Infant Mental Health Implementation and Advisory Group: terms of reference

Terms of reference for the advisory group.


Infant Mental Health Implementation and Advisory Group (IMH-IAG)

The Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Programme Board (PNIMH-PB) was established to help drive implementation of the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government commitments, which are set out in more detail in the ‘Better Mental Health in Scotland: Delivery Plan’ (2018):

  • improving support during pregnancy, birth and beyond
  • improving the training and awareness of people working with vulnerable families and deliver improved infant mental health support for those families that need them
  • “all infants, and their parents, who have significant disruption of the parent-infant relationship or impaired infant development, should have access to specialist infant mental health services, wherever they live in Scotland.” (2018-19)

The IMH-IAG will work with Health Boards and other appropriate bodies to understand the current landscape in relation to infant mental health services and develop recommendations on future developments for consideration by the PNIMH-PB. 

The IMH-IAG will consider what changes and improvements are needed in the current operational environment, the system levers which can be applied, and identify innovative, cost-effective and affordable solutions for achieving progress that supports the aims of the PNIMH-PB. 

Collaborative working will feed into the development of infant mental health (IMH) services both locally and regionally and contribute to the development of the IMH landscape for Scotland, contributing to the development of future integrated IMH services.

Core principles

The IMH-IAG will focus on specialist intervention, prevention and early intervention, supporting the development of resilience and emotional wellbeing in families, as well as the delivery of effective interventions when mental health problems occur. 

The PNIMH-PB will consider how to reduce health inequalities and stigma and promote equality for all families with infant mental health needs.  

Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC) principles will underpin the programme.

Recommendations and ways of working will demonstrate adherence to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The IMH-IAG will identify opportunities for making the most of the resources that are available across the system and will identify a range of existing and potential levers for securing optimum, sustainable investment in infant mental health. It will promote evidence-based, innovative (including new workforce roles) and cost-effective approaches and emerging models of service delivery which will be affordable within the current fiscal environment. 

Lessons will be learned from evidence and research, and from emerging and established work in Scotland, the UK and Internationally 

The IMH-IAG will collate existing knowledge in the field, drawing together and building on work which is in hand as a means to avoid duplication of effort and align with other developments. This includes the work underway by the Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Joint Delivery Board, Best Start, and the Mental Health Strategy Delivery Board. The context is a wide range of Scottish Government policy focusing on pregnancy and the early years. Relevant policies are listed in Appendix 2. Group members will share views and ideas across others groups of which they are members to promote engagement as broadly as possible. 

Accountable to

The IMH-IAG is accountable to the PNIMH-PB which is, in turn, accountable to the Mental Health Strategy Delivery Board and ultimately accountable to the Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care.

Governance is as follows: PNIMH-PB - Scottish Government Perinatal and Early Years Mental Health Policy Team - Scottish Government Mental Health Directorate - Director General Health and Social Care

The Scottish Government Perinatal and Early Years Mental Health Policy Team host the PNIMH-PB, which is responsible for the IMH-IAG and all subgroups and working groups. The PNIMH-PB and the Policy Team consult with stakeholder and policy groups, such as the Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Joint Delivery Board, NHS National Services Scotland, COSLA, and communications and finance teams.

Project objectives

Comprise professionals from relevant departments or services (including Early Years, Health Visiting and Family Nurse Partnerships, perinatal mental health, child health, child mental health services, third sector, social work, NHS Education for Scotland, parents, Integrated Joint Boards and Health Board management, and Scottish Government.)

Provide clinical expertise to the development of a model for infant mental health care in Scotland.

Produce a paper to describe the structure and function of proposed specialist infant mental health services and their relationship to the wider group of professionals involved in enhancing the parent-infant relationship and infant development.

Specifically describe the joint relationships between infant mental health services and perinatal mental health services and wider children’s services, including arrangements for joint working and supervision.

Oversee the testing and implementation of innovative models for the delivery of infant mental health services and advise the Programme Board, as services develop, about best use of wider investment and best practice models. 

