NHS Chief Executives minutes: April 2021

Minutes of the NHS Chief Executives' group meeting on 14 April 2021.

Attendees and apologies

NHS Board Chief Executives:

  • John Burns, NHS Ayrshire and Arran
  • Ralph Roberts, NHS Borders (Chair of CEs Group)
  • Katy Kerr, NHS Dumfries and Galloway, Director of Finance 
  • Carol Potter, NHS Fife
  • Cathie Cowan, NHS Forth Valley
  • Caroline Hiscox, NHS Grampian
  • Jane Grant, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
  • Pam Dudek, NHS Highland
  • Heather Knox, NHS Lanarkshire
  • Calum Campbell, NHS Lothian 
  • Michael Dickson, NHS Orkney and Shetland
  • Grant Archibald, NHS Tayside
  • Gordon Jamieson, NHS Western Isles 
  • Ann Gow, Healthcare Improvement Scotland
  • Jim Miller, NHS 24
  • Karen Reid, NHS Education for Scotland
  • Jann Gardner, NHS Golden Jubilee
  • Jill Young, NHS Louisa Jordan
  • Mary Morgan, NHS National Services Scotland
  • Angela Leitch, Public Health Scotland
  • Pauline Howie, Scottish Ambulance Service 
  • Gary Jenkins, State Hospital

Scottish Government:

  • Caroline Lamb, DG Health and Social Care/Chief Executive NHS     Scotland
  • John Connaghan, Chief Operating Officer NHS Scotland
  • Gillian Russell, Director of Health Workforce
  • Richard McCallum, Director of Health Finance and Governance
  • Donna Bell, Director of Mental Health and Social Care
  • Diane Murray, Deputy Chief Nursing Officer 
  • Aidan Grisewood, Interim Director of Primary Care
  • Fergus Millan, Primary Care 
  • Dave Caesar, Deputy Chief Medical Officer
  • Alison Strath, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer
  • David Williams, Director of Delivery, Health and Social Care Integration

 In attendance:

  • Tracey Gillies, Co-Chair of MDs/NHS Lothian MD
  • Alan Gray, Chair of Directors of Finance/NHS Grampian DoF
  • Jacqui Jones, Chairs of HRDs/National Services Scotland HRD
  • Andrew Fleming, Head of NHS Board Sponsorship
  • Roy Sturrock, Interim Head of Performance and Delivery Support – for Planned Care item
  • Catherine Calderwood, National Clinical Director for Centre for Sustainable Delivery (CfSD)
  • Katie Cuthbertson, Director Modernising Patient Pathways Programme
  • Robert Kirkwood, Office of the Chief Executive
  • Laurie Whyte, Office of the Chief Executive
  • Hannah Mackay, Office of the Chief Executive
  • Nicola Gordon, Executive Support
  • Roz Barclay, Executive Support


  • Jeff Ace, NHS Dumfries and Galloway (Katy Kerr attending)
  • Robbie Pearson, Healthcare Improvement Scotland (Ann Gow attending)
  • Alex McMahon, Chair of SEND/Lothian DoN
  • Jason Leitch, National Clinical Director
  • Amanda Croft, Chief Nursing Officer (Diane Murray attending)
  • Michael Kellet, Interim Director of Population Health
  • Richard Foggo, Covid Public Health Director
  • Heather Campbell, Interim Deputy Director Primary Care (Fergus Millan attending)

Items and actions


Welcome, introductions and apologies for absence    13:00

Minutes of the previous meeting – 10 March 2021 NHSCE/20/21/07

Matters arising

Feedback from Chief Executives private meeting (Ralph Roberts)

Finance deep dive    13:15-13:45 (Richard McCallum and Alan Gray)

Strategy/vision and underpinning care programmes    13:45-14:45 (SG official - TBC)

  • Care Programmes – Planned Care - NHSCE/21/22/02 (John Connaghan, Jann Gardner and Caroline Hiscox)

Any other business    14:45-15:00

Date and time of next meetings 

  • Chief Executives business meeting - Wednesday 05 May 2021 - 14:00 NHSCE/21/22/01 – an update from SAH 


Welcome, apologies for absence and Attendees

John Connaghan, Chief Operating officer, welcomed everyone to the meeting and highlighted that he would chair the first part of the meeting until Caroline Lamb, DG Health and Social Care/Chief Executive NHS Scotland, was able to join. A list of attendees and apologies for absence are provided at Annex A.  

It was noted that Ralph Roberts, Chief Executive, NHS Borders, had now taken over from Pauline Howie as Chair of the Chief Executives Group and Robbie Pearson, Chief Executive, Healthcare Improvement Scotland, has taken over as Vice-Chair.  John, conveyed, on behalf of Caroline, that she was looking forward to working with them.

