PPE Supply Implementation Project Board minutes: February 2023

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 22 February 2023.

Attendees and apologies

Scottish Government

  • Alan Morrison (Chair) (AM)
  • Graeme Cook (GC)
  • Mike Healy (MH)
  • Ruth Paterson (RP)
  • Frances MacKay (FM)
  • Marie Murray (Secretariat) (MM)

NHS NSS National Procurement

  • Gordon Beattie (GB)
  • Stephen Mitchell (SM)
  • Lisa McEwen (LM)


  • Matt Thomas (MT)
  • Iain Main (IM)

Items and actions


AM welcomed members to the meeting. There were no requests to add any extra items to the agenda.

Minutes from 30 November 2022 and actions outstanding

Previous minutes were approved, and an update was given on the ongoing action from previous minutes. Meetings with CoSLA, ARHAI and stakeholders are ongoing and with Solace still to be arranged. The finance options paper has been submitted and agreed by the Cabinet Secretary.

Service delivery paper (paper 1)

SM gave an overview of the above paper. This paper covered the service delivery options for the collaborative buying arrangements. These options were based on the current arrangements for provision to primary care independent contractors. The recommended ordering method is a combination of PECOS and manual (email based) ordering. Delivery will be a combination of parcel and pallet delivery with a delivery note supplied with each delivery and a monthly invoice to the central organisation. The potential issues around invoicing and the resources available to deal with this was discussed. Contact details were given for further discussions around the use of PECOS. Discussions with stakeholders have not revealed any likely problems with the recommended approach, although the proportion of organisations that do not use PECOS was higher than expected. The recommended options were agreed by the board.

Action: PPE policy team to contact SG PECOS team

Stock rotation paper (paper 2)

RP gave a brief overview of the paper which is being developed. A summary was given of the currently capability for rotating the stockpile with projected business as usual usage. The potential for rotation varied across the seven categories, with the greatest turnover observed for aprons, gloves and Type IIR masks.

Potential mitigations to allow smaller stockholding for the other categories will be further investigated in the final paper. Due to the complexities of maintaining a range of FFP3s and face fitting requirements, the stock rotation options for these will be dealt with in a separate paper. It was noted that four nations work will be considered as this progresses.

The board were invited to give their views on the work so far in relation to stock rotation and stockpiling.

  • the mechanisms around maintaining the processes as circumstances change was discussed, with the need to interact with the Standing Committee on Pandemic Preparedness in relation to the above. The complexities of FFP3 stock management and face fit testing were discussed, including the benefits of a standardised approach to recording face fit testing information
  • the board appreciates the work being done on this paper and are content with the direction being taken

Sectoral guidance paper (paper 3)

FM presented the updated version of this paper taking on board the SRG and other stakeholder comments. A number of comments from stakeholders were highlighted including

  • a preference for guidance for health and social care sectors to be contained within infection prevention and control guidance rather than in a stand-alone SG document
  • a recommendation that the frequency with which an organisation should review their plans be included. From similar online business continuity guidance, a recommendation of every six months was added
  • a review of plans in place and recommendations takes place every three months
  • a suggestion that the inclusion of information on reporting systems in place for any incidents
  • it was suggested that there should be more details on what to stock, however, it is believed that the organisations involved are best placed to identify what they need through their risk assessment processes

The Board are also invited to give their views on the draft and the suggested approach and make suggestions for improvements that can be made

  • the thoughts were this paper looks very good and it was noted that resilience planning and preparation should be for any health emergencies which could happen, not just pandemics
  • the next stage is to collaborate with Public Health Scotland as well reviewing previous resilience guidance
  • the board asked to be kept informed on progress

Action: FM to arrange meeting with PHS

Project risk register

No major changes to the risk register at this stage. The main risks remain around timely achievement of goals due to resource issues and wider outside events. A full report will be sent to the board in advance of the next meeting.

Project timeline

The timeline is being reviewed, but updates are currently needed regarding timescales for service level agreement availability as well as the impact of guidance in relation to work activities following on from the First Minister’s resignation. The potential issues associated with the timeline slipping were discussed. The main drivers are getting the stock rotation and surge capacity in place it was, however, noted that PPE availability at the current time meant that the immediate risk in relation to PPE was low. The PPE policy team have engaged with CoSLA, who have discussed the proposals with Solace. Organisations coming onboard at a later stage can be accommodated and this has been communicated in recent project update papers.

Date of next meeting

The next meeting of the PPE Implementation Project Board has been arranged for 22 March 2023.

Any other business


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