NHS Chairs minutes: October 2018

Minutes of the meeting of the NHS Chairs on 29 October 2018.

Attendees and apologies


Scottish Ministers

  • Jeane Freeman, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport
  • Clare Haughey, Minister for Mental Health

Health Board Chairs

  • Martin Cheyne, NHS Ayrshire and Arran (by VC)
  • John Raine, NHS Borders
  • Tricia Marwick, NHS Fife
  • Alex Linkston, NHS Forth Valley
  • Stephen Logan, NHS Grampian
  • John Brown, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde/NHS Tayside
  • David Alston, NHS Highland
  • Neena Mahal, NHS Lanarkshire
  • Brian Houston, NHS Lothian
  • Ian Kinniburgh, NHS Orkney
  • Gary Robinson, NHS Shetland
  • Ian Burgess, NHS Western Isles (Vice-Chair)
  • Susan Douglas-Scott, Golden Jubilee Foundation
  • Hamish Wilson, Healthcare Improvement Scotland (Vice-Chair)
  • Doreen Steele, NHS Education for Scotland (Vice-Chair)
  • David Crichton, NHS Health Scotland
  • Terry Currie, State Hospital
  • Tom Steele, Scottish Ambulance Service
  • Pam Whittle, Scottish Health Council

Scottish Government officials

  • Paul Gray, Director General for Health and Social Care for the Scottish Government and Chief Executive of NHS Scotland
  • Shirley Rogers, Director of Health Workforce, Leadership and Service Transformation
  • Jason Leitch, National Clinical Director
  • Andrew Scott, Director of Population Health Improvement
  • Gregor Smith, Deputy Chief Medical Officer
  • Robert Kirkwood, Office of the Chief Executive NHS Scotland
  • Laurie Whyte, Office of the Chief Executive NHS Scotland
  • Andy Corr, PS/Minister for Public Health and Sport

In attendance

  • Chris Campbell, NHS Scotland Executive Support


  • Lorna Birse-Stewart, Vice-Chair, NHS Tayside
  • Deirdre Lang, Director of Nursing, National Clinical Programme for Older People, Royal College of Physicians of Ireland
  • Alexandra Rice, Scottish Clinical Leadership Fellow
  • Kirsten Woolley, Scottish Clinical Leadership Fellow


  • Joe FitzPatrick, Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing
  • Phil Jones, NHS Dumfries and Galloway
  • Neil Galbraith, NHS Western Isles
  • Carole Wilkinson, Healthcare Improvement Scotland
  • Esther Roberton, NHS 24
  • David Garbutt, NHS Education for Scotland
  • Elizabeth Ireland, NHS National Services Scotland
  • Paul Edie, Care Inspectorate
  • Christine McLaughlin, Director of Health Finance, Corporate Governance and Value
  • Catherine Calderwood, Chief Medical Officer
  • Geoff Huggins, Director of Health and Social Care Integration/Director of Digital Health and Social Care
  • Fiona McQueen, Chief Nursing Officer
  • Michael Chalmers, Director of Children and Families

Items and actions


1. A list of those present and apologies is provided at Annex A. The Cabinet Secretary highlighted the importance that she attaches to these regular meetings.

2. The Cabinet Secretary expressed her thanks to Phil Jones, Chair of NHS Dumfries and Galloway, who stands down on 31 October 2018.

Minutes of the previous meeting

3. The minutes of the meeting held on 24 September 2018 were approved.

Matters arising

4. There were no matters arising.

Ministerial remarks

5. The Cabinet Secretary underlined her expectations of Chairs with regards to:
  • the Financial Framework
  • Health and Social Care Integration
  • Primary Care Reform
  • the Waiting Times Improvement Plan

6. A new medium term Financial Framework for Health and Social Care was published at the beginning of October 2018 which sets out the financial environment for the next 3 years (2020-23). The Cabinet Secretary confirmed that the Scottish Government will not seek to recover outstanding brokerage at the end of 2018-19. She advised Chairs that the framework should be used to develop and strengthen financial plans at a regional and local level. Within the context of health and social care integration, the framework should be used to increase the pace of reform.

