Independent Review into the Delivery of Forensic Mental Health Services Planning and Collaboration Short Life Working Group minutes: 22 February 2022

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 22 February 2022.

Attendees and apologies


  • Mr Gavin Gray (Chair)                                       
  • Ms Hannah Axon                                                        
  • Ms Kate Bell
  • Mr Jim Cannon
  • Ms Catriona Dalrymple                                  
  • Dr Ian Dewar
  • Mr Gary Jenkins                                                        
  • Mr Gordon Johnston                                           
  • Dr Jamie Kirkland                                                   
  • Ms Julie Lusk                                                           
  • Mr James Meade                                                     
  • Professor Lindsay Thomson                                       
  • Ms Linda Walker        


  • Ms Lorraine Keith  
  • Professor Angela Wallace

In attendance

  • Ms Diane Buchanan
  • Ms Jenny Coltman
  • Ms Innes Fyfe
  • Ms Danielle McLeary
  • Ms Kirsten O’Neill                            

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions and agreement of AOB

The Chair welcomed everyone and gave apologies.

Agreement of minute from previous meeting and matters arising

Members were content with the minutes from the previous meeting and had no comments. 

Jenny Coltman shared the actions from the previous minute and confirmed that a file and information sharing area had been set up within Microsoft Teams. Short Life Working Group (SLWG) members agreed to provide their consent to being set up as a guest user within the Teams environment. 

The Case for Change document was updated with SLWG member feedback and circulated in advance of the meeting along with the agenda and timeline.

Hannah Axton agreed she was happy to help test out the Teams channel as they have had challenges in the past with this.

Action: SLWG members agreed to give the SG Project Team permission to add them to the existing MS Teams channel.

Action: members should continue to flag any emerging risks to the SG project Team. Jenny Coltman agreed to circulate the risk register again.

Approaches to planning, collaboration, Governance and accountability

Case for Change Document

Kate Bell presented the feedback and comments from SLWG members on the Case for Change document. The document has been edited and circulated following the previous meeting on 27 January 2022.

Definition: Following the presentation on the Case for Change feedback, the chair opened this to the group for this discussion. One of the key points noted by group members was the need for the definition to be refined, particularly in terms of community forensic mental health. Members discussed the scope of community mental health provisions and their links to social work governance and legal responsibilities and whether this would cross over/cause difficulties for the group in the future.

Lindsay Thomson advised that she took the Case for Change document to the Forensic Network Operations Group, the group working on Women’s Services and also sent out a briefing paper to all chairs of the groups and clinical fora. Lindsay also spoke at the Royal College of Psychiatrists and at The State Hospital to spread awareness and to get as wide as possible views to input into the Case for Change feedback.

Members agreed that the key to the definition is to ensure that it has a person-centred approach. It was noted that the definition is currently quite narrow and may not catch everyone included in forensic mental health and also talks about the interface with criminal justice. Several members of the group volunteered to work alongside Kate to narrow down and decide a definition.

Scope: The group further discussed the scope of the Case for Change, in particular, whether or not to include criminal justice. Members noted that Derek Baron did not include criminal justice during the independent review as the remit was too wide. Several members of the group discussed this and highlighted that including criminal justice throws the net too wide and may limit the authorising environment that the SLWG has remit to define.

Several group members noted that including criminal justice colleagues would be beneficial. There is currently work going on between NHS and SPS and therefore they may have knowledge of the difficulties of working between two systems.

It was highlighted that the group should be mindful that governance will only go so far to help issues within forensic mental health services as there are multiple other challenges facing mental health services overall. There remains issues with resources and finance, including; the availability of housing/accommodation, staffing shortages and care plan issues.

Kate concluded that whilst the definition on scope was not fully agreed on, for authorising environment/governance purposes the group need to come to an understanding as to whether is it going to be a NHS core model with additional partners involved. If this will be a NHS plus model going forward this will enable the group to have more authority to progress through this recommendation. The SLWG is trying to create a coherent governance arrangement for forensic mental health services and it feels this works best with NHS plus provision.

