NHS Chief Executives minutes: June 2020

Minutes and agenda from the meeting of the NHS Chief Executives on 10 June 2020.

Attendees and apologies

NHS Board Chief Executives

  • John Burns, NHS Ayrshire and Arran
  • Ralph Roberts, NHS Borders
  • Jeff Ace, NHS Dumfries and Galloway
  • Carol Potter, NHS Fife, Interim Chief Executive
  • Cathie Cowan, NHS Forth Valley
  • Amanda Croft, NHS Grampian
  • Jane Grant, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
  • Paul Hawkins, NHS Highland (Vice Chair of CEs Group)
  • Calum Campbell, NHS Lanarkshire
  • Heather Knox, NHS Lanarkshire, Acting Chief Executive
  • Jim Crombie, NHS Lothian, Deputy Chief Executive
  • Iain Stewart, NHS Orkney, Chief Executive Designate
  • Michael Dickson, NHS Shetland
  • Grant Archibald, NHS Tayside
  • Gordon Jamieson, NHS Western Isles
  • Jann Gardner, Golden Jubilee Foundation
  • Robbie Pearson, Healthcare Improvement Scotland
  • Steph Phillips, NHS 24, Director of Service Delivery
  • Stewart Irvine, NHS Education for Scotland
  • Jill Young, NHS Louisa Jordan and Director of Testing Programme
  • Colin Sinclair, NHS National Services Scotland
  • Angela Leitch, Public Health Scotland
  • Pauline Howie, Scottish Ambulance Service (Chair of the CEs Group)
  • Gary Jenkins , State Hospital

Scottish Government

  • John Connaghan, Interim Chief Executive NHS Scotland
  • Donna Bell, Director of Mental Health and Social Care
  • Caroline Lamb, Director of Digital Reform and Service Engagement
  • Richard McCallum, Interim Director of Health Finance
  • Gillian Russell, Director of Health Workforce, Leadership and Service Reform
  • Carol Tannahill, Director of Recovery
  • Aidan Grisewood, Director of Primary Care
  • Jason Leitch, National Clinical Director Scotland
  • Marion Bain, Deputy Chief Medical Officer
  • Rose Marie-Parr, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer
  • Malcolm Summers, Head of Strategic Reform
  • Andrew Fleming, Head of NHS Board Sponsorship
  • Helen Maitland, Unscheduled Care Director
  • Tracy Slater, Head of Performance and Delivery
  • Col Will Lynch, Military Liaison
  • Robert Kirkwood, Office of the Chief Executive
  • Laurie Whyte, Office of the Chief Executive
  • Sarah Hildersley, Office of the Chief Executive
  • Hannah Mackay, Office of the Chief Executive

In Attendance

  • Ken Donaldson, Co-Chair of MDs/NHS Dumfries and Galloway MD
  • Derek Bell, Special Advisor
  • Alan Cooper, Executive Support
  • Laura Parker, Executive Support
  • Nicola Gordon, Executive Support


  • Angiolina Foster, NHS 24
  • Tim Davison, NHS Lothian
  • Elinor Mitchell, Interim Director General Health and Social Care
  • David Miller, Chief People Officer
  • Richard Foggo, Covid Public Health Director
  • Gregor Smith, Interim Chief Medical Officer Scotland
  • Fiona McQueen, Chief Nursing Officer
  • David Williams, Director of Delivery, Health and Social Care Integration
  • Alison Taylor, Deputy Director, Health and Social Care Integration
  • Michael Kellet, Lead Health Hub




Items and actions


1.Welcome, Apologies for Absence and Attendees

2.Minutes of the Previous Meeting – 11 March 2020 – NHSCE/19/20/37

3.Matters Arising

4.Feedback from the Chief Executives Private Meeting – 9 June 2020 (Pauline Howie)

5.Re-Mobilisation Plans – Phase 2 (John Burns and Helen Maitland)

6.Finance (Richard McCallum)

7.Hot Topics

  • social Care and Care Homes (Donna Bell)
  • Test and Protect (Caroline Lamb and Jill Young)
  • renewal (Carol Tannahill)

8.Any Other Business

9.Date and Time of Next Meeting

  • Chief Executives Covid-19 Teleconference – Friday 19 June 2020, 10:00-11:00
  • Chief Executives Business Meeting - Wednesday 9 September 2020 at 13:00


Welcome, Apologies for Absence and Attendees

1.John Connaghan, Interim Chief Executive NHS Scotland welcomed everyone to the meeting.  A list of attendees and apologies for absence are provided at Annex A. 

2.Part of Agenda Item 7 - Hot Topics (Social Care and Care Homes and Test and Protect) and Agenda Item 6 - Finance were taken ahead of Agenda Items 2, 3 and 4 to allow Christine McLaughlin to participate in Agenda Item 5 discussion. 

Hot Topics

Social Care and Care Homes

3.John Connaghan, introduced this part of the agenda by reminding Chief Executives that information on Testing in Care Homes was now required on a weekly basis and that Chief Executives were requested to take personal responsibility for both accuracy and timely submission.

4.Donna Bell, Director of Mental Health and Social Care, shared her appreciation of engagement from Chief Executives to discussions over previous weeks.  She advised that work is underway with Directors of Public Health to categorise care homes, as not all care homes provide care for older people.  John Connaghan thanked Donna for the update and welcomed her to her new role. 

5.Chief Executives were assured that the new online care home registration portal was operational. 

6.Jill Young, Director of Testing Programme, advised colleagues that care home testing data would publish later this week from Public Health Scotland for the first time.  Further discussions over the next 2 days would take place with Chief Executives to review the template for submission back to the Scottish Government. 

