Health inequalities: Place and Wellbeing Programme Steering Group minutes - April 2022

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 4 April 2022.

Attendees and apologies

  • Michael Kellet (Chair), Director for Population Health, Scottish Government
  • Naureen Ahmad, Deputy Director for General Policy, Scottish Government 
  • Marion Bain, Public Health Advisor, Scottish Government
  • Sam Cassels, Place Principle Advisor, Regeneration Unit, Scottish Government
  • Jonathan Cameron (Deputising), interim Director of the Digital Health and Care Directorate, Scottish Government
  • Angela Davidson, Deputy Director for Improving Mental Health and Wellbeing, Scottish Government
  • Nicola Dickie, Director of People Policy, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities
  • Diana Hekerem (Deputising), Healthcare Improvement Scotland
  • Lynn MacMillan, Head of Health Inequalities Unit, Scottish Government
  • Karen MacNee, Deputy Director for Health Improvement, Scottish Government
  • Gerard McCormack, Head of Transformation, Performance and Improvement, Improvement Service
  • Dona Milne, Vice Chair of the SDPH Group, NHS Lothian
  • David Milne (Deputising), Scottish Government
  • Nick Morris (Deputising), NHS Tayside
  • Susan Paxton, Head of Programme, Scottish Community Development Centre
  • Claire Stevens, Chief Executive, Voluntary Health Scotland
  • Claire Sweeney, Director of Place and Wellbeing, Public Health Scotland
  • Karen Wilson (Deputising), NHS Education for Scotland


  • Dominique Allwood, Assistant Director for Improvement, Health Foundation
  • Linda Bauld, Chief Social Policy Advisor, Scottish Government
  • Lorna Birse-Stewart, Chair, NHS Tayside
  • Ruth Glassborow, Director of Improvement, Health Improvement Scotland
  • Vicky Irons, Chief Officer, Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership
  • Heather Knox, Chief Executive, NHS Lanarkshire
  • Angela Leitch, Chief Executive, Public Health Scotland
  • Jane O’Donnell, Deputy Director for Local Government and Analytical Services, Scottish Government
  • Carol Potter, Chief Executive, NHS Fife
  • Peter Seaman, Associate Director, Glasgow Centre for Population Health
  • Karen Reid, Chief Executive, NHS Education for Scotland
  • Joy Tomlinson, Director of Public Health, NHS Fife
  • Alison White, Convenor, Social Work Scotland
  • Margaret Whoriskey, Deputy Director for Technology Enabled Care and Digital Innovation, Scottish Government

Items and actions

Welcome and apologies

Michael Kellet, Director of Population Health, welcomed attendees and stated the aim of the meeting was to consider the Whole System Alignment workstream and the actions and outcomes that should be prioritised.

The minutes from the previous meeting were approved. Actions from the previous meeting were reviewed and an update of progress since the last meeting was given.

Whole System Alignment

Robert Girvan, Whole System Alignment Workstream Lead with Scottish Government, gave an overview of the Whole System Alignment workstream. Nadia Alnasser, Senior Research Officer at the Scottish Government, gave an overview of the proposed analytical plan for this workstream.

Members were invited to provide comment on the proposed areas of focus.

There was consensus that simplifying and aligning systems and objectives in communities and government will be beneficial.

It was agreed that this should be grounded in partnership working with communities rather than change being initiated from a national level. It was also suggested that the system needs to be person-centred, rather than centred on public health.

Members suggested that a lack of available resources have historically been a problem; resource for Community Planning Partnerships could be strengthened. In some places there is more alignment of local resources, however, issues remain in how much partners contribute to community planning.

Benefits of cost to public services of failure could be useful to highlight need for preventative action, though it was noted that this is challenging.

Culture change was flagged as key to achieving a person-centred approach to reducing health inequalities. Local partners need to be able to collaborate and innovate around a person’s needs.

Action 4:

  • Programme Team to arrange a meeting with Healthcare Improvement Scotland’s Evidence and Evaluation Improvement team

Public Health Scotland Localised Working Programme

Claire Sweeney, Director of Place and Wellbeing at Public Health Scotland, gave an overview of the proposed Localised Working Programme and invited comment.

It was suggested that the language could be reframed to be less passive, and to strengthen the importance of building relationships between local and national public health teams and creating common goals.

Action 5:

  • Public Health Scotland to meet with Jonathan Cameron, Director Digital Health and Care, Scottish Government, to discuss what support the Care and Wellbeing Data and Digital Innovation Group could offer
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