Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Programme Board minutes: 21 May 2020

Minutes from the meeting of the board on 21 May 2020.

Attendees and apologies


  • Alex Brown


  • Hugh Masters, Chair, Scottish Government 
  • Jeff Ace, Chief Executive, NHS Dumfries and Galloway
  • Sally Amor, Child Health Commissioner and North of Scotland representative, NHS Highland
  • Leanne Anderson, Performance Advisor, Inspiring Scotland
  • Alex Brown, Programme Support Officer, National Services Division
  • Joan Burns, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Maternity and Neonatology Services
  • Roch Cantwell, Lead Clinician Perinatal Mental Health Managed Clinical Network, National Services Division
  • Ruth Christie, Head of Perinatal and Early Years Mental Health Team, Scottish Government
  • Mary-Ross Davie, Director, Royal College of Midwives
  • Maria Docherty, Executive Director, Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Healthcare Professionals
  • Catriona Johnson, Programme Associate Director, National Services Division
  • Jaqueline Lambert, Professional Midwifery Advisor, Scottish Government
  • Katy Lister, Perinatal and Early Years Mental Health Team, Scottish Government
  • Marion MacAulay, Chief Social Work Officer, East Ayrshire Local Authority
  • Carsten Mandt, Senior Programme Manager Perinatal Network, National Services Division
  • Anne McFadyen, Infant Mental Health Lead Perinatal Mental Health Managed Clinical Network, National Services Division
  • Clare McGuire, Head of Programme, NHS Education for Scotland
  • Justina Ritchie, Lead Nurse, NHS24
  • Marie-Claire Shankland, Programme Director, NHS Education for Scotland
  • Helen Sloan, Chair Maternal Mental Health Scotland, Maternal Mental Health Scotland
  • Joanne Smith, Policy Manager, NSPCC
  • Judy Thomson, Director of Psychology, NHS Education for Scotland
  • Clare Thompson, Participation Officer, Maternal Mental Health Scotland
  • Jackie Walker, Head of Children and Family Services, Crossreach
  • Harriet Waugh, Senior Policy Manager Perinatal and Early Years Mental Health, Scottish Government
  • Carolyn Wilson, Team Leader Supporting Maternal and Child Wellbeing,  Scottish Government


  • Julia Abel, Head of Funds, Inspiring Scotland
  • Aman Durrani, Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist, Royal College of Psychiatrists
  • Fiona Fraser, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Perinatal Mental Health Services Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership
  • Sheila Gordon, Director Children and Family Services, Crossreach
  • Ann Holmes, Chief Midwifery Advisor and Associate Chief Nursing Officer, Scottish Government
  • Sally Ann Kelly, Chief Executive, Aberlour 
  • Lauren Kennedy, Lead Nurse for Mental Health and Learning Disabilities, Mental Health Nurse Leads Scotland
  • Jackie Kerr, Assistant Chief Officer for Adult Services, Health and Social Care Partnership
  • Eileen McKenna, Associate Director, Royal College of Nursing

Items and actions

Welcome, and meeting format

Hugh Masters welcomed everyone to the seventh Perinatal and Infant Mental Health (PNIMH) Programme Board meeting.

He advised that the meeting would be mostly a verbal update given by members of the working group to accompany the circulated update paper.

He acknowledged that due to the necessary virtual format of the meeting it may be challenging to have extensive discussion, but assured the group that there would be opportunity to ask questions, and encouraged comments via email after the meeting.

Mental Health Directorate update

Ruth Christie gave an update on the recent structural changes to the Scottish Government (SG) Mental Health Directorate, which was now organised into six workstreams – Staff Wellbeing; Mental Health Services; Vulnerable Groups; Forensic Mental Health; Public Mental Health; Children, Young People, Families and Relationships; Mental Health Law.

Recent achievements include the rollout of Solihull training, and the launch of a telephone helpline for adults currently experiencing relationship difficulties.

The capacity of the policy team has been significantly reduced recently, with colleagues being redeployed and going on maternity leave, but Ruth asserted that the work of the programme board would continue to be an important focus for the directorate.

Perinatal Mental Health Network (PMHN) update

Roch Cantwell gave an update on the ongoing effects of Covid-19 on the work of the PMHN (shared with other meeting papers) and on Scottish Mother-Baby Units (MBUs). Both MBUs have been busy managing patients who are positive with Covid-19 alongside those with other severe illnesses.

NHS Education for Scotland (NES) update

Marie-Claire Shankland gave an update on the Essential Perinatal modules being developed by NES (shared with meeting papers). The Introduction and Keeping Baby in Mind modules are now available on TURAS. NES aims to have all modules complete by August. Leah Cronin has recently been appointed as Principal Educator, and will greatly assist Marie-Claire in meeting this deadline. 

Participation Officer update

Clare Thompson gave an update on the recent work done in her role as Participation Officer (shared with meeting papers), including the ongoing development of an Experts by Experience reference group. Clare welcomed feedback on the draft project initiation document.

Jacqueline Lambert enquired as to the evidence behind the assertion (on page 3) that ‘women have been hit harder than others by COVID-19.’ Mary Ross-Davie emphasised that there is plenty of evidence that could be cited, and it was agreed that Clare would email Jacqueline and Mary-Ross regarding rewording of this section.

Action: Clare Thompson

Inspiring Scotland update

Leanne Anderson gave an update on the recent work of Inspiring Scotland, including the launch of the 2020/21 third sector fund (shared with meeting papers). Inspiring Scotland are hosting a webinar on 27th May to answer any questions about the fund from the organisations that have expressed their interest so far.

Infant Mental Health Implementation and Advisory Group (IMH-IAG) update

Anne McFadyen gave an update on the recent work of the IMH-IAG, including the Wellbeing for Wee Ones scoping report created with the PMHN and NSPCC colleagues.

The next IMH-IAG meeting will be held on 17th June, 14:00-15:00 via Microsoft Teams.

2020/21 Delivery Plans

The Chair explained the most recent 2020/21 Delivery Plans document in which perinatal and infant mental health have individual action plans, to acknowledge the closely linked yet separate pieces of work across each area. After the plans are published, the programme board core team will further develop an action timetable. The Chair asked for comments back on the delivery plan document, which had been shared with meeting papers, by 28th May 2020.

Action: All

Joanne Smith called for further development of sustainability principles to allow for realistic implementation of funding by each of the regional health boards. The Chair assured the group that work was ongoing to find a short and long term funding balance.

Joan Burns welcomed the look towards community perinatal teams, but asked for further clarification on where maternity and neonatal psychological therapies teams link to community services, as they often work closely together. The Chair asserted that discussion on this topic would form a clear part of funding guidance communications to the regional health boards.

Date of next meeting

Thursday 23rd July 2020

Thursday 24th September 2020

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