NHS Chairs minutes: June 2020

Minutes of the meeting of the NHS Chairs on 22 June 2020.

Attendees and apologies


Scottish Ministers

  • Jeane Freeman, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport
  • Joe FitzPatrick, Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing
  • Clare Haughey, Minister for Mental Health

Health Board Chairs

  • Lesley Bowie, NHS Ayrshire and Arran
  • Karen Hamilton, NHS Borders
  • Nicholas Morris, NHS Dumfries and Galloway
  • Tricia Marwick, NHS Fife
  • Janie McCusker, NHS Forth Valley
  • Lynda Lynch, NHS Grampian
  • John Brown, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
  • Boyd Robertson, NHS Highland
  • Neena Mahal, NHS Lanarkshire
  • Esther Roberton, NHS Lothian (Interim Chair)
  • Meghan McEwen, NHS Orkney
  • Gary Robinson, NHS Shetland
  • Lorna Birse-Stewart, NHS Tayside (Interim Chair)
  • Gillian McCannon, NHS Western Isles (Vice Chair)
  • Susan Douglas-Scott, The Golden Jubilee Foundation
  • Carole Wilkinson, Healthcare Improvement Scotland
  • Martin Cheyne, NHS 24
  • David Garbutt, NHS Education for Scotland
  • Jim McGoldrick, Public Health Scotland
  • Keith Redpath, NHS National Services Scotland
  • Terry Currie, The State Hospital Board
  • Tom Steele, Scottish Ambulance Service
  • Suzanne Dawson, Scottish Health Council
  • Paul Edie, Care Inspectorate

Scottish Government Officials

  • John Connaghan, Interim Chief Executive of NHS Scotland
  • Gillian Russell, Director of Health Workforce
  • Richard McCallum, Interim Director of Health Finance and Infrastructure
  • Donna Bell, Director for Mental Health and Primary care
  • Fiona McQueen, Chief Nursing Officer
  • Jason Leitch, National Clinical Director
  • David Crossman, Chief Scientist (for CMO)
  • Caroline Lamb, Director of Digital Reform and Service Engagement
  • Christine McLaughlin, Director of NHS Planning
  • Aidan Grisewood, Director of Primary Care
  • Jack Downie, APS/Minister for Mental Health
  • Robert Kirkwood, Corporate Business Management Team (Secretariat)
  • Laurie Whyte, Corporate Business Management Team (Secretariat)
  • Hannah Mackay, Corporate Business Management Team (Secretariat)

In Attendance

  • Paul Cackette, Director of PPE
  • Jill Young, Covid-19 Lead for Testing
  • Helen Maitland, Unscheduled Care Director
  • Derek Bell, Special Advisor
  • Bob Martin, NHS Ayrshire and Arran Vice Chair
  • Andrew Fleming, Head of Territorial Board Sponsorship and Ministerial Support
  • Alan Cooper, Executive Support, NHS Chair and Chief Executives Groups
  • Laura Parker, Executive Support, NHS Chair and Chief Executives Groups


  • Gregor Smith, Interim Chief Medical Officer
  • David Miller, Chief People Officer
  • Richard Foggo, Covid-19 Director and Director of Population Health
  • Elinor Mitchell, Interim Director General for Health and Social Care for the Scottish Government
  • Nicola Steedman, Deputy Chief Medical Officer
  • David Williams, Director of Delivery, Health and Social Care Integration

Items and actions


1. Welcome, Apologies for Absence and Attendees

2. Minutes and Actions from the Previous Meeting (18 May 2020)

3. Matters Arising

4. Cabinet Secretary Remarks

5. Test and Protect

  • General Update (Caroline Lamb)
  • Care Homes Update (Donna Bell)
  • Testing for NHS and Care Home Staff (Jill Young)

6. Unscheduled Care (Helen Maitland)

7. Feedback from Chairs Private Meeting

8. Any Other Business

9. Date and Time of Next Meeting - Monday 24 August 2020


Welcome, Apologies for Absence and Attendees

1. A list of those present and apologies is provided at Annex A.

Minutes and Actions from the Previous Meeting

2. The minutes of the meeting held on 18 May 2020 were approved.

Matters Arising

3. There were no matters arising from the previous meeting.

Cabinet Secretary Remarks

4. The Cabinet Secretary thanked NHS Chairs again for the leadership and support, both within their Boards and collectively across NHS Scotland in meeting the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.  She invited NHS Chairs to pass on her thanks to senior teams and Board members.

