PPE Supply Implementation Project Board minutes: March 2023

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 22 March 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)
  • Iain Main (IM)
  • Matt Thomas (MT)


  • Carolyn Whitelaw (CW)

Items and actions


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

Minutes from 22 February 2023 and actions outstanding

Previous minutes were approved, and an update was given on the action outstanding. RP stated that she had emailed the leader of the PECOS team but hadn’t yet had a response, so she had tried contacting another team member and would progress the action via that route.

An update was given on the intention to wind up and close down the PPE Policy team, on 28 April 2023.

The board and chair reiterated that it has been a pleasure working with the team and that the PPE supply position had come a long way since the start of the pandemic.

Update on sectoral guidance

Public Health Scotland and Safer Workplaces are currently unable to take ownership of the sectoral guidance as there is likely to be an overhaul of their guidance, but that this was not going to occur within the required timescales or not in a manner which would allow inclusion of the PPE preparedness guidance. ARHAI have agreed to look into the possibility hosting the guidance for health and social care sectors with a further meeting planned. Other possible hosts are being investigated. It was agreed that there needs to be ownership of this guidance going forward and responsibility taken for updating. This will be included in the transition arrangements and efforts are ongoing to find an appropriate owner.

Action: RP and MH to arrange a call to discuss sectoral guidance ownership options

Update regarding stock rotation paper

It was explained that these papers had been held back to allow for inclusion of information about the expiry dates of current stocks to be further factored into stock rotation plans.

  • NSS are working with manufacturers on the possibility of revalidating some FFP3 masks as an alternative to replacement and disposal after five years. It was noted that this was only being investigated as a one-off revalidation of a proportion of the stock and not an ongoing process
  • there was a discussion regarding the possibility of using manufacturer revalidation and the benefits of this from an environmental and cost perspective. It was agreed that the board was not in a position to make a decision on this approach and that clinical and user group reviews would be required. The desirability for clear information to be provided if this approach was taken forward was also raised
  • the scale and cost of face fit testing for FFP3 use was also highlighted and it was confirmed the paper will be ready for the next IPB

Action: MT to send correspondence to MM a week before next board for the team or as soon as it is available to allow the board as much time as possible to consider the content

Combined collaborative buying paper

An extensive summary of the paper was given, explaining the collaborative buying arrangements, the stockpile access and the proposed letter to chief executives. Work is ongoing to establish which organisations NSS can supply to under current legislation.

  • there was a discussion about amendments to the letter, responsibility for monitoring replies and who would be best placed to send the letter

Action: AM and MH to take forward who will send the letter and monitor responses

Risk report

RP highlighted the key risks for the project including changes in resource and the wider landscape altering the output of the project, ongoing financing and oversight, and routes for expert clinical advice. It was noted that, in advance of the PPE Policy Team closing, work would be carried out to endeavour to ensure that ongoing SG responsibilities in relation to PPE would be clear

Date of next meeting

The next meeting of the PPE Implementation Project Board has been arranged for 26 April 2023.

Any other business


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