NHS Chairs minutes: November 2020

Minutes of the meeting of the NHS Chairs on 30 November 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
  • Martin Hill, NHS Lothian (Vice Chair)
  • Meghan McEwen, NHS Orkney
  • Gary Robinson, NHS Shetland
  • Lorna Birse-Stewart, NHS Tayside 
  • Gillian McCannon, NHS Western Isles (Interim Chair) 
  • Susan Douglas-Scott, The Golden Jubilee Foundation
  • Carole Wilkinson, Healthcare Improvement Scotland
  • Martin Cheyne, NHS 24
  • David Garbutt, NHS Education for Scotland
  • Keith Redpath, NHS National Services Scotland
  • Jim McGoldrick, Public Health Scotland
  • Terry Currie, The State Hospital Board
  • Tom Steele, Scottish Ambulance Service 
  • Paul Edie, Care Inspectorate
  • Suzanne Dawson, Scottish Health Council

Scottish Government officials:

  • John Connaghan, Interim Chief Executive of NHS Scotland
  • Jason Leitch, National Clinical Director 
  • Stephen Lea-Ross, Deputy Director of Health Workforce 
  • David Miller, Chief People Officer
  • Donna Bell, Director for Mental and Social Care
  • Dave Caesar, Deputy Chief Medical Officer
  • Caroline Lamb, Director of Digital Reform and Service Engagement
  • Christine McLaughlin, Director of NHS Planning/Testing
  • Michael Kellet, Interim Director of Population Health
  • Heather Campbell, Interim Deputy Director of Primary Care
  • Jack Downie, APS/Minister for Mental Health
  • Robert Kirkwood, Head of Corporate Business Management Team
  • Laurie Whyte, Corporate Business Management Team (Secretariat)
  • Hannah Mackay, Corporate Business Management Team (Secretariat) 

In attendance:

  • Jill Young, Covid-19 Lead for Testing
  • Andrew Fleming, Head of NHS Board Sponsorship
  • Cameron Herbert, Scottish Clinical Leadership Fellow
  • Nicola Gordon, Executive Support 
  • Nicole Smith, Executive Support
  • Roz Barclay, Executive Support

Apologies :

  • Esther Roberton, NHS Lothian (Martin Hill attending)
  • Carole Wilkinson, Health Improvement Scotland (Suzanne Dawson attending)
  • Elinor Mitchell, Interim Director General Health and Social Care
  • Gillian Russell, Director of Health Workforce (Steven Lea-Ross attending)
  • Sean Neill, Director of Health Workforce (Steven Lea-Ross attending)
  • Richard McCallum, Interim Director Health Finance, Governance and Value
  • Aidan Grisewood, Director of Primary Care (Heather Campbell attending)
  • Richard Foggo, Covid-19 Director
  • Fiona McQueen, Chief Nursing Officer

Items and actions


  • welcome, apologies for absence and attendees
  • minutes and actions from the previous Meeting (26 October 2020)
  • matters arising
  • Cabinet Secretary remarks
  • vaccinations (Caroline Lamb)
  • Test and Protect (Jim McGoldrick and Keith Redpath) 
  • innovation (Tom Steele)
  • feedback from Chairs private meeting
  • any other business
  • date and time of next meeting


Welcome, apologies for absence and attendees

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

Minutes and actions from the previous meeting

The minutes of the meeting held on 26 October 2020 were approved. 

Matters arising

There were no matters arising from the previous meeting. 

Cabinet Secretary remarks

The Cabinet Secretary thanked Boards, especially NHS Ayrshire and Arran, NHS 24 and NHS Education for Scotland for their support around Redesigning Urgent Care. It was updated that the ‘soft launch’ on 1 December will not include Paediatric care.  

The Cabinet Secretary encouraged health boards to do all they can to support staff who are from the EU and encourage them to apply for settled status before the June 2021 deadline.

The Cabinet Secretary asked NHS Chairs to liaise with their Chief Executives and Directors of Public Health to improve the uptake of staff who were being offered testing for Covid-19, in particular, staff who were caring for the elderly.


  • NHS Chairs to liaise with their Chief Executives and Directors of Public Health to improve the uptake of NHS staff testing

Jason Leitch, National Clinical Director displayed slides which provided an overview of the current state of the Pandemic in Scotland, which included:

  • number of confirmed Covid cases per day
  • current R-range
  • geographic variations
  • Covid cases per 100k population and
  • hospital and ICU bed data


Caroline Lamb, Director of Digital Reform and Service Engagement provided an update on Covid-19 vaccination developments. She updated that developments were being made at pace and, in particular, on the Pfizer vaccine. However, there were some logistical issues that needed to be explored further. It was highlighted that there has been Military engagement and COSLA were keen to support.   

A revised date would be arranged for Boards to provide their Readiness Assessments, ahead of a potential roll out for vaccinations next week.

David Garbutt, Chair, NHS Chairs Group provided an update on digital developments, which included:

  • over 80’s data had been shared with Health Boards
  • there was a wealth of information on workforce prioritisation
  • there was recognition that Information Governance needed to be strengthened and
  • training packages for NHS staff have been created and will be uploaded to TURAS

The Cabinet Secretary explained how ethical decisions were already factored into the work on prioritisation.

The Cabinet Secretary recognised the huge amount of work which has been done in preparing for the roll out of the Covid-19 vaccination and thanked all those involved.

Test and Protect

A paper provided by Jim McGoldrick, NHS Public Health Scotland and Keith Redpath, NHS National Services Scotland was circulated in advance.

Jim McGoldrick gave an overview of the governance arrangements that have been put in place to provide assurances around effective delivery of the Test and Protect programme. This was noted.


Tom Steele, Scottish Ambulance Service provided an update on the progress being made by the H&SC Innovation Steering Group which he leads and co-chairs with Christine McLaughlin. He gave an overview of some of the projects underway and indicated that they had not progressed at sufficient pace. He highlighted recommendations on immediate next steps to develop an effective innovation system.

There was a discussion about some of the projects which would have an immediate impact and Christine McLaughlin suggested that there was an opportunity to incorporate innovation into the planning process.  

Chairs were reminded that Endowment Funds were available to use for innovation projects and that this should be considered through the appropriate governance mechanisms in Boards.  

Dave Caesar offered to link in with Scottish Academy Leaders on behalf of the Innovation Steering Group. The Cabinet Secretary pressed Dave Caesar to increase the pace of this work.

Feedback from Chairs private meeting

David Garbutt summarised discussions from the Chairs Private Meeting, which included:

  • executive wellbeing
  • Adult Social Care, review of the report with Derek Feeley
  • FoI’s
  • Lessons Learned paper
  • Winter Planning
  • Corporate Governance
  • Redesign of Unscheduled Care
  • Strategic Framework and Testing
  • Test and Protect and
  • general issues 

Any other business

The Cabinet Secretary encouraged Chairs to look out for an important announcement on Health and Social Care workers which would be announced later that day.

Date and Time of Next Meeting

The next meeting was arranged for Monday 21 December 2020 at 14:00.

Office of the Chief Executive for NHS Scotland
December 2020

NHS Chairs minutes: November 2020


Corporate Business Management Email: cbmt@gov.scot

NHS Chairs

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