Infant Mental Health Implementation and Advisory Group minutes: 6 April 2022

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 6 April 2022.

Attendees and apologies


  • Alex Brown


  • Anne McFadyen, Chair, IMH-IAG, Scottish Government
  • Lizzy Archibald, Service Development Adviser, Scottish Government
  • Marita Brack, Head of Parenting and Infant Mental Health Programme, NHS Education for Scotland
  • Alex Brown, Assistant Programme Manager, NHS National Services Scotland
  • Roch Cantwell, PNIMH Programme Board Vice Chair, Scottish Government
  • Susan Cassidy, Clinical Psychologist, NHS Lanarkshire
  • Rod Finan, Chief Social Work Adviser’s Office, Scottish Government
  • Linda Jardine, Children and Family Services Director, Children 1st
  • Heather Kelly, Assistant Director (Mental Health, Perinatal and Addiction Services), Aberlour
  • Ann Marie Kennedy, Change is a Must Team Leader, Perth and Kinross Council
  • Chris Miezitis, Co-Director, Father’s Network Scotland
  • Helen Minnis, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Glasgow
  • Lucy Morton, Scotland Development Lead, Parent-Infant Foundation
  • Juan Perez Olaizola, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Royal College of Psychiatrists

In attendance:

  • Sarah Baillie, Principal Clinical Psychologist, and VIG Supervisor, NHS Lothian
  • Rach Barlee on behalf of Kat Masterson, Participation Officer, Maternal Mental Health Scotland
  • Katy Lister, Senior Policy Officer, Perinatal and Early Mental Health Team, Scottish Government
  • Joanna Macdonald, Deputy Chief Social Work Adviser, Scottish Government
  • Irene Permaul, Senior Policy Officer, Perinatal and Early Mental Health Team, Scottish Government
  • Sarah Williams on behalf of Douglas Guest, Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Lead, Home-Start Scotland


  • Iona Colvin, Interim Director and Chief Social Work Advisor, Children and Families Directorate, Scottish Government
  • Douglas Guest, Head of Programme, Home-Start Scotland
  • Kat Masterson, Participation Officer, Maternal Mental Health Scotland
  • Nashwa Matta, Associate Specialist in Paediatrics, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
  • Joanne Smith, Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Policy Manager, NSPCC Scotland
  • Harriet Waugh, Perinatal and Early Years Mental Health Team Lead, Scottish Government
  • Carolyn Wilson, Head of Supporting Child and Maternal Wellbeing, Scottish Government

Items and actions

Welcome and housekeeping

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

Review of minutes, actions and updates

It was agreed that the minutes were an accurate representation of the February 2022 meeting, and would be made available on the Scottish Government (SG) webpage.

NHS Education for Scotland

Marita Brack (Head of Parenting and Infant Mental Health Programme) gave an update on behalf of NHS Education for Scotland (NES):

  • Recently trained another 10 practitioners in Video Interactive Guidance (VIG)
  • Held six Solihull foundation level trainings between January and March 2022, and another group has completed the Train the Trainer training
  • Over 13,800 people have registered to undertake the Solihull Approach online courses
  • Another 60 practitioners have registered for the Warwick Infant Mental Health Online training

Infant mental health evaluation and research subgroup

Helen Minnis (Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry) mentioned that the University of Glasgow will be launching an Infant Mental Health (IMH) microcredential for the Mental Health course in September 2022, and have permission to go ahead in 2023 with developing a course which will lead to an IMH Masters qualification. Helen promised to keep the group updated on the roll-out.

Helen advised that the IMH Evaluation and Research subgroup aims to bring together those doing IMH research or innovative practice in Scotland, and has met with academic and third sector colleagues to produce qualitative and quantitative findings, complementary to the work of Public Health Scotland (PHS) who are undertaking the evaluation of the overall programme.

Angela McLaughlin, Developmental Psychologist with Butterfly Babies at the University of Edinburgh, and her student ‘change-makers’ have produced an IMH magazine and podcast and are currently considering where the resources should be hosted and how best to acknowledge them as part of the overall SG programme of work. There was group discussion on the options of creating a new IMH website or using an existing platform, such as the SG webpage and Parent Club, as a place to host these and other relevant resources.

