NHS Chief Executives minutes: June 2021

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 2 June 2021.

Attendees and apologies

NHS board chief executives

  • John Burns, 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
  • Robbie Pearson, Healthcare Improvement Scotland (Vice Chair of CEs Group)
  • 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

  • Humza Yousaf, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care
  • Caroline Lamb, DG Health and Social Care/Chief Executive NHS Scotland
  • John Connaghan, Chief Operating Officer NHS Scotland
  • Jason Leitch, National Clinical Director
  • David Miller, Chief People Officer NHS Scotland
  • Richard McCallum, Director of Health Finance and Governance
  • Richard Foggo, Covid Director
  • Donna Bell, Director of Mental Health and Social Care
  • Amanda Croft, Chief Nursing Officer
  • Stephen Gallagher, Director of Vaccination Strategy
  • Colin Sinclair, Director of Covid Vaccination Programme
  • Tim Mcdonnell, Director of Primary Care
  • Heather Campbell, Deputy Director of Primary Care
  • Michael Kellet, Director of Population Health
  • Christine McLaughlin, Director of Testing
  • Dave Caesar, Deputy Chief Medical Officer
  • Alison Strath, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer
  • Tom Ferris, Chief Dental Officer

In attendance

  • Nick Fluck, co-chair of MDs/NHS Grampian MD
  • Alan Gray, chair of Directors of Finance/NHS Grampian DoF
  • Jacqui Jones, chair of HRDs/National Services Scotland HRD
  • Valerie White, Director of Public Health/NHS Dumfries and Galloway
  • Andrew Fleming, Head of NHS Board Sponsorship
  • Malcolm Summers, Head of Strategic Reform (for agenda item 7)
  • Mairi Cameron, Strategic Reform (for agenda item 7)
  • Laura Zeballos, Deputy Director Health Workforce Pay, Practice and Partnership
  • Victoria Bowman, Deputy Director Health Workforce Pay, Practice and Partnership
  • 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
  • Roz Barclay, executive support
  • Nicola Gordon, executive support


  • Alex McMahon, chair of SEND/Lothian DoN
  • Graham Foster, chair of Directors of Public Health/NHS Forth Valley DoPH (Valerie White attending)
  • John Harden, Deputy National Clinical Director
  • Gillian Russell, Director of Health Workforce

Items and actions


1. Welcome, introductions and apologies for absence (14:00)
2. Minutes of the previous meeting – 5 May 2021 NHSCE/21/22/08

3. Matters arising
4. Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care (14:05-14:20)
(Humza Yousaf MSP)

5. Chief executives key issues (14:20-14:50)

1. Ongoing Covid response 
(Jane Grant, Chief Executive, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde)
2. Recovery and remobilisation (including focus on 100 days
(Jeff Ace, Chief Executive, NHS Dumfries and Galloway)

  • longer term need for service reform and increased focus on health and wellbeing (linked to care programmes) (Angela Leitch, Chief Executive, Public Health Scotland)

Cabinet Secretary departs

6. Update on the pandemic 14:50-15:10

  • emergent issues (Jason Leitch, National Clinical Director)
  • vaccinations (Stephen Gallagher, Director of Vaccination Strategy and Colin Sinclair, Director of Vaccination Delivery)
  • testing (Christine McLaughlin, Director of Testing)

7. Key Principles of Remobilisation (15:10-15:30)(John Connaghan, Chief Operating Officer and John Burns, Chief Executive, NHS Ayrshire and Arran)

8. Care Programmes Update (15:30-15:50) (Richard Foggo, Director of Covid Public Health and Ralph Roberts, Chief Executive, NHS Borders)

9. Feedback from Chief Executives Private Meeting 15:50-15:55 (Ralph Roberts)

10. Any Other Business (15:55)
11. Date and Time of Next Meeting

  • Chief Executives Business Meeting - Wednesday 8 September 2021 - 14:00

Welcome, apologies for absence and attendees

Caroline Lamb, DG Health and Social Care/Chief Executive NHS Scotland, welcomed everyone to the meeting, especially the Cabinet Secretary, Humza Yousaf who joined hi first Chief Executives meeting since being appointed as the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care. A list of attendees and apologies for absence are provided. 

Minutes of the previous meeting – 5 May 2021 – NHSCE/21/22/08

The minutes of the meeting held on 5 May 2021 were approved. 

Matters arising

There was no matters arising.

Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care (Humza Yousaf MSP)

The Cabinet Secretary introduced himself to the Chief Executives and thanked them for their ongoing work throughout the Pandemic. He expressed he was looking forward to working closely with Chief Executives, going forward and would welcome an opportunity to meet with them individually, and in person. 

The Cabinet Secretary recognised the achievements made to date in the roll out of the vaccination and testing programmes. He noted some concerns around the speed of the roll out and underlined the importance of expanding both programmes.

