Military assistance requested by NHS Grampian: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Information requested

May I request the specific details around the request made recently (October 21) by NHS Grampian on exactly what military assistance is needed and for what purpose and why scot gov have said this needs to be refined?


I apologise for the delayed response to your request and fully accept that you did not receive this response within the timescales allowed in FOISA. Your request was received at a time when there were significant pressures across the business area due to supporting the pandemic response.

The information you requested is at Annex A.

Any request for Military Assistance for Civilian Authorities (MACA) is subject to a rigorous process of review and assessment. All requests for military assistance are initially considered by an expert panel of NHS clinical leads and Scottish Government policy leads to ensure that the assistance requested is clearly defined, realistic and proportionate. These requests are also prioritised to determine which specific Health Boards have the greatest need for assistance to help optimise the use of available resources.

Further discussions are held with NHS Boards, as appropriate, to refine requests for assistance. This may include a review of how requested staff numbers were determined, the specific start dates for roles identified and specific details of planned exit strategies, as was the case with NHS Grampian.

Once these requirements have been discussed and agreed with NHS Boards and have passed the Scottish Government MACA Stage Gate Review, they are submitted to the Cabinet Secretary for Health & Social Care and First Minister for approval. A formal MACA request is then submitted to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) for consideration.

The MOD consider these requests alongside all of the other MACA’s which have been submitted at a UK level to prioritise the level of military assistance that can be provided from their finite resource pool. The final decision on the level of support provided rests with the MOD.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

FOI - 202100250870 - Information Released - Annex A


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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