5. The Cabinet Secretary remarked on the need for caution in the re-start of services, mindful of the potential for future spikes as were now being experienced in other countries. Remobilisation was complex but it was important that the improvements made to services during Covid should be retained.

Test and Protect

6. Caroline Lamb, Director of Digital Reform and Service Engagement, updated that Test and Protect has successfully been in place since 28 May.  Caroline set out that the Contact Tracing Management system was now live in Grampian and it was planned to be rolled out to the other territorial Boards in a phased approach, during July.

7. Donna Bell, Director for Mental Health and Social Care then provided an update on the large scale testing being carried out in care homes for staff.  John Connaghan, Interim Chief Executive NHS Scotland, highlighted the importance of checking the data for accuracy. 

8. Jill Young, Covid-19 Lead for Testing provided the latest data across Boards and described progress being made.

9. The Cabinet Secretary asked NHS Chairs to ensure that their Boards are complying with the direction on testing as the number of tests carried out on care home staff must be improved.  She highlighted the varying data across Boards for the over 70’s being tested on admission to hospital and stressed that Chairs must assure themselves that all that can be done, is being done.  Scottish Government will share data to assist in this. 

Action: NHS Chairs to ensure Boards are complying with the direction on testing.

Action: Scottish Government to share data on tests conducted on admission to hospital for people aged 70 and over, by 30 June 2020.

Unscheduled Care

10. John Connaghan, Interim Chief Executive NHS Scotland, introduced the item and handed over to Helen Maitland, Unscheduled Care Director and Derek Bell, Special Adviser, who referred to slides, which were circulated in advance of the meeting.

11. Martin Cheyne, Chair, NHS24 and Tom Steele, Chair, Scottish Ambulance Service, updated colleagues on the alternative pathways that have been progressed to reduce the number of attendances at accident and emergency departments.

12. Ms Haughey, Minister for Mental Health, gave an update on mental health service provision.  She informed Chairs that 26% of mental health appointments have taken place using ‘Near Me’ and requested that is taken into consideration for future planning.  There has also been positive feedback from the mental health assessment hubs, which are now up, and running, allowing individuals to be treated in a dignified way.

13. There was discussion on the importance of public messaging regarding the use of Emergency Departments as well as other services.  It was suggested that the data on Emergency Departments attendances would inform public messaging and that the analysis should take place quickly so that it can be reflected in remobilisation.

Action:  NHS Boards to provide further data on attendances to Accident and Emergency Departments.  Data should be submitted to Helen Maitland – Helen.Maitland@gov.scot

Feedback from the NHS Chairs Private Meeting

14. David Garbutt, Chair, NHS Chairs Group gave an overview of the themes discussed at their private meeting, including:

  • Active Governance
  • Innovation
  • Unscheduled Care
  • Testing
  • Mental Health Services

15. The Cabinet Secretary thanked David Garbutt for the update and agreed with his proposal that the NHS Chairs’ weekly meetings with Mr FitzPatrick, Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing, should now take place fortnightly.

Any Other Business

16. Gillian Russell, Director of Health Workforce, provided an update on work that is being progressed by colleagues in her Directorate, to consider what more needs to be done to support black and minority ethnic groups.  This is being taken forward in collaboration with HR Directors and representatives from unions and professional bodies.

Date and Time of Next Meeting

17. The next meeting will be on Monday 24 August 2020 at 13:00. Full details will be issued nearer the time.

NHS Chairs minutes: June 2020


Corporate Business Management: cbmt@gov.scot

NHS Chairs

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