlight the steps needed to be taken to allow the Board to set out the options and the costs around these and perhaps make recommendations to the Minister.

GB suggested that Health Scotland could provide details around areas outwith Health and Social Care e.g. prisons. DL highlighted the need also to look at the impact on the PPE supply chains created around the pandemic and the possible impact on jobs should the demand drop. GB raised the higher level of PPE buying in England


  • AB to prepare a draft paper for the next meeting on 18 March 2021    

PPE Action Plan – supporting actions

 NF asked if NCA had approved the extension to the Lyreco Framework Agreement to October 2021 mentioned under Action 13. AB advised that the Agreement had a clause permitting an extension and therefore this was not a new contract. No other comments were received by the board.


  • AB to check and confirm to NF

Date of next meeting

It was agreed the next meeting would take place one month from today.


AM advised that Audit Scotland had already spoken to GB, AB and himself on their proposed review of PPE and provided background information. It was clear the review was not going to be as extensive as first thought. AB advised Audit Scotland now proposed to report in June 2021 – not a full report more of a snapshot. They will concentrate on Health and Social Care settings only and are interested in procurement, engagement with Scottish manufacturing and Demand modelling.

AM thanked everyone for their contributions

Meeting closed.

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