NHS Forth Valley Assurance Board minutes: 5 June 2023

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 5 June 2023.

Attendees and apologies


  • Christine McLaughlin (Chair), Co-Director of Population Health (virtually)
  • Fiona Hogg, Chief People Officer (virtually)
  • Robert Kirkwood, Head of the Office of Chief Executive (in-person)
  • Tracy Slater, Head of Performance and Delivery (virtually)

Attendees – Forth Valley (in-person)

  • Cathie Cowan, Chief Executive 
  • Allan Rennie, Vice-Chair (substituting for Janie McCusker)
  • Andrew Murray, Medical Director 
  • Frances Dodd, Executive Nurse Director
  • Scott Urquhart, Finance Director
  • Robert Clark, Employee Director 
  • Sally Mcintosh - Programme Manager 
  • Annemargaret Black, Chief Officer, Clackmannanshire and Stirling HSCP
  • Patricia Cassidy, Chief Officer, Falkirk HSCP

Attendees - Scottish Government/External

  • [redacted] (Secretariat), Head of Board Governance and Appointments (in-person)
  • [redacted] (Secretariat), Executive Support Officer (virtually)


  • Alex McMahon, Chief Nursing Officer, Scottish Government 
  • Gregor Smith, Chief Medical Officer, Scottish Government 
  • Angie Wood, Director of Social Care Resilience and Improvement, Scottish Government 
  • John Harden, Deputy National Clinical Director, Scottish Government 
  • John Brown, Chair of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde 
  • Janie McCusker, Chair, NHS Forth Valley
  • Linda Donaldson, HR Director, NHS Forth Valley
  • Jonathan Best, Acting Director of Acute Services, NHS Forth Valley
  • Jonathan Proctor, Director of Estates and Infrastructure, NHS Forth Valley
  • Gillian Morton, Director of CPMO/Women and Children's Directorate, Director of Midwifery, NHS Forth Valley

Items and actions

Welcome, apologies and introductions

The Chair welcomed members to the eleventh meeting of the Assurance Board (AB), noted apologies and outlined the agenda.

It was noted before receiving a progress update, that this meeting is taking place earlier than usual, with just 3 weeks since the last AB meeting. The Chair is also attending ELT on Monday 29 May to have a more detailed discussion on the expectations of the AB in relation to evidence on improvement and the measurement framework.   

NHS Forth Valley performance update

The NHS Forth Valley Executive Leadership Team (ELT) provided an update on the challenged performances areas: Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), Psychological Therapies (PT), Urgent and Unscheduled Care (USC) and Out of Hours (OOH).

CAHMS position was not where it should be at this point and it was confirmed that it was likely to be August before the 90% standard would be met, and not in June as originally suggested. In PT, currently achieving 74%, with performance related to a number of staff vacancies which are being recruited to.

It was noted that changes have been made to management structures and leadership is in place now to drive improvements. Weekly trajectories are in place. A progress update will be provided at the next meeting. 

More urgency is required to achieve and maintain improvements in USC. A detailed report will be provided to the PR committee which will give assurances on sustainability. Although performance is fluctuating, there is good support from the Acute team.  In OOH, they continued to submit OOH performance updates, with a visit planned on 19 June to hear progress from improvements already made.  

NHS Forth Valley Improvement Plan

The ELT shared the latest iteration of the Measurement Framework, which should be used as a tool to provide assurances that improvements have been implemented. It was noted that the Framework was still a work in progress and didn’t yet provide the information needed.  The next iteration should set out a baseline, with clear aims and metrics and should map directly to the 3 escalation areas: leadership, culture and governance which are set out in the Improvement Plan.  

The ELT highlighted that a review of current metrics  for the ‘Putting Patients first’ section would be progressed. Under ‘Supporting our Staff’ the absence measure was highlighted as being a critical metric as was the Professional Development Reviews (PDRs).  It was noted that the Board has set a 75% PDR target for the period 2023/2024. Fiona Hogg, Chief People Officer, agreed to send detailed feedback on the Framework to ELT.

The ELT recognised that significant work was still required and agreed to provide a further iteration ahead of the next meeting. The Chair highlighted that she would be happy to look at any draft in advance of the meeting.  

The Chair highlighted that the next AB meeting was scheduled for 18 July and advised that before papers were issued, secretariat would check that enough members would be able to attend, taking into consideration annual leave commitments.  

The Chair thanked everyone for their contributions and closed the meeting. 

Back to top