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

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 12 October 2022.

Attendees and apologies

  • Elizabeth Sadler (Chair), Deputy Director for Covid-Ready Society, Scottish Government
  • Linda Bauld, Chief Social Policy Advisor, Scottish Government
  • Sam Cassels, Place Principle Advisor, 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
  • Angiolina Foster (Deputising), Public Health Scotland
  • Rikke Iversholt (Deputising), Technology Enabled Care & Digital Innovation, Scottish Government
  • Matt Lowther (Deputising), Public Health Scotland
  • Lynn MacMillan, Head of Health Inequalities Unit, Scottish Government
  • Dona Milne, Director of Public Health, NHS Lothian
  • Gordon Paterson (Deputising), Director of Social Care, NHS Education for Scotland
  • Susan Paxton, Director, Scottish Community Development Centre
  • Peter Seaman, Associate Director, Glasgow Centre for Population Health
  • Pamela Smith (Deputising), Public Health Scotland
  • Kimberley Somerside (Deputising), Policy and Engagement Officer, Voluintary Health Scotland
  • Joy Tomlinson, Director of Public Health, NHS Fife
  • Clair Thomson, Collaboration Transformation Manager, Police Scotland
  • Alison White, Convenor, Social Work Scotland


  • Naureen Ahmad, Deputy Director for General Policy, Scottish Government
  • Dominique Allwood, Assistant Director for Improvement, Health Foundation
  • Marion Bain, Public Health 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
  • Karen MacNee, Deputy Director for Health Improvement, Scottish Government
  • Gerard McCormack, Head of Transformation, Performance and Improvement, Improvement Service
  • Jane O’Donnell, Deputy Director for Local Government and Analytical Services, Scottish Government
  • Carol Potter, Chief Executive, NHS Fife
  • Karen Reid, Chief Executive, NHS Education for Scotland
  • Claire Stevens, Chief Executive, Voluntary Health Scotland
  • Claire Sweeney, Director of Place and Wellbeing, Public Health Scotland
  • Margaret Whoriskey, Deputy Director for Technology Enabled Care and Digital Innovation, Scottish Government

Items and actions

Welcome and apologies

Elizabeth Sadler, Deputy Director of COVID-Ready Society for Scottish Government, welcomed the group and thanked the previous Chair for the progress made to date.

The minutes from the previous meeting were approved with no changes. An update of progress was given including that ongoing scoping and refinement of the Enabling Local Change workstream is why a highlight report has not been produced for this meeting.

Communities workstream: Funding scope

Kimberley Smith, Communities Workstream Lead within the Place and Wellbeing Programme at Scottish Government, presented the paper and members were asked to agree to the broad recommendations around underpinning principles and scope of the work around funding.

Overall, the group agreed to the underpinning principles and to the suggested approach to progress the work. Alison White, Convenor for Social Work Scotland,  and Nicola Dickie, Director of People Policy at COSLA, suggested that there is learning that can be taken from other areas (Care at Home) that have introduced the Real Living Wage.

There was recognition of the challenges the sector is currently facing in terms of the costs crisis and loss of EU funds and that organisations need immediate support. However, it was agreed that this is out of scope of this Programme to resolve.

Claire Stevens, Chief Executive for Voluntary Health Scotland, asked that whilst there is ongoing work to change internal funding mechanisms, at the same time, can there be activities to test this locally and join up funding streams in a place. Similarly, Angiolina Foster, Chair for Public Health Scotland, commented that though there is a need for pragmatism, there should be a wider ambition around joined up funding beyond health and social care. This would help shift funding upstream to primary prevention and could be tested in smaller geographical units first through the use of pathfinders.

Anchors Workstream: Updates on theory of change and task and finish groups

Úna Bartley, Team Lead for the Place and Wellbeing Programme within Scottish Government, introduced the paper. Beverley Lamont, Recruitment Strategy Team Lead at Scottish Government, followed to provide an update on the workforce element. Lorna Renwick, Health Improvement Programme Manager at Public Health Scotland, then gave an overview of discussions Public Health Scotland had had with NHS Boards on workforce (a report of which was included as an annex in the paper). Beverley Lamont, highlighted that it is hoped the planned strategic group to take forward priorities for the workforce strand will be established by January 2023. Beverley Lamont also noted that the Public Health Scotland report provides further evidence of the need for such a group to provide clear strategic direction.

Susan Paxton, Head of Programme at the Scottish Community Development Centre, asked whether the workforce discussions had extended to looking at the wider public health workforce including those working in the third sector. Beverley Lamont responded that the workforce strategic group will be looking at the national level and at what infrastructure is needed locally to implement the actions from the national group. The third sector would be a key part of that infrastructure. Susan Paxton said she would share a report on the wider workforce within the third sector.

Dona Milne, Director of Public Health for NHS Lothian, noted that the Scottish Public Health Workforce group has just been reformed which she will co-chair with Karen Wilson from NHS Education for Scotland. Dona Milne also shared an example from Lothian Local Employability Partnership.

Beverley Lamont agreed to add Mental Health and Police Scotland to the stakeholder matrix.

Sam Cassels, Place Principle Advisor within Scottish Government, suggested the objective on land and assets could be worded more strongly. Joy Tomlinson, Director of Public Health for NHS Fife, highlighted that NHS Fife is aligned with the Fife Partnership and undertaking a mapping exercise of their assets. However, resource is an issue in taking this work further.

It was agreed there is a need to look at embedding anchors work within the delivery plans of national and territorial boards to raise expectations and encourage more ambition from leadership. Carol Potter, Chief Executive for NHS Fife, has been exploring how she can engage fellow Chief Executives on this.

Members were asked to share examples of Anchors work in practice and it was agreed the communications strategy should look at sharing examples that encourage a collaborative, place-based approach.

Joy Tomlinson provided an example of how Fife Operational Waste Management Team is working with international charities to donate equipment.

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