Longer term priorities were highlighted, which included:

  • digital solutions
  • recovery and remobilisation
  • mental health
  • workforce

Chief executives' key issues

NHS Chief Executives provided an overview of the key issues that they are dealing with in their Boards:

Jane Grant, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, focused on the ongoing Covid Response, which included:

  • public Health Response – significant response with a common goal for Boards
  • keen to continue to utilise Mutual aid
  • need to consider the impact on staff
  • investing in the core workforce would be beneficial
  • need for consistency of messaging
  • continue to build on the strong partnerships which had been strengthened throughout the response
  • continue to make use of the good working practices which have been created and not reverting to pre-Covid practices

Jeff Ace, NHS Dumfries and Galloway, focused on Recovery and Remobilisation, which included:

  • the response to Covid has created an opportunity to remobilise every aspect of NHS. It was suggested that the language around the recovery should be more focused on the ‘Renewal of the NHS’
  • remobilising services will be complex and there needs to be understanding that improving one part of the service may impact on another section
  • NHS could make more improvements in innovation

Angela Leitch, Public Health Scotland, focused on Longer term need for Service Reform and increased focus on Health and Wellbeing, which included:

  • there needed to be more recognition that stronger working relationships result in better outcomes
  • a focus should be on investment and funding to the Wellbeing Alliance
  • data and Digital should be focused on and the digital strategy was pivotal for going forward. Near me and NHS Inform had been used massively during the pandemic and it should be continued
  • primary Care data should be considered for how to measure that differently
  • renewed focus on equalities

The Cabinet Secretary thanked Chief Executives for their update and agreed that ‘Renewal of the NHS’ sounded more positive than ‘recovery’. He re-iterated the importance of expanding the vaccinations and testing programmes and highlighted that his office would be in touch with Chief Executives in due course to discuss this.

The Cabinet Secretary departed the meeting.

Update on the pandemic

Jason Leitch, National Clinical Director, provided an update on the Pandemic, which included:

  • a heat map of the cases across the world
  • R-rate
  • 7 day positive rate figures
  • dashboard for cases in your chosen area
  • 7 day average
  • latest modelling

Colin Sinclair, Director of Vaccination Delivery, provided an update on Vaccinations, which included:

  • programme performance update
  • health board key messages
  • Cohort Completion Programme
  • Pfizer Stock

Colin highlighted that he had been in contact with all Boards recently and he praised Chief Executives for the progress made in the Vaccinations Programme.

Christine McLaughlin, Director of Testing, provided an update on Testing, which included:

  • there has been enhanced Test and Protect numbers
  • all testing sites now offer both PCR and Lateral flow tests
  • a table would be shared to help understand Testing figures
  • public messaging should be issued at a local level to encourage regular testing

It was raised that Directors of Public Health would find the table on Testing figures useful.

Action: Christine McLaughlin to issue the table on Testing figures to Directors of Public Health.

Key principles of remobilisation

John Connaghan, Chief Operating Officer NHS Scotland, provided an overview of Remobilisation and highlighted that there had been an increase in Planned Care and the anticipated increase in cancer referrals was beginning to show. 

In light of earlier discussions, it was agreed that the ‘Renewal of NHS’ should be discussed further at a future meeting.

Action: renewal of NHS Scotland to be included on the agenda for a future Chief Executives meeting.

Care programmes update

Richard Foggo, Director of Covid Public Health, introduced this item and provided an overview of the proposed mechanism to ensure effective delivery of Ministerial priorities and delivery of an overarching mission, ‘’after Covid, working together to improve Scotland’s wellbeing”.

Donna Bell, Director of Mental Health, provided an overview of the Preventative and Proactive Care Programme. The aim of this care programme is to proactively keep people well, independent and in the most appropriate care setting for their needs. It was important to think about prioritisation to receive the best outcome and to ensure that there was ‘lived experience’ input to this programme. Donna highlighted that the next step was to engage with colleagues to contribute and this would happen in the approaching weeks.

Michael Kellet, Interim Director of Public Health, provided an overview of the Place and Wellbeing Programme, highlighting that it was not a Care Programme, it was a programme to improve Health and Wellbeing. 

It was raised that it would be helpful to Boards if they received updated Health and Wellbeing indicators which they could issue at local level.

Action: Health and Wellbeing indicators to be updated and issued to Boards.

Feedback from chief executives' private meeting – 1 June 2021

Ralph Roberts, Chair of NHS Chief Executives Group, would provide feedback to Caroline Lamb on the discussions from the NHS Chief Executives private meeting at the Accountable Officers meeting.

Any other business

There were no other items of business raised.

Date and time of next meeting

  • NHS Chief Executives Business Meeting - Wednesday 8 September 2021 at 14:00 (Permanent Secretary attending)

Office of the Chief Executive NHS Scotland

04 June 2021

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