Infant Mental Health Implementation and Advisory Group minutes: 13 January 2021

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 13 January 2021.

Attendees and apologies


  • Anne McFadyen, Chair, IMH-IAG, NHS National Services Scotland
  • Marita Brack Programme, Director, NHS Education for Scotland
  • Alex Brown, Programme Support Officer, NHS National Services Scotland
  • Andrew Dawson, Professional Lead for Child Psychotherapy, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde
  • Linda Jardine, Director, Children and Family Services, Children 1st
  • Nashwa Matta, Associate Specialist in Paediatrics, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde
  • Liz Nolan, Deputy Director, Aberlour
  • Alison Robertson, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Maternity and Neonatal Services, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde
  • Joanne Smith, Policy Manager, NSPCC Scotland
  • Carolyn Wilson, Head of Supporting Child & Maternal Wellbeing, Scottish Government

In attendance

  • Jemma Davis, Perinatal and Early Years Mental Health Team, Scottish Government
  • Barbara Kennie, Perinatal and Early Years Mental Health Team, Scottish Government
  • Katy Lister, Perinatal and Early Years Mental Health Team, Scottish Government
  • Irene Permaul, Perinatal and Early Years Mental Health Team, Scottish Government
  • Alley Speirs, Senior Programme Manager, Perinatal Mental Health Managed Clinical Network NHS National Services Scotland


  • Hugh Masters, Chair, Perinatal & Infant Mental Health Programme Board, Scottish Government
  • Helen Minnis, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Glasgow
  • Harriet Waugh, Team Lead, Perinatal and Early Years Mental Health, Scottish Government

Items and actions

Welcome, apologies and housekeeping

Anne McFadyen (Chair) welcomed everyone to the sixth Infant Mental Health Implementation and Advisory Group (IMH-IAG) meeting, and apologies were noted as above.

Review of minutes and outstanding actions

The group agreed that the minutes were an accurate representation of the October 2020 meeting.

Juan Perez-Olaizola (Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, NHS Forth Valley) had contacted his colleagues at the Scottish Royal College of Psychiatrists regarding their thoughts on joining the group as adult mental health representation, but had not received a response. The Chair said she would contact Katherine Morton working in perinatal in NHS Lanarkshire.

Action: Anne McFadyen

Review of terms of reference

The Chair advised that the IMH-IAG Terms of Reference were reviewed annually, and asked the group to ensure that their role titles were correct and up to date.

Action: All

The Chair committed to contact Stephen McLeod regarding representation on the IMH-IAG from the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services group at Scottish Government (SG).

The Chair advised that the work of the Parent Infant Foundation (PIF) in supporting two Health Boards to implement their PNIMH services had stalled as Rachel Fraser had been furloughed until at least 1 February 2021. The group agreed that Rachel should join the IMH-IAG membership, as she was supporting an important piece of work.

The Chair committed to contact Rachel Fraser, Douglas Guest and Chris Miezitis about joining the group membership as PIF, Home-Start and Father’s Network Scotland representation, respectively.

Action: Anne McFadyen

Chair’s update

PNIMH Programme Board

The Chair advised that Roch Cantwell (Lead Clinician for the Perinatal Mental Health Managed Clinical Network) would be acting Chair of the PNIMH Programme Board until March, whilst Hugh Masters was working with the Chief Nursing Directorate on the pandemic response.

Service development

All Health Boards have had conversations with the SG Policy Team regarding funding allocations, and the first service development reports would be returned at the end of April 2021 as part of the monitoring and evaluation process. Waves one, two and three of IMH funding are established but there is the need for follow up conversations with all areas.

The Chair highlighted the work of the SG Policy Team on the Raising Awareness, Reducing Stigma Strategy, the Equality Impact Assessment, the marketing campaign to promote understanding of IMH, and the beginnings of an Infant Rights Assessment.


The Chair advised that the PNIMH Programme Board were looking to increase coproduction with experts by experience, and had begun to have conversations with Home-Start about facilitating groups.

Linda Jardine (Director, Children 1st) suggested that the Chair contact the Children’s Services Planning Leadership group who are working on Family Support, as they have experience with participation and engagement work with children and families. Liz Nolan agreed that the IAG should draw on the work already done by third sector organisations and other groups, and offered assistance. The Chair asked the IMH-IAG to share all links to relevant groups, and suggestions on how to facilitate lived experience engagement, with her directly by email.