Roles and responsibilities of group

  • identify appropriate stakeholders within their area for the IMH-IAG to engage with and will act as a conduit as required
  • agree the objectives, deliverables and scope of the infant mental health group 
  • play an active role in developing the paper to describe the structure and function of proposed specialist infant mental health services and their relationship to the wider group of professionals
  • participate in making recommendations in regard to infant mental health to the PNIMH-PB 
  • make recommendations to in relation to any changes to the scope of the IMH-IAG, including changes to timescales, actions and priority areas
  • work with the PNIMH-WG and NSD programme management team to invite, scrutinise and endorse projects from NHS boards, Regions and Communities and ensure they are supportive of the vision for infant mental health 
  • escalate risks and issues as appropriate to the PNIMH-PB
  • actively participate in discussions at meetings
  • access papers and prepare accordingly in advance of meetings
  • provide feedback where required
  • report back on activities completed

The IMG-IAG will operate under the following assumptions:

  • all members come together in equal relationships to share and exchange knowledge, skills and experience to achieve improved outcomes
  • people who use health and social care services and support can make a positive contribution to their own health and wellbeing
  • relationships between all parties are two-way and are built on a foundation of mutual respect
  • the IMH-IAG will operate by collaborative leadership and will support, challenge and facilitate activity to influence change, remove barriers and ensure progress towards the vision and outcomes and work with energy, commitment, pace and impact
  • the IMH-IAG will respect the sensitive nature of infant mental health and will seek to promote a safe and supportive environment for those participating in its work
  • the IMH-IAG will respect the privacy and confidentiality of any personal experiences and information shared by individuals. It will be sensitive in respect of the language used in its discussions and work


The IMH-IAG will be chaired by Dr Anne McFadyen and will comprise members from a range of organisations and professional groups who are appointed for a fixed term and others who are co-opted for specific pieces of work.  

Membership is reflective of the professional and subject matter expertise needed to support the objectives of the IMH-IAG and to ensure that decisions are made from a national, strategic perspective.  

Members are appointed by the Chair, who may appoint new members at their discretion. The Chair can also require members to step down from the IMH-IAG.

All members of the IMH-IAG and those asked to participate in work involving the PNIMH-PB will be asked to declare any conflicts of interest. Any action to be taken on the basis of these declarations will be at the discretion of the Chair. If it is the Chair who has a conflict of interest, the Chair will ask another member of the IMH-IAG to lead in determining the appropriate course of action. 

Members are appointed individually and personally to the IMH-IAG. Remuneration is not available for IMH-IAG members, but travel and subsistence is available in some circumstances.

Those whose attendance is supported by their employer as part of their paid employment will not receive travel and subsistence costs. If a member is participating in a voluntary and unpaid capacity, then travel and subsistence will be paid at normal Scottish Government rates. This includes childcare costs where this is required to allow members to attend IMH-IAG meetings or carry out Board business. Claims for travel and subsistence or childcare should be discussed and agreed with the IMH-IAG secretariat in advance of expenditure.

A secretariat will be provided by NHS National Services Scotland, with advice and support from the Scottish Government Mental Health Directorate. 

Membership is as stated below:

