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

Minutes of the 19 August 2021 meeting of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) PPE Strategy and Governance Board.

Attendees and apologies

Alan Morrison (Chair) (AM)

Alison Bell (AB)

Moira Parker (MP)

Ruth Paterson (RP)

Chris Bierley (CB)

Elaine Allen (EA)

Graham Cook (GC)

Elaine Ross (ER)

Paul Hornby (PH)

Nick Ford (NF)

Lee Hegarty (LH)

Billy Renfrew (BR)

Andy McLaughlin (AM)

Hugh Carr (HC)

Julie O’Donnell (note taker)


Elaine Ross (early departure)

Julie Welsh

Michael Healy

Alex McMahon

Gordon Beattie

Items and actions

1. Welcome and open the meeting – Alan Morrison

AM opened the meeting and welcomed attendees.  There were no new members in attendance.  AM advised the July meeting cancelled due to summer leave. 

2. Minutes from 17 June 2021 and actions outstanding – Alan Morrison

Previous minutes were agreed by the board.  There were no actions outstanding. 

3. Proposed programme of work on PPE (Paper 1 and Paper 2) - Alison Bell

AB introduced the programme of work discussing aims and objectives.  AB further advised most of the groundwork for workstreams will be actioned within current financial year with implementation to follow.  Close down reports will be produced at end of the financial year for each workstream as they move from planning to implementation.  There will be further discussion with the board on implementation plans.  A brief explanation of each workstream was provided and comments were invited from the board. 

There was discussion around timescales for the Future Pandemic PPE Supply brief in particular with support shown for Option C in the options paper presented by the Strategy Sub-Group. 

AB advised that it was helpful to hear the scope of work is right while noting the detail is very important. AB explained that the PPE Unit have a plan for how we can get to the point of finalising our approach quickly.  PH spoke of the importance of the role of the PPE Unit in providing a regular communication route between all agencies. 

The board endorsed all workstream briefs.              

4. Initial workstream reports and updates

(Highlight Report- Paper 3 and Risk Register- Paper 4) Alison Bell

a) Future Pandemic PPE Supply - Moira Parker

This workstream update was dealt with last under agenda item 4 as it was thought to be the most lengthy.  The most recent Strategic Sub-group meeting was held on 12/08/21 at which Paper 5- Strategic Sub-Group- Options Paper was circulated.  It was agreed that a full appraisal of the 3 options was required and this would be carried out by the PPE Unit.  The Board was advised that the Sub-Group had been asked to submit their critical success factors to help inform this work. The Sub-group ask the Board to agree to a full options appraisal being produced. Any conclusions from this paper will be brought to Board before submitting to ministers.

MP advised she had already met with various stakeholders and had plans to meet with others in the next week or so. These meetings are part of the information gathering stage and are being carried out to identify stakeholder requirements and timescales relating to future pandemic related PPE supply. The information gathered will help to inform the decision on which of the 3 options in Paper 5 will be recommended to take forward. Once a preferred option has been identified and agreed by both the Board and Ministers work will start on options for how best to implement this.  The Board discussed whether 4 weeks would be enough time to produce a full appraisal of options while being mindful of the need to act quickly.  MP advised that she felt the timescale for the options appraisal was sufficient but that a final decision would not be reached by that stage.  No steer has been sought from  Ministers as yet as there were areas such as finance, where work was still to be done and the Policy Team felt a firm policy basis is required before putting any advice to Ministers.  The Board endorsed the paper and agreed to the continuation of the Strategic Sub-group.

b) Expert Advisory Group - Moira Parker

MP gave an overview of the work carried out to date and plans to progress this workstream.  BR raised that in relation to stockpiling there were issues around multiple sources of advice.  AB agreed that it was important to continue to link into four nations groups and raised the importance of the newly formed Standing Pandemic Advisory Group. 

c) Stakeholder Engagement - Moira Parker

MP gave an overview of the work carried out to date and plans to progress this workstream.  A PPE Unit wide stakeholder mapping event is scheduled for 2nd September 2021. 

d) Lessons Learned - Moira Parker

MP advised that the team are looking at existing lessons learned exercises and may contact the Board further to follow up and fill in any gaps.  PH advised NSS has a useful lessons learned resource that he could forward on. 

NF asked whether any work around public enquiries would come under this workstream.  AM advised that a new team has been set up specifically to work on preparing for public enquiries. 

e) Scottish Manufacturing - Alison Bell

AB discussed the on-going work with Scottish Enterprise around the issue of how to retain Scottish manufacturing capacity. 

f) Innovation - Alison Bell

AB highlighted that an important focus of this workstream was how to connect manufacturers with NSS.  The team have now commissioned ZERO Waste Scotland and Strathclyde Institute of Researchers to do a piece of research on reusable PPE. 

g) Third Party Framework - Alison Bell

AB advised that the framework had been a success and organisations had found it a useful resource.  The current preference is to wind the framework up at the end of October 2021.  A close down report and lessons learned exercise will be completed. 

h) Primary and Social Care - Ruth Paterson

RP provided an overview of the work on this work stream to date and advised many key decisions were to be made in the coming months, particularly in social care where the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) expires on 30 September 2021.

This work stream will focus on preparing a proposal on PPE provision for primary care, post 31st March 2022.  The target date for this is currently 31/10/21 although this may change due to the need to take into account the output of other work streams.  A progress update will be provided to the Board at the next meeting. 

The work stream team will liaise closely with social care colleagues on provision for social care.  LH advised there was a lot of work to be done on the future of social care provision around funding and the future operation of Hubs; including looking at how to change the model to increase cost efficiency.  The discussion moved on to the difficulties in obtaining data within the social care sector due to dealing with multiple private sector companies.  AB echoed that there are many fundamental issues still to be bottomed out within this work stream. 

i) Surplus Stock - Ruth Paterson

RP advised work is still on-going to establish exactly what stock is within the work stream remit, however this encompasses stock bought on reasonable worst case scenario basis that will not be used by Health and Social Care.  A SLWG has been formed to consider how best to utilise this.  An international donation of PPE to partner countries has recently been approved.  The Board discussed  the possibility of making international donations a regular feature for stock approaching use by date.  Once stock within the team’s remit has been finalised, a communication to the wider public sector is planned which will be submitted to Cab Sec for approval. 

5. PPE Action Plan Supporting Actions Log (Papers 6)  - Moira Parker

The board agreed to wind up the action log as this work is now being  progressed under the PPE Futures Programme.   

6. Date of next meeting

AM raised the option of moving meetings to six weekly given the amount of preparatory work that goes in to producing papers.  The board discussed concerns over timescales and how work could progress on all fronts between meetings before agreeing to the meetings moving to a six weekly schedule. 

7. AOB

No AOB was raised.

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