NHS Chairs minutes: September 2018

Minutes of the meeting of the NHS Chairs on 24 September 2018.

Attendees and apologies


Scottish ministers

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

Health board chairs

  • Martin Cheyne, NHS Ayrshire and Arran
  • John Raine, NHS Borders
  • Penny Halliday, NHS Dumfries and Galloway (Vice-Chair)
  • Tricia Marwick, NHS Fife
  • Alex Linkston, NHS Forth Valley
  • Stephen Logan, NHS Grampian
  • John Brown, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde/NHS Tayside
  • Neena Mahal, NHS Lanarkshire
  • Brian Houston, NHS Lothian
  • Ian Kinniburgh, NHS Orkney
  • Gary Robinson, NHS Shetland
  • Neil Galbraith, NHS Western Isles
  • Susan Douglas-Scott, Golden Jubilee Foundation
  • Hamish Wilson, Healthcare Improvement Scotland (Vice-Chair)
  • David Garbutt, NHS Education for Scotland
  • David Crichton, NHS Health Scotland
  • Elizabeth Ireland, NHS National Services Scotland
  • Esther Roberton, NHS 24
  • Terry Currie, State Hospital
  • Tom Steele, Scottish Ambulance Service
  • Paul Edie, Care Inspectorate
  • 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
  • John Froggatt, Head of Improving Health and Wellbeing
  • Colin Brown, Head of the Office of the Chief Executive NHS Scotland
  • 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

  • David Bedwell, NHS Scotland Executive Support
  • Chris Campbell, NHS Scotland Executive Support


  • Greig Chalmers, Head of Medicines Policy Team
  • Thomas Lamont, Scottish Clinical Leadership Fellow
  • Kate Arrow, Scottish Clinical Leadership Fellow


  • Clare Haughey, Minister for Mental Health
  • Phil Jones, NHS Dumfries and Galloway
  • David Alston, NHS Highland
  • Christine McLaughlin, Director of Health Finance, Corporate Governance and Value
  • Alan Hunter, Director of Performance and Delivery
  • 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 above.

2. The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport welcomed everyone to the meeting, noting that this was her first meeting with the NHS Board Chairs Group since taking up post.

Minutes of the previous meeting

2. The minutes of the meeting held on 21 May 2018 were approved.

Matters arising

3. There were no matters arising.

Ministerial remarks

4. The Cabinet Secretary invited Chairs to give their views on the format of future of meetings. She then set out her expectations of the NHS Board Chairs Group and reminded Chairs of their role in delivering Scottish Government priorities.

5. The Cabinet Secretary confirmed that meetings would continue to be regular but with a stronger focus on delivery. She reminded Chairs that they are accountable for the performance of their Boards and outlined her three key priorities for discussion at future meetings. These are:

  • performance – focus on improving waiting times
  • health and Social Care Integration (increasing the pace, delivering ‘Once for Scotland’ where there is clear evidence to do so)
  • mental Health (Programme for Government commitment and investment for improving Child and Adolescent Mental Health)

6. The Cabinet Secretary said that she expected Chairs to provide assurance on the actions taken by Boards to address these priorities and implement recommendations.


7. Alongside the 3 delivery priorities, the Cabinet Secretary said that NHS Board Chairs meetings would also focus on good governance. She highlighted the importance of delivering against the recommendations of the Health and Sport Committee’s report ‘The governance of the NHS in Scotland – ensuring the delivery of the best healthcare for Scotland’.

8. The Cabinet Secretary told Chairs that she had read the draft of the Blueprint for Good Corporate Governance in NHS Scotland’. She made clear that, once finalised, she expected Chairs to report to her the actions that they have put in place to implement the recommendations.

9. Paul Gray, Director General Health and Social Care/Chief Executive NHS Scotland advised Chairs that they should use the NHS Board Chairs Group meeting to raise genuine obstacles to delivery. NHS Board Chairs should contact Colin Brown, Head of the Office of the DGHSC/Chief Executive NHS Scotland, or any member of his team, in the first instance.

Feedback from Chairs private meeting

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

  •  re-organising business of the NHS Board Chairs private meetings
  •  invitation from UK Confederation
  •  engagement with the Local Government Review
  •  working closer with NHS Board Chief Executives
  •  health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Bill
  •  governance

11. The NHS Board Chairs Group have refreshed their portfolio groups to more closely align with the Cabinet Secretary’s priorities. Ian Kinniburgh confirmed that Chairs would like each portfolio group to be linked to or supported by Scottish Government officials, similar to what was in place for the former Quality Portfolio Group.

12. The new arrangements, including the role and remit of the governance group which will oversee implementation of the blueprint for good corporate governance will be discussed and finalised at the NHS Board Chairs annual away day in October 2018.

13. The Cabinet Secretary asked Ian Kinniburgh to liaise with Colin Brown and his team regarding agenda items for future meetings.

Proposed changes to the Patient Rights (Treatment Time Guarantee) (Scotland) Directions 2014

14. Paul Gray advised that the ‘Proposed Changes to the Patient Rights (Treatment Time Guarantee) (Scotland) Directions 2014’ had been discussed at the NHS Board Chief Executives meeting on 12 September 2018. NHS Boards will be required to inform patients if their wait is to exceed the 12 week Treatment Time Guarantee and provide them, in writing, with an estimate of how long their wait is likely to be.

15. Paul Gray highlighted three key messages for the attention of Chairs: that the changes are legislative; a group has been established to ensure consistency across NHS Boards; and, that Chairs should assure themselves that the changes are implemented with pace.

16. The Cabinet Secretary also asked Chairs to seek assurance from Chief Executives that all staff understand how to count waiting times.

Action: NHS Board Chairs

Any other business

6. Paul Gray asked Chairs to assure themselves that they have robust contingency plans in place in their Boards to deal with the disposal of clinical waste. He advised them to report any concerns to Colin Sinclair, Chief Executive NHS National Services Scotland or Michael Healy, Head of Resilience NHS Scotland, Health and Social Care Directorates at the Scottish Government.

Date and time of next meeting

7. The next NHS Chairs meeting will be on Monday 29 October 2018 at 13:00 in the Scottish Health Service Centre, Edinburgh.

Office of the Chief Executive for NHS Scotland

September 2018



NHS Chairs minutes - September 2018


Corporate Business Management Team: cbmt@gov.scot

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