Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Programme Board: terms of reference

Terms of reference for the programme board.


Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Programme Board (PNIMH-PB) 

The Scottish Government 2018/19 Programme for Government (PfG) has committed to make children and young people’s mental health and emotional well-being a priority. Ensuring that Perinatal and Infant Mental Health support is available to all women and families forms a central part of that commitment, in particular the actions:

  • improving support during pregnancy, birth and beyond
  • improving the training and awareness of people working with vulnerable families and deliver improved infant mental health support for those families that need them

We will provide three tiers of support across Scotland, in line with the needs of individuals:

  • for those 11,000 women a year who would benefit from help such as counselling we will support the third sector to provide this
  • for those 5,500 women in need of more specialist help we will ensure rapid access to psychological assessment and treatment
  • for those 2,250 women with the most severe illness we will develop more specialist services and consider the need for a small number of additional inpatient beds or enhanced community provision

Core principles

Recommendations and actions will be centrally informed by the views of women and their families, which will be gathered through representation as PNIMH-PB members, and through engagement and participation activities using a variety of media. 

The PNIMH-PB will have a strong focus on prevention and early intervention. Supporting the development of resilience and emotional wellbeing in families as well as effective intervention when mental health problems occur will be at the centre of any service delivery models proposed.

The PNIMH-PB will consider how to reduce health inequalities and stigma and promote equality for all women and families with mental health needs.  

Recommendations and ways of working will demonstrate adherence to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC.)

The PNIMH-PB will identify opportunities for making the most of the resources that are available across the system and will identify a range of existing and potential levers for securing optimum, sustainable investment in perinatal and infant mental health. It will promote evidence-based, innovative (including digital and new workforce roles) and cost-effective approaches and emerging models of service delivery that will be affordable within the current fiscal environment. 

Lessons will be learned from evidence and research, and from emerging and established work in Scotland, the UK and Internationally.

The PNIMH-PB will collate existing knowledge in the field, drawing together and building on work that is in hand as a means to avoid duplication of effort and align with other developments. This includes the work underway by the Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Joint Delivery Board and the Mental Health Strategy Delivery Board. Board members will share views and ideas across other groups to which they are members to promote engagement as broadly as possible.

Accountable to

The PNIMH-PB is accountable to the Mental Health Strategy Delivery Board and ultimately accountable to the Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care.

Governance is as follows: PNIMH-PB - Scottish Government Perinatal and Early Years Mental Health Policy Team - Scottish Government Mental Health Directorate - Director General Health and Social Care

The Scottish Government Perinatal and Early Years Mental Health Policy Team host the PNIMH-PB, which is responsible for the IMH-IAG and all subgroups and working groups. The PNIMH-PB and the Policy Team consult with stakeholder and policy groups, such as the Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Joint Delivery Board, NHS National Services Scotland, COSLA, and communications and finance teams.

Project objectives

The PNIMH-PB will consider what changes and improvements are needed in the current operational systems, the system levers which can be applied, and identify innovative, cost-effective and affordable solutions for achieving progress. It will develop a Delivery Plan each year for implementing changes. 

The PNIMH-PB will also oversee the implementation of the recommendations from the Perinatal Mental Health Managed Clinical Network (MCN) report ‘Delivering Effective Services: Needs assessment and service recommendations for specialist and universal perinatal mental health services’ (2019).

The PNIMH-PB will ensure that the lived experience of women and families is the starting point for all discussions and decisions. The PNIMH-PB members will operate from the principle that lived experience is equal to other forms of knowledge, evidence and expertise and ensure people with lived experience are heard and listened to and are provided with any support they require to do so.

The PNIMH-PB will:

  • include representation from stakeholders, including services, NHS Boards, health and other professionals, including the Third Sector and most importantly women, men and families with direct experience of parent-child mental health needs
  • oversee annual delivery plans of identified actions and priorities to achieve the vision set out in the Mental Health Delivery Plan and MCN ‘Delivering Effective Services’ report. 
  • facilitate national improvement work to support local perinatal and mental health activity
  • engage with relevant stakeholders, including but not limited to integration authorities, local authorities, COSLA, health and justice professionals to support the development of actions and priorities that will inform local strategic planning and partnership approaches to realise the vision set out in the Mental Health Delivery Plan
  • make recommendations to the Scottish Government on action needed and funding within the responsibility of the Scottish Government, and to COSLA or Health Boards or Integrated Joint Boards where there is a specific responsibility of local government, Health Boards or integrated authorities
  • report to the Minister for Mental Health via the Mental Health Strategic Delivery Board

Roles and responsibilities of group

The PNIMH-PB will be chaired by Professor Hugh Masters and will comprise members from a range of organisations and professional groups who are appointed for a fixed term and others who are co-opted for specific pieces of work.  