  • Anne McFadyen, Chair, IMH-IAG, Infant Mental Health Lead, Perinatal Mental Health Network, NHS National Services Scotland, Scottish Government
  • Boolang Ahamat, Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist, NHS Grampian
  • Elizabeth Archibald, Service Development Adviser, Scottish Government
  • Marita Brack, Director, Psychology of Parenting, NHS Education for Scotland
  • Roch Cantwell, PNIMH-PB Vice-Chair, Lead Clinician, Perinatal Mental Health Network, NHS National Services Scotland, Scottish Government
  • Christine Carlin, Scotland Director, Home-Start UK
  • Susan Cassidy, Clinical Psychologist, NHS Lanarkshire
  • Ruth Christie, Workstream Lead Children, Young People, Families and Relationships, Scottish Government
  • Iona Colvin, Interim Director and Chief Social Work Advisor, Children and Families Directorate, Scottish Government
  • Kirsten Coull, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, NHS Lothian
  • Andrew Dawson, Professional Lead for Child Psychotherapy, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
  • Rod Finan, Chief Social Work Advisor’s Office, and GIRFEC Hub, Scottish Government
  • Sarah Hallam-Stewart, Change and Improvement Manager, NHS Fife
  • Linda Jardine, Director of Children and Family Services, Children First
  • Heather Kelly, Assistant Director, Aberlour
  • Ann Marie Kennedy, Team Leader, Change is a Must (Perth and Kinross Council)
  • Karen Lamb, Head of Specialist Children's Services, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
  • Lisa Malcolmson, Regional Nurse Consultant, NHS Grampian
  • Hugh Masters, PNIMH-PB Chair, Scottish Government
  • Kat Masterson, Participation Officer, Maternal Mental Health Scotland
  • Nashwa Matta, Associate Specialist in Paediatrics,NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
  • Shona McCann, Perinatal Mental Health Specialist Midwife, NHS Grampian
  • Stephen McLeod, Children and Young People’s Mental Health Programme Board, Scottish Government
  • Chris Miezitis, Co-Director, Father's Network Scotland
  • Helen Minnis, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Glasgow
  • Wendy Mitchell, Professional Adviser, Early Years and Children’s Services, Scottish Government
  • Katherine Morton, Consultant Psychiatrist, NHS Lanarkshire
  • Lucy Morton, Scotland Development Lead, Parent-Infant Foundation
  • Juan Perez-Olaizola, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, NHS Forth Valley
  • Alison Robertson, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
  • Anna Robson, Clinical Psychologist, NHS Dumfries and Galloway
  • Joanne Smith, Policy Manager, Chair at Maternal Mental Health Scotland, NSPCC Scotland
  • Gillian Strachan, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, NHS Grampian
  • Harriet Waugh, Head of Perinatal and Early Years Mental Health Team, Scottish Government
  • Carolyn Wilson, Head of Supporting Child and Maternal Wellbeing, Scottish Government

The following members need not attend meetings but will be copied into all meeting papers:

  • Alex Brown, Assistant Programme Manager, NHS National Services Scotland
  • Katy Lister, Senior Policy Officer, Perinatal and Early Years Mental Health Team, Scottish Government

Decision making

The IMH-IAG is part of the PNIMH Programme Board, which is an independent and time-limited advisory and collaborative leadership Board. It has no executive functions. It will report, through the Chair, to the Scottish Ministers.

The IMH-IAG is not established on a statutory basis. It is therefore not subject to the formal public appointments process and the requirements of the Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies in Scotland. 

Any decision made by the IMH-IAG will be recorded in the minutes. In circumstances where the group are unable to come to a consensus, the Chairs of the IMH-IAG and PNIMH Programme Board have the authority, as the accountable people for the delivery of the programme, to make the final decision. Any decisions which will have a significant change or impact on the programme delivery will be escalated to the Mental Health Strategy Board and the Scottish Government Mental Health Directorate.  

IMH-IAG meeting minutes, group Terms of Reference, and Delivery Plans will be published on the Scottish Government website, within the Perinatal and Early Years Mental Health Team area. The IMH-IAG may make other documentation and resources public on relevant media platforms where appropriate and in accordance with its communication and engagement strategy.

Frequency of meetings

The IMH-IAG will meet virtually on a two monthly basis, until Covid-19 regulations allow the group to meet face to face. Should the need arise, the group will meet more frequently.


Meetings will be formal with an agenda, minutes and other relevant papers circulated a minimum of 1 week in advance of the meeting via email.

Items agreed and actions to take place will be documented within the minutes. Minutes will be approved by the Chair prior to circulation, and formal sign off of the actions will be achieved at each subsequent Board meeting.  


The PNIMH Programme Board is a four-year programme.Membership of the IMH-IAG will be routinely reviewed. The Terms of Reference will be reviewed on an annual basis.

Terms of reference agreed: Dr Anne McFadyen, Chair

Date: 19 July 2022

Infant Mental Health Implementation and Advisory Group: terms of reference

Back to top