7. The recently published Waiting Times Improvement Plan outlines a series of actions required to recover waiting times over the next 30 months. The Cabinet Secretary advised Chairs that they should maintain a tight focus on Board planning, particularly around waiting times. A&E performance should also be scrutinised, in particular to understand any variation in performance.

8. There was a discussion about the recommendations from the Audit Scotland Report ‘ the NHS in Scotland 2018’. The Cabinet Secretary welcomed the report and asked Chairs to give thought to implementing the recommendations within their own Boards. She confirmed that she would be requesting a meeting with the Auditor General. Chairs were invited to consider how best to communicate with staff on taking forward the recommendations within their Boards.

Action: NHS Board Chairs consider how to communicate to staff Board plans for implementing recommendations from the Audit Scotland Report.

Feedback from Chairs private meeting

9. Ian Kinniburgh, Chair of the NHS Board Chairs Group shared the key themes which arose following discussions from their private meeting, including:

  • new portfolio groups
  • local governance review
  • EU withdrawal

10. Ian Kinniburgh said that progress had been made since the last meeting to confirm and finalise the remits of the new portfolio groups. The new groups are:

  • Governance, John Brown (Chair)
  • Workforce and Leadership, David Garbutt (Chair)
  • Performance and Integration, Alex Linkston (Chair)
  • Reform and Innovation, Brian Houston (Chair)

11. Ian Kinniburgh confirmed that the Chairs of the new groups would be able to report on actions and work being taken forward by the end of the year.

12. Shirley Rogers gave a brief update on discussions around the EU Withdrawal negotiations at the summit in Brussels on 17 and 18 October. She confirmed that NHS Board Chief Executives had a useful discussion at their meeting on 10 October 2018 at which point they agreed to spend some time communicating to staff from the EU on their commitment to support the settled status scheme.

13. The Cabinet Secretary asked Chairs to reflect in their Board papers the work that has been done to develop a risk register for Brexit. An update would also be prepared on the impact on the legislative programme for the Scottish Parliament.


  • NHS Board Chairs to reflect risk registers Board papers
  • Secretariat to update Chairs on impact on legislative programme

Winter preparedness 

Shirley Rogers, Director of Health Workforce, Leadership and Service Transformation

14. Shirley Rogers gave an update on preparations for winter. It was confirmed that Scottish Government has allocated an additional £10 million to support winter planning and that Boards are due to submit revised winter plans by 31 October 2018. Plans will then be reviewed and submitted to the Cabinet Secretary for approval. Finalised plans should be then be published on individual Health Board websites.

15. Shirley Rogers advised Chairs that it is important that they include in their plans an executive summary outlining what additional resource/capacity has been bought with the winter allocation and what they are doing to maximise elective capacity over the winter period.

16. There was a brief discussion about the uptake of the flu vaccine by NHS staff. Tricia Marwick, Chair of NHS Fife said that the uptake by staff in Fife had increased this year as result of a proactive campaign which took the vaccine to staff. She offered to circulate information about the work done in NHS Fife to Chairs.

Action: Tricia Marwick to circulate to Chairs information about the Fife campaign

Any other business

17. Gregor Smith, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, gave a brief update on the work being carried out by the Chief Medical Officer’s Taskforce on Rape and Sexual Assault. He asked Chairs to seek assurance that fully costed improvement plans for local and regional services are being developed or in place.

18. The Cabinet Secretary reminded Chairs that the consultation on PVG Scheme Membership for members of Boards of Health Bodies closes on 24 November 2018 and encouraged them to submit a response on behalf of their Board.

19. Paul Gray, Director General Health and Social Care/Chief Executive NHS Scotland confirmed that Donna Bell has been appointed the new Director of Mental Health within the Health and Social care Directorates, Scottish Government.

Date and time of next meeting

20. The next NHS Chairs meeting will be on Monday 10 December 2018 at 13:00 in the Scottish Health Service Centre, Edinburgh.


Office of the Chief Executive for NHS Scotland
October 2018


NHS Chairs minutes - October 2018


Corporate Business Management Team: cbmt@gov.scot

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