Independent Oversight and Assurance Group on Tayside's Mental Health Services minutes: 16 November 2021

Minutes from the first meeting of the Independent Oversight and Assurance Group on Tayside's Mental Health Services and the Tayside Executive Partnership on 16 November 2021.

Attendees and apologies

In attendance

  • Fiona Lees, Chair
  • David Williams, Member of the Oversight and Assurance Group
  • Fraser McKinlay, Member of the Oversight and Assurance Group
  • Grant Archibald, Chief Executive, NHS Tayside
  • Phil Davison, Divisional Commander, Tayside, Police Scotland
  • Thomas Glen, Chief Executive, Perth and Kinross Council
  • Barbara Renton, Executive Director, Communities, Perth and Kinross Council
  • Margo Williamson, Chief Executive, Angus Council
  • Greg Colgan, Chief Executive, Dundee City Council


  • Stephanie Cymber, Mental Health Division, Scottish Government
  • Lawrence Jolley, Mental Health Division, Scottish Government

Items and actions


Introductions were given and the Chair confirmed that subject to any coronavirus restrictions, the intention is to hold these meetings in-person where possible.

Terms of reference

The Chair gave opening remarks, highlighting that the Tayside Executive Partners (TEP), as senior leaders, own the change that needs to happen. She outlined the role of the Oversight and Assurance Group (the Group) as providing a challenge and support function. She also noted that while the group will meet with other stakeholders, it will primarily engage with the TEP. The Chair highlighted that opportunity and assets are strong in Tayside and the TEP need to build on this, while also reflecting on their own scrutiny and assurance responsibilities in their respective areas.

There was agreement among the TEP that the issues facing mental health services in Tayside are resolvable. There was a strong commitment to follow through on the recommendations from the independent inquiry in order to deliver the best for the people of Tayside.

There was discussion about inviting Chief Officers to attend these meetings. However, the Chair having regard to the purpose of the oversight group determined this would not be appropriate. She emphasised that implementing the recommendations and leading change within Tayside was the responsibility of the TEP. She reiterated that the focus of these meetings was about leadership and it was then collectively and individually up to each leader how that then translated into local delivery in each area.

Programme of work

There was agreement to have a initial focus on implementing the 51 recommendations from the independent inquiry and to capture progress to date and thereafter would pick up on any outstanding issues from the progress report before turning to the Living Life Well strategy. This would build a strong foundation and provide a baseline for the TEP and the Group to work from going forward.

The group noted that previous reporting against the recommendations had, in come cases, conflated outputs and outcomes, and that some actions would not have been sufficient to meet the intention of the recommendations.

The group also advised that the Red Amber Green (RAG) status had previously been misapplied in some cases and accordingly there was a need to provide guidance on how the Group expects this to be used in future reporting.

It was agreed that the Secretariat would issue a template for the TEP to complete to capture progress and this would include guidance on the RAG ratings that the Group want to use. This will gather information in a uniform way about the actions and progress on implementing each recommendation made by the independent inquiry.

The group advised that they were looking for the templates to be completed in the coming weeks and that next steps would be informed by the information received. This will discussed at the next meeting in December and will then form the basis of the group’s first report to the Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care in January 2022.

The Chair highlighted provisional dates for the next meeting as 13 and 14 December, noting that the current plan is to meet monthly until the end of the financial year, after which the group would review the meeting schedule.

It was agreed that the Secretariat would confirm the December meeting and send provisional dates for January to March, seeking to confirm with the TEP as to which are most suitable.

In terms of attendance, the Chair confirmed that she was content for leaders to send an authoritative representative to deputise for them at these meetings, on occasion, when it was impossible for a leader to attend. However, if a majority of leaders were not able to attend any one meeting, then the meeting would not go ahead. It was the expectation of the group that these meetings would be a priority for the TEP.

The Chair asked the TEP to nominate a single point of contact for their partnership, or for each organisation represented, for ease of contact for the Secretariat. She also confirmed the Secretariat is the single point of contact for the Group.

Key stakeholders

The Chair outlined her intention to meet with key stakeholders in Tayside, including those with lived experience. She has already met with the ALLIANCE who have access to those who formed the original SPG at the time of the first independent inquiry report. The ALLIANCE will facilitate a stakeholder meeting in December. The Chair has also met with Alan Cotter who will facilitate a meeting with the current iteration of the SPG.

The Group also want to meet with wider stakeholders in Tayside including Third Sector partners. The TEP agreed to consider this and provide suggestions to the Group. The Group also advised that they are keen to understand how the TEP are supporting these organisations and helping them grow and mature.


There was discussion about the previous sharing of documentation, with concerns raised about sharing information amongst the TEP as a whole rather than with individual partners, especially if it pertains to the partnership as a whole. It was agreed that, in future, information should be shared across all TEP members at the same time. If the documentation belonged to another party and was not a specific TEP member’s to share, then it was agreed that permission should be sought to share it to the wider TEP if possible.

In terms of future meetings, the end of February was highlighted as a potential difficulty given budget setting processes for some TEP members.

Meeting close.



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