7.She also advised that a further 10,000 social care portal tests a day were available and this should allow all staff to be tested accordingly.  All tests from Scottish care homes would also be processed by the Glasgow Lighthouse, providing a much quicker turnaround.  Mobile Units are still in operation and will be remobilised based on revised requirements. 

8.Guidance is currently being updated and will issue to NHS Boards later today (10 June). 

Test and Protect

9.Caroline Lamb, Director of Digital Reform and Service Engagement, provided an update on Test and Protect.  The new process had been in place for nearly 2 weeks now and the first set of data would be published today (10 June), taking account of some restrictions with using the DHI tracing tool.  Going forward, data reporting will begin to include results from UK Government testing sites and backlogged data. 

10.Jill Young advised that following discussion with Pauline Howie, Chief Executive, Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS), that the distribution of mobile testing units would be taken over by SAS during August.  Military Liaison Teams will continue with the deployment of the units (13 increasing to 21) and ensure a safe handover with SAS. 


11.Richard McCallum, Interim Director of Health Finance, provided a brief update to Chief Executives following his attendance at their private meeting.  Finance will need to be factored across remobilisation, recovery, renewal planning, and primary care reform. 

12. Jason Leitch, National Clinical Adviser, shared with colleagues a discussion he had with Simon Watson, the new Medical Director for Healthcare Improvement Scotland, to begin a piece of work on safe, effective & person centred care.  An invitation for an Executive Lead in Quality from each NHS Board (e.g. MD, ND or CE) would be sought shortly.  Robbie Pearson, Chief Executive, Healthcare Improvement Scotland asked that this piece of work be closely linked with financial discussions. 

Minutes of the Previous Meeting – 11 March 2020 – NHSCE/19/20/37

13.The minutes of the meeting held on 11 March 2020 were approved. 

Matters Arising

14. There were no matters arising.

Feedback from Chief Executives Private Meeting – 9 June 2020

15. Pauline Howie provided feedback on topics discussed at the Chief Executives Private Meeting, which included:

  • finance
  • re-mobilisation
  • unscheduled Care and
  • renewal including Strategic Reform and Innovation

Re-Mobilisation Plans – Phase 2

16. John Connaghan introduced the agenda item and in doing so advised that he would be writing again to Chief Executives sometime in the next few weeks to invite them to review mobilisation plans submitted on 25 May 2020.

17. Pauline Howie thanked John Connaghan for the introduction and handed over to John Burns, Chief Executive, NHS Ayrshire and Arran, to lead this Agenda Item.  John Burns shared a presentation with the Group following discussions at the Chief Executives Private Meeting. The discussion focussed around 6 key risks which were shared in advance of the meeting:

  • COVID-19 – continuing requirements
  • unscheduled care attendances and admissions returning to pre‑Covid levels
  • winter – including risk of flu
  • backlog in the system, pent up demand and remobilisation
  • sub optimal productivity – impacts of continued physical distancing
  • staff exhaustion and trauma

18. Due to Covid‑19, NHS Boards had made considerable progress over the last few months in changing ways of working, particularly in relation to Unscheduled Care.  It was acknowledged that the improvements achieved must be retained.  Further work, led by John Burns, Chief Executive, NHS Ayrshire and Arran, would continue on this.  It would also look ahead to the next 6‑9 months and consider the potential impact of winter. 

19. Jeff Ace, Chief Executive, Dumfries and Galloway, provided the meeting with an update in relation to preparing for winter.  He highlighted that current practices would need to be reviewed in line with Covid-19 guidelines relating to physical distancing, for example the process for vaccinations.  This would impact on the physical environment for delivering services and on their capacity.   

20. Amanda Croft, Chief Executive, NHS Grampian, provided an update in relation to staff exhaustion and trauma.  It was recognised that this is an ongoing process and it was agreed that the new procedures put in place to provide support in NHS Boards should continue whilst staff continue to work differently.  Dave Caesar, Head of Leadership and Talent Management is continuing to lead work focussing on staff wellbeing.

21. Gillian Russell, Director of Health Workforce, Leadership and Service Reform, advised that she would be having a discussion with Donna Bell shortly to discuss social care workforce requirements.  John Connaghan reflected that this would be a complex piece of planning work and advised colleagues that Christine McLaughlin was returning to the Scottish Government following her career break, to take on the role of Director of NHS Planning. 

22. Helen Maitland, Unscheduled Care Director, updated colleagues on the review of unscheduled care.  There will be a meeting on Friday (12 June) to discuss the redesign of unscheduled care, looking at the principles, components, responsibilities, timelines and governance etc.  The Cabinet Secretary is keen to receive plans, which should include progress made locally over the last few weeks. 

23.Christine McLaughlin spoke to the Group regarding the next planning phase in relation to her new role.  She is keen to build on work already underway and looks forward to further discussions.

Hot Topics (continued from earlier in meeting)


24.Carol Tannahill, Director of Recovery, provided an update on Renewal.  She advised that the Cabinet Secretary is currently considering the renewal process and the key components to support change.  This work goes beyond health and social care with links to resilience, pan-Scottish Government work and the Routemap out of the pandemic. 

25.Further information will be shared with Chief Executives when available. 

Any Other Business

26. John Connaghan invited Pauline Howie to consider the frequency of the weekly Chief Executives Teleconferences with a view to moving these to a fortnightly basis from July.

Action: SG Secretariat to liaise with Pauline Howie regarding frequency of Chief Executives Teleconferences

Date and Time of Next Meeting

27. The next NHS Chief Executives Covid-19 Teleconference will take place on Friday 19 June 2020 at 10:00 -11:00. 

28. The next NHS Chief Executives Business Meeting will take place on Wednesday 9 September 2020 at 13:00-16:00.

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