Patient Safety Commissioner - Specialist Reference Group minutes: December 2020

Minutes from the first meeting of the group on 4 December 2020.

Attendees and apologies


  • Rosemary Agnew (RA) (Chair)
  • Gordon Johnston (GJ)
  • Charlie Bethune (CB)
  • Gill Davies (GD)
  • Lynsey Cleland (LC)
  • Donna O’Boyle (DO’B)
  • Lynne Nicol (LN)
  • Margaret Syme (MSy)
  • Nicki Crossan (NCr)
  • Pauline Bennett (PBe)
  • Anncris Roberts (AR)
  • Valerie Malloch (VM)
  • Maureen Stevenson (MSt)
  • Paul Bowie (PBo)
  • Nicola Cotter (NCo)
  • Lindsay Isaacs (LI)


  • Craig White
  • Johnathan Watt
  • Irene Oldfather
  • Susanne Miller
  • Julie Paterson
  • Kate Fearnsley
  • John Harden
  • Manoj Kumar

Items and actions

Welcome, introductions and apologies

RA welcomed everyone to the first meeting, leading introductions around the table.  Apologies were noted. 

RA provided background as to why the group has been established, and explained to the group that information will flow between this group and the Patient Reference Group – with both informing a public consultation early in the new year. All papers relating to both groups will be published on the SG website - there were no objections to papers being published or shared.

Terms of reference

The ToRs were agreed, with all noting the aim of the group. No additions to the group membership were suggested.

Briefing paper and questions

There was discussion about the briefing paper and the need to map the current landscape to gain an understanding of how this currently works and to identify any gaps/perceived gaps that may prevent patient voices from being heard.

It was suggested that perhaps we are not getting it quite right in communicating to patients and the public about the existing landscape, and more work needs to be done to raise awareness.

It was agreed that an information gathering exercise may be a starting point for mapping the current landscape. This could be done through a survey/questionnaire sent those involved in the patient safety/patient voice landscape, including NHS Boards, HSCPs, and others across Scotland to ask how they helped people navigate the current systems. It was noted that language and terminology used needs to be clear and consistent.

Further discussion followed about what information/data is collected, what is done with it, who it is shared with, and how organisations learn from patient input/feedback/complaints. It was noted that Kyle Gibson is currently taking forward work on engagement with patients and their families in the context of adverse events and duty of candour incidents.

An important point to consider is the ‘feedback loop’ and where the person raising an issue/complaint is often left not knowing what the outcome is. Kyle’s work also highlights the need for regular communication and updates, even if there is nothing new to be said.

SG policy team will draft a survey/questionnaire and share for wider group to discuss and provide input at the next meeting in January.

The group agreed to share the survey to their wider networks.

Action 1:

  • SG policy team to draft a survey/questionnaire and share for input and discussion

Feedback from PRG

DO’B and CB gave an update on the Patient Reference Group (PRG) meeting about the emerging themes from the group and the need to recognise when something is not working, to  stop take stock and think of new ways of doing things.

SG policy team will circulate a summary of the themes emerging from the PRG to help inform the questions for the information gathering survey/questionnaire.

Action 2:

  • SG policy team to circulate themes emerging from the Patient Reference Group


There was no AOB, and the next meeting has been agreed for Thursday 14 January 2021.

 Action summary

Action no Description Who Status
1 SG policy team to draft a survey/questionnaire and share for input and discussion SG policy team agenda item 5 (14/1/21)
2 SG policy team to circulate themes emerging from the Patient Reference Group SG policy team Complete
Briefing paper
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