Roch Cantwell (Vice-Chair, PNIMH Programme Board) advised that the SG Policy team were focused on improving public facing information and communications around the perinatal and infant mental health workstreams and are in the early stages of discussion on the creation of an online platform.

Rod Finan (Chief Social Work Adviser’s Office) advised that the Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC) guidance is being refreshed, and a co-production group is being set up for planning for children. Rod asked members of the IAG to express their interest in joining that group, to ensure that IMH is firmly on the agenda.

Action: all

Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Programme Board

Katy Lister (Senior Policy Officer) gave an update on behalf of the Scottish Government (SG) Policy Team:

  • the Health, Sport and Social Care Committee have published their recommendations from the inquiry on perinatal mental health in Scotland, and the Scottish Government (SG) Perinatal and Early Years Mental Health Policy Team provided an in-depth response. The Committee debate in parliament took place on 29th March 2022, and can be watched online
  • filming promotional material for the Baby Box on 11th April, to promote the Wellbeing For Wee Ones resource and reflect the principles of IMH
  • the ‘Supporting Women, Reducing Harm’ event will take place on 28th April 2022, with over 300 people registered to attend at the time of the meeting

Options appraisal

Irene Permaul (Senior Policy Officer) advised that the Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) capacity consultation, which opened in February, closes on 31st May 2022 and had 130 responses at the time of the meeting. The consultation will look at all the options raised in Delivering Effective Services (DES) for expanding MBU capacity, plus suggestions for increasing services that would provide a similar level of support to people with severe mental health problems in the perinatal period.

Health Board Service development

Lizzy Archibald (Service Development Adviser) advised that, due to requests from Health Boards around pandemic restrictions, the visits that had been planned for May onwards have been postponed. The in-depth, in-person visits were intended to replace the need for a written monitoring return in this reporting period. Lizzy will continue to meet with teams and individuals from all Board areas on an informal basis, and the SG Policy team will agree and issue information to Boards on the monitoring process for this financial year.

Lizzy and the SG Policy team have an overview of areas with functioning teams, of services who are launching in a phased way, and of services still under development. Lizzy advised that the information collected from meetings and the monitoring returns is collated and analysed, and will be refined and shared publicly with input and approval from the Health Boards.


There was discussion on the viability of small IMH teams, and the Chair asked the group for their thoughts on producing a paper, similar to DES, that lays out the minimum number of practitioners per x number of infants and/or the suggested provision of IMH posts in each Health Board area.

The group agreed it would be a useful but large and lengthy piece of work to undertake. Similar projects have been carried out in Wales, and in Greater Manchester where the recommended staffing numbers were so high as to be unfeasible from a funding perspective.

Voice of the Infant subgroup

The Chair advised that the Voice of the Infant subgroup has met twice and agreed the Terms of Reference. The three key objectives of the subgroup are to develop;

Measures in infant mental health

Video Interactive Guidance database and recommended measures

Sarah Baillie (Principal Clinical Psychologist), in her role as VIG Supervisor, informed the group that AVIGUK, the governing body, have developed a national data collection system to assist practitioners to track change and assess the effectiveness of VIG, particularly in the first 1001 days. This has been trialed in NHS England, and recently gone live in NHS Scotland.

Sarah gave a short demonstration. The database supports follow-up meetings, allows for qualitative data collection, and captures change with measures across three areas – interaction, parenting, and parent measures. The measures help families focus on their relationship with the infant and think about how they would describe it. The system can provide practitioner and team outputs to share and shape practice, with families as well.

There was discussion around data collection and use, and the need to bring Scottish VIG practitioners together to share learning and best practice. The Chair asked the group to express their interest in joining a potential national VIG taskforce with Sarah.

Action: all

Next meeting

  • Wednesday 25th May 2022 – joint meeting with the PNIMH Programme Board
  • Wednesday 3rd August 2022
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