Membership is reflective of the professional and subject matter expertise needed to support the objectives of the PNIMH-PB, and to ensure that decisions are made from a national strategic perspective.  

Members will:

  • identify appropriate stakeholders within their area for the programme to engage with and will act as a conduit as required
  • agree the objectives, deliverables and scope of the programme and will authorise the start and progress from one programme phase to another
  • play an active role in developing the PNIMH-PB delivery plan and in achieving the objectives
  • participate in making recommendations, including funding implications, to Ministers based on best evidence in line with the delivery plan 
  • monitor programme progress ensuring the programme remains on track
  • make recommendations to in relation to any changes to the scope of the programme including changes to timescales, actions and priority areas
  • scrutinise all costings and specifications in relation to the delivery of actions and recommendations ahead of making recommendations to the Ministers.
  • agree systems to invite, scrutinise and endorse projects from NHS boards, Regions and Communities and ensure they are met
  • actively participate in discussions at meetings
  • access papers and prepare accordingly in advance of meetings
  • provide feedback where required
  • report back on activities completed

The PNIMH-PB will operate under the following assumptions:

  • all board members come together in equal relationships to share and exchange knowledge, skills and experience to achieve improved outcomes
  • people who use health and social care services and support can make a positive contribution to their own health and wellbeing
  • pelationships between all parties are two-way and are built on a foundation of mutual respect
  • the PNIMH-PB will operate by collaborative leadership and will support, challenge and facilitate activity to influence change, remove barriers and ensure progress towards the vision and outcomes and work with energy, commitment, pace and impact
  • the PNIMH-PB will respect the sensitive nature of perinatal and infant mental health and will seek to promote a safe and supportive environment for those participating in its work. The PNIMH-PB will respect the privacy and confidentiality of any personal experiences and information shared by individuals. It will be sensitive to the needs of those Members and participants, including in respect of the language used in its discussions and work


Members are appointed by the Chair, who may appoint new members at their discretion. The Chair can also require members to step down from the PNIMH-PB.

All members of the PNIMH-PB and those asked to participate in work involving the PNIMH-PB will be asked to declare any conflicts of interest. Any action to be taken on the basis of these declarations will be at the discretion of the Chair. If it is the Chair who has a conflict of interest, the Chair will ask another member of the PNIMH-PB to lead in determining the appropriate course of action. 

Members are appointed individually and personally to the PNIMH-PB. Remuneration is not available for PNIMH-PB Members, but travel and subsistence is available in some circumstances.

Those whose attendance is supported by their employer as part of their paid employment will not receive travel and subsistence costs. If a member is participating in a voluntary and unpaid capacity, then travel and subsistence will be paid at normal Scottish Government rates. This includes childcare costs where this is required to allow members to attend PNIMH-PB meetings or carry out Board business. Claims for travel and subsistence or childcare should be discussed and agreed with the PNIMH-PB secretariat in advance of expenditure.

A secretariat will be provided by NHS National Services Scotland, with advice and support from the Scottish Government Mental Health Directorate. 

Membership is as stated below:

  • Hugh Masters, Chair, PNIMH-PB, Scottish Government
  • Jeff Ace, Chief Executive, NHS Dumfries and Galloway
  • Leanne Anderson, Performance Advisor, Inspiring Scotland
  • Elizabeth Archibald, Service Development Adviser, Scottish Government
  • Hannah Axon, Policy Manager, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA)
  • Rach Barlee, Participation Officer, Parent and Infant Mental Health Scotland
  • Roch Cantwell, Vice-Chair, PNIMH-PB, Lead Clinician, Perinatal Mental Health Network, NHS National Services Scotland, Scottish Government
  • Helen Cheyne, Professor of Maternal and Child Health Research, University of Stirling
  • Ruth Christie, Workstream Lead Children, Young People, Families and Relationships, Scottish Government
  • Emma Currer, National Officer, Royal College of Midwives
  • Maria Docherty, Executive Director, NHS24
  • Amanullah Durrani, Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Royal College of Psychiatrists
  • Fiona Fraser, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
  • Rebecca French, Everyone’s Business, Scotland Coordinator, Maternal Mental Health Alliance
  • Selena Gleadow-Ware, Consultant Psychiatrist, NHS Lanarkshire, Royal College of Psychiatrists
  • Sheila Gordon, Director, CrossReach
  • Catherine Holmes, Project Manager, NHS Highland
  • SallyAnn Kelly, Chief Executive, Aberlour
  • Lauren Kennedy, Lead Nurse for Mental Health and Learning Disabilities, NHS24 representing Mental Health Lead Nurses Group
  • Jacqueline Kerr, Assistant Chief Officer, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
  • Jacqueline Lambert, Director, Royal College of Midwives
  • Marion MacAulay, Chief Social Work Officer, Social Work Scotland
  • Lisa Malcolmson, Regional Nurse Consultant, NHS Grampian
  • Carsten Mandt, Senior Programme Manager, NHS National Services Scotland
  • Kat Masterson, Participation Officer, Parent and Infant Mental Health Scotland
  • Susan McConachie, Regional Nurse Consultant, NHS Lothian
  • Anne McFadyen, Infant Mental Health Implementation and Advisory Group Chair, Infant Mental Health Lead, Perinatal Mental Health Network, NHS National Services Scotland, Scottish Government
  • Ross McGuffie, Chief Officer, Health and Social Care, NHS Lanarkshire
  • Clare McGuire, Head of Programme, NHS Education for Scotland
  • Eileen McKenna, Associate Director, Royal College of Nursing
  • Wendy Mitchell, Professional Adviser, Early Years and Children’s Services, Scottish Government
  • Marie Claire Shankland, Programme Director, NHS Education for Scotland
  • Helen Sloan, Perinatal Mental Health Nurse Consultant, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
  • Joanne Smith, Policy Manager, Chair at Maternal Mental Health Scotland, NSPCC Scotland
  • Judy Thomson, Director of Psychology, NHS Education for Scotland
  • Harriet Waugh, Head of Perinatal and Early Years Mental Health Team, Scottish Government
  • Carolyn Wilson, Head of Supporting Child and Maternal Wellbeing, Scottish Government

The following members need not attend meetings but will be copied into all meeting papers:

  • Kaylie Allen, Head of Funds, Inspiring Scotland
  • Alex Brown, Assistant Programme Manager, NHS National Services Scotland
  • Ross Cowan, Policy Officer, Perinatal and Early Years Mental Health Team, Scottish Government
  • Alastair Douglas, Admin Officer, Perinatal and Early Years Mental Health Team, Scottish Government
  • Meg Ferguson, Performance Advisor, Inspiring Scotland
  • Katy Lister, Senior Policy Officer, Perinatal and Early Years Mental Health Team, Scottish Government
  • Kelsey Sclater, Policy Officer, Perinatal and Early Years Mental Health Team, Scottish Government

Decision making

The PNIMH-PB is an independent and time-limited advisory and collaborative leadership Board. It has no executive functions. It will report, through the Chair, to the Scottish Ministers.

The PNIMH-PB is not established on a statutory basis. It is therefore not subject to the formal public appointments process and the requirements of the Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies in Scotland. 

Any decision made by the PNIMH Programme Board will be recorded in the minutes, in circumstances where the group are unable to come to a consensus, the Chair has the authority as the accountable person for the delivery of the programme to make the final decision. Any decisions which will have a significant change or impact on the programme delivery will be escalated to the Mental Health Strategy Board and the Scottish Government Mental Health Directorate.  

PNIMH-PB meeting minutes, group Terms of Reference, and Delivery Plans will be published on the Scottish Government website, within the Perinatal and Early Years Mental Health Team area. The PNIMH-PB may make other documentation and resources public on relevant media platforms where appropriate and in accordance with its communication and engagement strategy.

Frequency of meetings

The PNIMH Programme Board will meet virtually on a two monthly basis, until Covid-19 regulations allow the group to meet face to face. Should the need arise, the group will meet more frequently.

The PNIMH-PB will decide the frequency of subgroup meetings along with membership, governance and reporting arrangements.


Meetings will be formal with an agenda, minutes and other relevant papers circulated a minimum of one week in advance of the meeting via email.

Items agreed and actions to take place will be documented within the minutes. Minutes will be approved by the Chair prior to circulation, and formal sign off of the actions will be achieved at each subsequent Board meeting.  


The PNIMH-PB is a four year programme. Membership of the group will be reviewed on an annual basis. The Terms of Reference will be reviewed routinely every year.

Terms of reference agreed:

Professor Hugh Masters, Chair

Dr Roch Cantwell, Vice-Chair

Date: February 2022

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