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

Minutes from the meeting on the 18 March 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)
  • Paul Hornby (PH)
  • Jim Wilson (JWi)
  • Catriona Dalrymple (CD)
  • Graeme Cook (GC substituting for M Healy) 
  • Colin MacBean (CMacB)
  • Andy McLaughlin (AMc)
  • Ruth Paterson (RP)
  • Chris Bierley (CB)
  • Andrew Butter (AB)
  • Emma Nycz (EN)
  • Irene Keith (Secretariat)


  • Catherine Brown
  • Alex McMahon

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

AM opened the meeting and welcomed the attendees, in particular PH who would be representing NSS on the Board going forward.

Minutes from 18 February 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.

Report from procurement deep dive meeting 4 March

Those who attended this meeting agreed it was very helpful and that it highlighted that our current BAU procurement model did not work in a pandemic scenario and highlighted the need to build resilience into the supply chain and support local fledgling businesses as well as take into account the innovation work around PPE. 

There was a general discussion where some of the barriers were highlighted such as the multi-supplier frameworks used by local authorities, the need to think both strategically and long term and on how the vision outlined can be delivered. NF indicated the challenge was to identify what we would do differently and when we would elect to start that different approach – try to put something in place in time for Scotland-Excel next procurement exercise or let that go and target the next opportunity. 

PH raised the need for two plans, one for future pandemics and a normal PPE plan as it may not be possible to have the same approach for everything. JW highlighted the biggest issue was that NSS cannot bill anyone outside of the Health Boards. GC indicated we could take months creating a procurement strategy so wished to clarify the ask. AM indicated the need for something succinct, which reflects on how the Board fits into creating the new model. MP suggested initially we need to know what was legally possible; can the vision be achieved and the barriers to a successful outcome be set out fully. 

The Board accepted the recommendations set out in the paper.

Action: GC to prepare an initial paper for the next meeting

Governance structure review

MP outlined key points in the paper and AM opened it to the meeting to discuss whether they felt the Board should continue or be disbanded. AM felt this was the wrong time to disband but that perhaps it would be better to review the remit and frequency of meetings. NF suggested the time to stop would be when we have a long term PPE strategy in place. AM suggested a move to a 4 weekly meeting cycle and then later to bi-monthly or quarterly meetings. PH highlighted the work asked of GC and the importance of driving that forward. AB highlighted the work needed on ensuring there is a live look at how we can change what is procured i.e. taking into account the innovation work.

MP advised she would have like to have gone further with the changes by setting up working groups below the Board e.g. to look at how the wider landscape of PPE Groups could feed into the Board and formalise the relationship. She felt change could be made in stages, which was supported by NF. AB highlighted Audit Scotland are likely to report on the governance around PPE.

The members were content with the existing membership of the Board and recognised that others could be invited as and when appropriate.

Action: MP to bring forward a proposal on the remit and ToR to the next meeting.

Forward look

AB outlined the paper, advising it looks at the questions to be asked in order to determine the way forward but does not yet take into account underlying issues such as the anticipated ramp up for PPE in Dentistry when current restrictions are lifted. AB proposed she come back to the Board with a fuller report which includes another layer of detail. PH felt there was an overlap with some of the work GC was looking at and offered to put some thoughts to the Board e.g. Do we need warehouses? GC indicated he could set out what the immediate opportunities and risks were around long term COVID contingency, active stock management etc.

Action: AB to come back with a fuller report with input from GC.

Update from sectors post EU exit

No major issues on PPE highlighted. The Board agreed there was no longer a requirement to retain this as a standing agenda item.

Action: IK to include a standing item on future agendas ‘PPE Issues’

PPE action plan – supporting actions

The Board discussed the need for a review of both the PPE Action Plan and the Supporting Actions log.

Action: PPE Unit to update the Supporting Actions log.

Date of next meeting

It was agreed the next meeting would take place five weeks from today with a changed starting time of 3.30 pm.


No additional items raised.

AM thanked everyone for their contributions.

Meeting closed.

Back to top