Health inequalities: Place and Wellbeing Programme Steering Group minutes - March 2023

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 9 March 2023.

Attendees and apologies

  • Elizabeth Sadler (Chair), Deputy Director for Covid-Ready Society, Scottish Government
  • Naureen Ahmad, Deputy Director for General Policy, Scottish Government
  • Marion Bain, Public Health Advisor, Scottish Government
  • Sam Cassels, Place Principle Advisor, Scottish Government
  • Jenna Collins (Deputising), Health Foundation
  • Angela Davidson, Deputy Director for Improving Mental Health and Wellbeing, Scottish Government
  • Nicola Dickie, Director of People Policy, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities
  • Lynn MacMillan, Head of Health Inequalities Unit
  • Gerard McCormack, Head of Transformation, Performance and Improvement, Improvement Service
  • Jill Muirie (Deputising), Glasgow Centre for Population Health
  • Jane O’Donnell, Deputy Director for Local Government and Analytical Services, Scottish Government
  • Gordon Paterson (Deputising), Director of Social Care, NHS Education for Scotland
  • Susan Paxton, Director, Scottish Community Development Centre
  • Pamela Smith (Deputising), Public Health Scotland
  • Claire Stevens, Chief Executive, Voluntary Health Scotland
  • Margaret Whoriskey, Deputy Director for Technology Enabled Care and Digital Innovation, Scottish Government
  • Elaine Young (Deputising), Head of Health Improvement, NHS Ayrshire and Arran


  • Dominique Allwood, Assistant Director for Improvement, Health Foundation
  • Linda Bauld, Chief Social Policy Advisor, Scottish Government
  • Lorna Birse Stewart, Chair, NHS Tayside
  • Jann Gardner, Chief Executive, NHS Lanarkshire
  • Ruth Glassborow, Director of Improvement, Health Improvement Scotland
  • Vicky Irons, Chief Officer, Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership
  • Angela Leitch, Chief Executive, Public Health Scotland
  • Karen MacNee, Deputy Director for Health Improvement, Scottish Government
  • Dona Milne, Director of Public Health, NHS Lothian
  • Lynne Nicol, Deputy Director of Planning & Quality, Scottish Government
  • Carol Potter, Chief Executive, NHS Fife
  • Karen Reid, Chief Executive, NHS Education for Scotland
  • Peter Seaman, Associate Director, Glasgow Centre for Population Health
  • Claire Sweeney, Director of Place and Wellbeing, Public Health Scotland
  • Clair Thomson, Collaboration Transformation Manager, Police Scotland
  • Kerri Todd, Chair of Health Improvement Management Group, NHS Lanarkshire
  • Alison White, Convenor, Social Work Scotland 

Items and actions

Enabling Local Change: workstream oral update

Chris Stothart, Enabling Local Change Workstream Lead for the Place and Wellbeing Programme within Scottish Government, updated members on progress and next steps for each objective. A draft work plan is in development and will go to the first Programme Board in April.

Members were invited to note their interest in joining an Enabling Local Change Working Group to identify workstream deliverables, appraise options and make recommendations to the new Programme Board.

Members were asked to comment on the circulated joint position statement that re-affirms community planning partnerships and local government as the ‘engine rooms’ of local public health delivery. Chris Stothart described how a separate joint position statement is being commissioned via the Scottish Directors of Public Health Group to identify what can be done nationally to strengthen focus on community planning partnerships.

Workstream progress updates were welcomed by members. Each objective received some level of challenge with a general ask for greater clarity on what is meant by ‘local working’ and how each objective intends to contribute to action, improved outcomes and impact.

Specific challenge was given around the third objective (strengthening community planning partnerships) with an ask for clarity on our level of ambition with this objective and how this approach will differ from previous and similar attempts over the years. Members suggested that Chris Stothart connect with Place Directors linked into all community planning partnerships, as well as with the Shaping Places for Wellbeing Programme lead in the Improvement Service.

Anchors Workstream: workplan and communications strategy

Úna Bartley, Team Lead for the Place and Wellbeing Programme with Scottish Government, presented the final drafts of the workplan and communications strategy for the Anchors workstream. Thanks were extended to a large number of colleagues within and outside Scottish Government for their input into both documents which have been developed in partnership with Public Health Scotland.

It was noted that, following comments from the Anchors Delivery Group, the workplan would be amended to include a RACI matrix and a key for the RAG status. Members noted the progress that had been made on the workplan which would be issued to the Programme Board in April for sign off.

The draft communications strategy was welcomed by members. It was noted that NHS Boards were in different places as Anchor institutions and that many staff were still unaware of concepts like Community Wealth Building and that the communications strategy would help to address that. It was also suggested that there could be more in the strategy on the role of NHS as an employer and there may be learning on that from the work undertaken to date by local authorities.

Members were encouraged to submit any case studies on Anchors activity within NHS Boards which would help with implementation of the communications strategy.

Communities Workstream: revised objectives

Kimberley Smith, Communities Workstream Lead for the Place and Wellbeing Programme within Scottish Government, discussed revised objectives and outputs for the Communities workstream and asked members for broad comments.

The importance of coherent grant-making across Scottish Government and other public sector partners was reiterated (including making links to Community Wealth Building). It was stressed how these changes to current resource should be made quickly alongside more ambitious action to increase funding to support this activity.

The forthcoming evaluation of the recent Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund was flagged for interest.

Transition to a programme board

Lynn MacMillan, Head of Health Inequalities Unit with Scottish Government, thanked members for their involvement to date. It was noted that the first meeting of the new Programme Board is scheduled for April and asked members to raise any concerns over membership.

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