NHS Chief Executives minutes: August 2021

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 18 August 2021.

Attendees and apologies

NHS board chief executives

  • Hazel Borland, NHS Ayrshire and Arran
  • Ralph Roberts, NHS Borders (Chair of CEs Group)
  • Jeff Ace, NHS Dumfries and Galloway
  • 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
  • Jann Gardner, NHS Golden Jubilee
  • Robbie Pearson, Healthcare Improvement Scotland (Vice Chair of CEs Group)
  • Jim Miller, NHS 24
  • Karen Reid, NHS Education for Scotland
  • 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 Burns, Chief Operating Officer NHS Scotland 
  • Gillian Russell, Director of Health Workforce
  • Jason Leitch, National Clinical Director
  • Gillian Russell, Director of Health Workforce
  • Richard McCallum, Director of Health Finance and Governance
  • Donna Bell, Director of Mental Health and Social Care
  • Richard Foggo, COVID-19 Director
  • Christine McLaughlin, Director of Testing
  • Dave Caesar, Interim Deputy Chief Medical Officer
  • Anne Armstrong, DCNO Designate (attending on behalf of Amanda Croft)
  • Michael Kellet, Director of Population Health
  • Heather Campbell, Deputy Director of Primary Care (attending on behalf of Tim Mcdonnell)

In attendance

  • Nicholas Fluck, Co-Chair of MDs/NHS Lothian
  • Colin Briggs, Chair of Directors of Planning/NHS Lothian
  • Stephen Lea-Ross, Deputy Director of Health Workforce
  • Angela Constance, Minister for Drugs Policy (for agenda item 2)
  • Lindsay Grace, Clinical Leadership Fellow (observer)
  • Clare Hicks, Covid Recovery Directorate (for agenda item 6)
  • Robert Kirkwood, Office of the Chief Executive
  • Laurie Whyte, Office of the Chief Executive
  • Hannah Mackay, Office of the Chief Executive
  • Roz Barclay, Executive Support
  • Nicola Gordon, Executive Support


  • Tim Mcdonnell, Director of Primary Care (Heather Campbell attending)
  • Jonathan Cameron, Director of Digital Health and Care
  • Amanda Croft, Chief Nursing Officer (Anne Armstrong attending)
  • Ken Donaldson, Co-Chair of MDs/NHS Dumfries and Galloway MD
  • Ann Gow, Chair of SEND/Lothian DoN

Items and actions


1. Welcome, introductions and apologies for absence
2. Drugs policy
(Angela Constance, Minister for Drugs Policy)

3. Minutes of the previous meeting – 9 July 2021

4. Matters arising
5. National care service consultation
(Donna Bell)

6. Verbal updates

  • care programmes (Caroline Lamb)
  • Covid recovery strategy (Claire Hicks)

7. Feedback from chief executives private meeting
(Ralph Roberts)

8. Any other business
9. Date and time of next meeting

  • chief executives business meeting - Wednesday 8 September 2021 at 14:00
  • minutes

Welcome, apologies for absence and attendees

Caroline Lamb, DG Health and Social Care/Chief Executive NHS Scotland, welcomed everyone to the meeting. The welcome was extended to Angela Constance, Minister for Drugs Policy, who joined today’s meeting for an item on Drugs Policy.

A list of attendees and apologies for absence are provided. 

Drugs policy

Angela Constance, Minister for Drugs Policy, was grateful for the opportunity to engage with NHS Chief Executives. Ms Constance referred to the paper which had been circulated in advance and led a discussion on the contributions of Health Boards to reduce drug-related deaths as part of the national mission to save and improve lives. Actions required for Chief Executives were highlighted and an emphasis was put on the importance of the Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Standards to be implemented by April 2022. 

In discussion, the following points were raised:

  • community based services were important and outreach services would be beneficial if accessible to clinical and non-clinical staff
  • recent improvement in outcomes from better data sharing, for example, allowing patient’s data to be shared with the Scottish Ambulance Service to support non-fatal overdose pathways
  • acknowledgement of the importance of intervention, but also the need to understand the reasons and routes into substance use
  • the new Children and Families fund to support family members
  • a need to consider opportunities to use technology
  • ensuring that families had access to the right services at weekends

Michael Kellet, Director of Population Health, re-iterated the importance of focusing on MAT Standards implementation and work was currently ongoing with Public Health Scotland in relation to this. It was outlined that Michael would be in touch with Chief Executives on a more regular basis and Ms Constance would attend a meeting again in the future.

Minutes of the previous meeting – 9 July 2021 – NHSCE/21/22/12

The minutes of the meeting held on 9 July 2021 were approved. 

Matters arising

Ralph Roberts, Chair of Chief Executives Group indicated that it would be useful to receive updated guidance on future Covid restrictions. Anne Armstrong, Deputy Chief Nursing Officer Designate, outlined that draft guidance on distancing would be issued that afternoon for Chief Executives’ comment. 

National care service consultation

Donna Bell, Director of Mental Health and Social Care, outlined that the National Care Service Consultation had been published. The Consultation will run from 9 August – 18 October 2021. Donna Bell expressed that she was happy to engage with Chief Executives on this, as often as needed and suggested organising a number of different engagement sessions, focussing on different aspects.

Chief Executives welcomed the opportunity to engage and Ralph Roberts agreed to liaise with Donna to arrange sessions.

Action: Ralph Roberts to liaise with Donna Bell to organise engagement sessions for Chief Executives on the National Care service Consultation.

Verbal updates

Care programmes

Caroline Lamb, DG Health and Social Care/Chief Executive NHS Scotland, outlined that a strategy session with the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care and Ministers had already taken place. A further session is due to be scheduled towards the end of September. 

Covid recovery strategy

Claire Hicks, Covid Recovery Directorate, provided an overview of SG’s Covid Recovery Strategy. The vision for the Covid Recovery Strategy was outlined as:

  • addressing the systematic inequalities made worse by Covid
  • improve Wellbeing, through supporting empowering and offering opportunities to individuals, families and communities
  • remobilise and develop inclusive public services to be more person-centred, preventative and focused on those in greatest need

Richard Foggo, Covid Director, highlighted that a mission statement to set out the key issues would be produced and shared with Chief Executives.

Action: Richard Foggo to provide a mission statement setting out the key issues in relation to the Covid Recovery Strategy.

Feedback from chief executives private meeting

Ralph Roberts, Chair of Chief Executives Group, provided feedback from their Strategy and Private Chief Executives meeting, which included:

  • current pressures within the system

  • workforce
  • performance Framework and link with 5 year plan
  • planned Care and Cancer Care
  • COP26
  • update from NSD
  • supporting the implementation of Social Security disability payment
  • discussion on the NHS pay paper

Jason Leitch, National Clinical Director, highlighted that John Harden is the clinical lead on COP26 work and suggested that Chief Executives link up with him to discuss planning.

Any other business

Chief Executives were alerted to the additional papers circulated for information, on patient transport and NHS Pay (Agenda for Change).

Following the First Minister’s offer to support people seeking refuge from Afghanistan, Chief Executives offered early engagement in planning and developing holistic arrangements to support people, working in partnership at a national level on a Once for Scotland basis and with local Community Planning Partners.

It was highlighted that to begin with, those seeking refuge from Afghanistan would initially go to England and would then eventually be distributed throughout the UK. Developments would be kept under review by Chief Executives .

Date and time of next meeting

  • Chief Executives Business Meeting - Wednesday 08 September 2021 at 14:00

Office of the Chief Executive NHS Scotland

23 August 2021

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