Action: Lindsay, Jim, Gordon, Julie, James, Ian and Julie agreed to meet with Kate to further refine the definition so that this can go forward to the options development workshop. This small group will then discuss the points made by SLWG members to arrive at a clear definition.

Stakeholder communications and engagement process

Innes presented the timeline which set out the upcoming events leading up to the June deadline. The 8 March 2022 was originally scheduled as the stage to move from the long list of options to the short list. However, the group is not ready to progress to this stage as there is outstanding work to do to engage with people and develop a long list. It is now proposed that the main focus of the workshop on 8 March will be to decide a long list of options. It was previously understood to be the point that the process would move from a long list to a short list. Innes highlighted to the group that this approach has key benefits, including broadening the opportunities for people to contribute to the long list and extending communications and engagement opportunities on the work of the SLWG and the options appraisal. It will push deciding on a preferred option to May, but it is essential in enabling an inclusive approach.

The chair opened this for discussion. Many group members noted concerns that the upcoming workshop is fast approaching and that this is an extremely tight deadline to get stakeholders invited and attendance confirmed. Members suggested the possibility of splitting the workshop into two two-hour events rather than one six hour long workshop. It was also highlighted that the group needs to decide a date for third workshop as soon as possible to get this in stakeholders diaries. There were also concerns for the timeline, in particular the predicted end date of October 2022.

Innes highlighted that the SG Project Team are now also considering the option to make the workshop flexible and add additional dates around the 8th March to accommodate those who cannot attend. The SG Project Team also requested to be invited to any upcoming external meetings and fora that are taking place in order to spread awareness of the options appraisal. The project team are planning a schedule of meetings during the remaining part of February, March and early April. 

Due to the short notice of the upcoming workshop, the SG Project Team and SLWG members need to take more urgent action to identify stakeholders that will be able to attend. Kate added that we require further stakeholder identification from the SLWG members, including people with lived experience. It was agreed that group members will bring a plus one plus two to the upcoming workshop. SLWG members agreed that a series of additional workshops around the eighth March sounds more realistic.

Innes highlighted that one of the documents shared with the group for this meeting contains some of the long list of options and several SLWG members have been identified to lead on each option at the upcoming workshop. The team agreed that this was a good plan are happy for SG project team to contact leads to help facilitate them.

Action: Reform Team to work with Leads to produce a schedule of additional meetings to develop each of the options for those who cannot attend the 8 March Workshop. SG Project Team will develop a pack and send out to SLWG in preparation for the workshop.

Action: SLWG members also agreed to invite the Forensic Mental Health Reform Team to any upcoming external stakeholder events/meetings.

Action: to ensure stakeholder attendance at the March workshops, SLWG members agreed to provide the Reform Team with a plus two nomination.

Action: the group agreed that the SLWG leads noted on Long List of Options paper are to provide information for the upcoming workshops. SG team to contact Leads to help facilitate and bring information together.

Future planning - developing quality dimensions/criteria

Kate invited the members to look at the quality dimensions FMHSs and agree on ranking and weighting before the next SLWG meeting. It was proposed that members may prefer to work in sub-groups and bring thoughts back to the next group meeting. It was also highlighted that Kate and the SG team are available to work alongside members on this if necessary.

Action: SLWG members to look at the quality dimensions FMHSs framework in preparation for next meeting.


SLWG members noted it is helpful for the minutes, slides and documents used during SLWG meetings to continue to be posted online and shared. This has been very useful when keeping colleagues updated on the progress of the SLWG work.

Innes Fyfe will be leaving the SG Reform Team. The SLWG members wish her the best of luck in her new role. Work will be undertaken to replace Innes’ role.

Dates of next meetings and workshops

  • first workshop - Tuesday 8 March at 13:30 to 16:30
  • SLWG fifth meeting - Tuesday 22 March at 13:00 to 14:30
  • second workshop - Tuesday 12 April at 10:00 to 16:00
  • third workshop - Thursday 26 May at 10:00 to 16:00
Back to top