Action: All

IMH forum

The first IMH Forum took place at end of November 2020 and was well received. The Chair invited the group to return suggestions for future agenda items The Chair advised that Judith Gemmell from NHS Fife would co-Chair the next Forum on 1 February 2021, and Kirsten Coull from NHS Education for Scotland (NES) was invited to present on IMH training opportunities.

IMH Systems Model

The Chair emphasised the importance of connecting all regional areas with care pathways that facilitate an appropriate and timely response. She invited the group to submit ideas and suggestions to inform the development of a new systems model for IMH services across Scotland. The Chair committed to circulate the draft model in February.

Action: Anne McFadyen/All

Evaluation and data

In 2020, Public Health Scotland created an Evaluability Assessment report which included the aspiration to consider numerous data streams and conduct a needs assessment. The needs assessment has been progressing in Lanarkshire with the help of the NSPCC, led by Susan Galloway, Senior Policy Researcher. The Chair committed to report back on developments in the coming weeks.

Action: Anne McFadyen

The Chair advised that the data collection work in Lanarkshire was complemented by stakeholder interviews, carried out by two trainees and a medical student. It was expected that Helen Minnis, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Glasgow, would report on progress in May 2021.

Perinatal Network: neonatal dashboard

The Strategic Perinatal Network have begun to develop a Neonatal Dashboard and, at a recent meeting, Anne suggested that there should be indicators regarding the babies’ mental health and relationships. The Chair invited colleagues from the IMH-IAG to join a meeting with Una McFadyen, Consultant Paediatrician, to discuss the dashboard and make development suggestions. Nashwa Matta, Joanne Smith and Liz Nolan expressed their interest in attending.

Perinatal Mental Health Managed Clinical Network (MCN)

The Chair advised that she and Shona McCann, MCN Lead Midwife, had recently completed a draft paper on substance use and the impact on infants and families. At the time of the meeting, the paper was with colleagues from the PNIMH Programme Board and the MCN, but would soon be shared with the IMH-IAG for comments.
The Chair highlighted that the work was appropriately timed, considering the concern around substance use in Scotland, and the observational research showing that Scottish addiction services are not joined up with maternity and early years services.

The MCN continues to develop national care pathways, and to host the five clinical forums; Community Perinatal Mental Health, Mother-Baby Units, Maternal and Neonatal Psychological Interventions, Psychological Therapies, and Infant Mental Health.

NHS Education for Scotland (NES) update

Marita Brack (Programme Director) provided an update on the work of NES:

  • 60 practitioners started the Warwick IMH online course in January. The course has received substantial interest and NES have been able to commission another 40 places to start in March. The course has become a rolling programme, with another 60 places available from September
  • 10 practitioners have started the Human Development Scotland ‘Therapeutic working with children and young people’ course
  • Solihull Approach Foundation Level trainings continue, with a virtual ‘Train the Trainer’ session in January. Again due to substantial interest, there will be another session (for up to 12 practitioners) in February
  • NES have met with School Nurse and Health Visitor Leads to discuss Solihull Approach Foundation Level training needs across the Health Boards
  • Solihull Approach Online continues to be available for all families in Scotland. The course has had 8,240 participants so far. The ‘Understanding your child with additional needs’ course has recently launched
  • in February, 20 practitioners from northern Health Board areas will undertake the Institute of Health Visiting PNIMH Champions training

Action seven

Nashwa Matta (Associate Specialist in Paediatrics, NHS GG&C) and Alison Robertson (Consultant Clinical Psychologist, NHS GG&C) presented a proposal care pathway for Neonatal and Infant Psychological Prevention/Intervention Services.

The Chair inquired how the IMH-IAG could assist the continuing work. Nashwa and Alison asked if information could be collected from each Health Board regarding availability of paediatric psychology services for infants who are not in the neonatal unit. They also asked if NES could provide more information on those who have completed IMH training across Scotland. It was agreed that further discussion was needed and the Chair would provide feedback. The presentation can be circulated on request.

Action: Anne McFadyen

Next Meeting: Wednesday 31st March 2021

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