Independent Oversight and Assurance Group on Tayside's Mental Health Services and the Tayside Executive Partnership minutes: November 2022

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 30 November 2022.

Attendees and apologies


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


  • Stephanie Cymber, Mental Health Division, Scottish Government 

Items and actions


The chair of the oversight group welcomed everyone to the virtual meeting and thanked them for their attendance, particularly those colleagues who had altered their diaries in order to participate in today’s discussion.

Minutes from the previous meeting and matters arising

The minutes from the previous meeting on 29 August 2022 were agreed. There were no matters arising.

Final report

The chair thanked the tayside executive partners (TEP) for their feedback on the oversight group’s draft final report. The chair explained that the oversight group had fully considered this and produced a paper and an apology was issued for this only being circulated the previous evening. The paper set out the oversight group’s response to each of the points raised by TEP. The intention of today’s meeting was to provide any additional clarification and discuss points as necessary.

TEP advised that they had not read the paper given the lateness of it being issued but also questioned the value of discussing each point of their feedback and the oversight group’s response to it. Rather than going through the detail, there was an ask to focus on the key themes and how to move forward on outstanding matters.

As such, there was agreement to change the nature of today’s discussion and TEP committed to reviewing the oversight group’s responses to their feedback and to providing any further comments or information to the secretariat by close of business on Friday 2 December. It was noted that the report would be submitted to the Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care early week commencing Monday 5 December.

Key points​​​​​​​

In addressing key points, the chair firstly referred to feedback from TEP about the number of times (144) such nomenclature is used in the draft final report and TEP’s request that any reference to the tayside executive partners be replaced with the accountability organisation as defined by the integration schemes.​​​​​​​

The chair commented that the number of references was unsurprising given that TEP had been the oversight group’s principal point of reference and had put in place appropriate arrangements in support of each themed work plan. The oversight group had, however, reviewed all references to the TEP and where it was more appropriate to point to the accountability organisation, then any such changes had been made. All other references to TEP in the final report - which are a statement of fact or where they relate to TEP’s collective leadership role - have remained.​​​​​​​

It was acknowledged by TEP that there are different views amongst members about what the role of tayside executive partners is currently and how it will continue to work going forward, but that there needs to be both clarity and assurance about TEP working together, in support of the delivery of effective  mental health services.​​​​​​​

The chair, referring to the question raised by TEP on the origin of the statistics about children being referred to specialist support, advised that this had come from Tayside’s mental health strategy, Living Life Well. Colleagues in Tayside have also provided information for the same time period for child and adolescent mental health services. The chair asked that if further comparable information is available for the present period, then to please send it to the oversight group and they will look to include it in the final report.​​​​​​​

On performance, it was noted that the TEP final submission to the oversight group states that the NHS Tayside performance and resources committee is public facing. However, TEP’s factual accuracy feedback on the draft final report stated that it is not public facing so there was a request for clarity to be provided.​​​​​​​

Regarding trust and respect recommendation 22, the chair commented that the oversight group were very impressed with the pathway that has been put in place to support students. There is a need to clarify the implementation date and in raising the matter, this had given rise to a further question about the support provided to international students who remained in Tayside and were unable to return home during the pandemic, as a result of lockdown restrictions. There was an ask for some further information in this respect.​​​​​​​

On the reporting of NHS staff absences through work related stress, the chair advised that the oversight group have asked the Scottish Government for their view on the matter (as suggested in TEP’s feedback on the final report). The chair advised that a response from the Sottish Government has been received and the oversight group will take time to consider that and revert to TEP thereafter.​​​​​​​

In discussing the matter of a single site for inpatient mental health services, the chair noted that what has been provided to the oversight group thus far, does not constitute a plan. TEP colleagues acknowledged this, explaining that it is the intention to bring forward robust proposals and work is underway to develop this with people involved in delivering, and those receiving, services. It was noted that this is a collective challenge and it is the intention of Perth and Kinross integration joint board to seek the support of others to help collectively deliver on this.​​​​​​​

The chair advised that the closing remarks section of the final report has not yet been written as it was considered appropriate to leave this until the end of the engagement. Everything that requires to be covered is already contained within the report, however, some points always benefit from repetition. The chair indicated that the oversight group would wish to highlight the need for discussion on the future of the TEP; about transitioning from responding to trust and respect to delivering the living life well strategy; the importance of listening, encouraging people to share their contributions and to demonstrate learning. The chair advised that the closing remarks and appendix 2 of the final report, which lists all of the organisations that the oversight group have engaged with, would be issued to TEP for information.

Next steps​​​​​​​

On communications, the chair highlighted that the oversight group had committed to make available, the reports they have relied upon and which supports the conclusions they have reached in their final report. The TEP final submission from 6 October is central to that so there is a technical question about where that will be published. The chair confirmed her understanding that TEP are currently considering this and that they will inform the secretariat accordingly.​​​​​​​

Any media and communications activity following publication of the final report will be led by Scottish Government and relevant communications teams across Tayside. The timescale for publication is not yet known. Civil servants will be in touch with TEP and their colleagues directly on the matter.​​​​​​​

The chair advised that the oversight group will be writing to all of the individuals and organisations who have given their time, to thank them for their engagement.​​​​​​​

In concluding the meeting, the chair reiterated that the oversight group had always intended to be a helpful presence but noted that, at times, TEP did not share this view. However, on behalf of the oversight group, the chair thanked TEP for meetings and continued dialogue, and noting this marked the end of the formal engagement, extended to them, the oversight group’s very best wishes.

Any other relevant business​​​​​​​

There was no other business. The meeting closed at 15:45.

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