John also welcomed Jim Miller and Mary Morgan, who took up their Chief Executive roles of NHS 24 and NHS NSS on 1 April 2021.

Minutes of the previous meeting – 10 March 2021 – NHSCE/20/21/07

The minutes of the meeting held on 10 March 2021 were approved.  

Matters arising 

There were no matters arising.

Feedback from Chief Executives private meeting – 13 April 2021

Ralph Roberts provided feedback on topics discussed at the Chief Executives private meeting which included:

  • 2021 Microsoft Office 365 Contract proposal, along with a series of actions to develop lessons learnt and improve governance and decision making in this area
  • the role of IJBS following the decision to include IJBs as Category 1 responders. It was requested that further clarification from SG, in relation to the situation of a practical response in an emergency where the Board is responsible for delivery, should be issued on this
  • mental health
  • leadership and development 
  • infrastructure between SG and Boards to progress commitment to delivery multi-year pay deals

It was agreed that Cyber Security should be included on the agenda for a future Chief Executives business meeting. 


  • further clarification to be issued by SG on the role of IJBS following the decision to include IJBs as Category 1 responders
  • Secretariat to include Cyber Security on the agenda for a future Chief Executives Business meeting

Finance deep dive 

Richard McCallum, Director of Health Finance and Governance, provided an update on the Finance position which included an overview of: 

  • the quarterly plan for 2021/22
  • financial landscape
  • financial planning – non-recurring Covid position and the longer term impact
  • medium term Financial Framework 

Alan Gray, Chair of Directors of Finance Group, noted the theme of short, medium and long term planning and emphasised that Directors of Finance would be keen to progress discussions with NHS Chief Executives. 

It was raised that Chief Executives would find it helpful to have data on Covid-19 costs for all NHS Boards so that they could benchmark. Richard agreed to share benchmarking data through the Directors of Finance group.  It was acknowledged that value for money would need to be discussed during medium term planning discussions. Richard indicated that he would be keen to discuss this at a later date. 

It was agreed that the Finance presentation slides should be circulated after the meeting.


  • Richard McCallum to share benchmarking data on Covid costs through the Directors of Finance Group
  • Richard McCallum to circulate presentation slides to Chief Executives

Strategy/vision and underpinning care programmes

This item follows on from a strategy discussion led by Richard Foggo at a previous NHS Chief Executives Strategy meeting, where it was agreed that there should be a fuller discussion with SG Directors.

Donna Bell, Director of Mental Health and Social Care led the discussion. Several Chief Executives have already been involved in discussions around Care Programmes and whilst this work is continuing to develop, it was noted that progress would depend on the decisions made by the new administration, following the Scottish Parliament election on 6 May 2021. Donna Bell invited Chief Executives, who have yet to be involved, to take part in future discussions once the new administration is in place.

It was highlighted that it was important to ensure that Strategy development links with the ongoing Leadership and Public Health work.

It was agreed that a fuller discussion would take place at the Chief Executives Strategy meeting in May. 


  • Chief Executives to make Donna Bell aware if they would like to be involved in future discussions around Care Programmes
  • strategy/vision and underpinning care programmes to be included on the agenda for the Chief Executives Strategy meeting in May

Care programmes – planned care

John Connaghan, Chief Operating Officer NHS Scotland, gave a brief introduction to the item before handing over to Caroline Hiscox, Chief Executive, NHS Grampian. Caroline provided feedback, on behalf of the NHS Chief Executives Group, on principles for supporting the Integrated Planned Care Steering Group, going forward.

Jann Gardner, Chief Executive, NHS Golden Jubilee Foundation, introduced colleagues who had been asked to attend to share some of the innovative projects being taken forward on a national basis. This included:

  • NERCI (National Enhanced Recovery Colorectal Initiative), David Alcorn, Consultant Anaesthetist GG and C, National Clinical Lead
  • Cytosponge Roll Out, Colin McKay, Chief Of Medicine North Sector GG and C, Chair of Cytosponge Project Board
  • Medicines and Technology, Alison Strath, Interim Chief Pharmaceutical Officer

Jann Gardner highlighted that the next steps would be to work with Boards on an individual basis to develop a heat map and explore if there was any improvements to be made and if so, by when.  

Catherine Calderwood, National Clinical Director for Centre for Sustainable Delivery (CfSD), provided an overview of the asks of Chief Executives and highlighted that she would be in touch on an individual basis.

John Connaghan expressed his thanks to clinical colleagues for the progress made on this work and, Chief Executives who had agreed to be pathfinders.

Any other business

Dave Caesar, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, flagged that the data on the backlog of cases as a result of the pandemic would be published by Public Health Scotland by the end of June. 

 Date and time of next meeting

Chief Executives business meeting - Wednesday 5 May 2021 - 14:00

Office of the Chief Executive NHS Scotland
20 April 2021

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