Secure Care Group minutes: June 2019

Minutes from the third meeting of the Secure Care Group.

Attendees and apologies


  • Carole Dearie, St Mary’s, Kenmure
  • Peter McCloskey, Edinburgh Secure Services
  • Emma Claiter, Independent Care Review
  • Euan Kidd, Scotland Excel
  • Karen Dyball, Glasgow LA
  • Andy Sloan, Care Inspectorate
  • Fiona Dyer, CYCJ
  • Ruth Kerracher, Staf
  • Helen Smith, CAMHS
  • Lisa Muirhead, Independent Care Review
  • Nicola Dickie, COSLA (joint chair) 
  • Tom McNamara, Scottish Government (joint chair)
  • Liz Murdoch, Scottish Government
  • David Cotterell (secretariat)  


  • Steven McPherson, Education Scotland 
  • Nicola Burleigh, Scotland Excel 
  • Norma Collette, Staf 
  • Debbie Nolan, Secure Care Development Manager 
  • Aileen Blower, NHS
  • Gill Robinson, SPS
  • Catherine Agnew, Care Inspectorate
  • Beth-Anne Logan, CHS and STARR

Items and actions

Welcome and introduction

Nicola welcomed everyone and invited round the table introductions.

Note of the 7 May 2019 meeting and action points 

The group agreed to the note of the 7 May 2019 meeting with no amendments.

PMc noted there had been a discussion on transport at the last meeting and wanted to inform the group of an alternative provider - Real Care Support who are trying to establish themselves in Scotland to provide transport solutions for Local Authorities. DC confirmed that colleagues had met with Real Care Support and provided them with contact details of all secure services and LA’s. Real Care Support have met with a number of stakeholders across Scotland. 

All action points from 7 May 2019 had been cleared with the exception that papers from this group are available on the SG website. Now the note of the meeting and the terms of reference have been agreed then the papers will be uploaded to the Scottish Government secure care webpage.  

Revised standards following the stakeholder engagement

DC and AS provided an update to the group of the work that has taken place since the last meeting. DN, AS AG and DC met to discuss and consider the comments received following the receipt of responses from the stakeholder engagement. Unfortunately BL was not able to attend the meeting and there was no representation from the STARR group.

All 19 of the responses received were positive about the standards. SCRA and CYPCS responses were the most detailed. The group went through each standard and took account of all the suggested changes making amendments or noting why they did not accept the suggested change.

Thanks to AS who matched the secure standards to the Health and Social Care Standards. This enabled us to reduce the number of secure standards from 45 to 38.

The group said it was vital co-production remained at the centre of the secure standards and they added the voice of young people to the HSCS. 

Work is still required around the introduction and a final tweak to the standards. It was agreed that AS, DC, DN and AG would meet again to finalise any changes. 

Once a date has been set then the invite would be opened up to all members of the Secure Care Group. The meeting should consider each standard against the points noted below:

  • who is responsible for the implementation of each standard
  • can the standard be fully or partially implemented now
  • if it is not possible to implement now how long will it take
  • cost / training / culture change / legislation / barriers 
  • how can / will each standard be measured and monitored

It was also agreed that the introduction and foreword should be signed off by Ministers, Local Government and the STARR group and that a link to Health was required. 

As the STARR group had been involved in the coproduction drafting of the standards the revised standards should be cleared by the STARR group or care experienced young people before progressing to implementation.

The Independent Care Review should re-establish the STARR group to ensure they are fully involved in this work and have time to consider the suggested changes to the standards.

It was agreed that DN and DC would meet with the Champions and young people in all 5 secure centres to seek their input and approval of the suggested changes.

Commissioning update

Scotland Excel confirmed their commitment to this work.

The commissioning work is on schedule and the working group has now met 3 times. The fourth meeting for purchasers only was postponed due to low take up. A new date will be set.

It is anticipated the standards will form part of the next round of commissioning even if they are not fully signed off by the time the invitation to tender is due to be issued. The commissioning group will have to decide how the standards are referenced in the tender document.

Scotland Excel are in on-going discussions with COSLA and Scottish Government to agree how best to prioritise Scottish placements, this may have an effect on the next commissioning round.

Janine Hunt will temporarily be taking over Jennifer McKerrall’s post whilst she is off on maternity leave. Nicola will remain in her role as category manager and a new secure care contract manager will be in place soon.

Project plan 

LM presented the project plan on behalf of DN and asked the group if they had amendments or additions. No comments were provided at the meeting and so members were asked to contact DN directly with any amendments.

The group were asked to consider the questions raised in the paper around the role of the inspection body and resource implications. It was noted that members felt there were two aspects to the resourcing, firstly around launch, guidance, training and monitoring and secondly around costs for local authorities and providers to enable them to meet the standards.  Stakeholders need to be considering the costs and barriers to the implementation of the standards now.

The group said the preferred option would be for the standards to be hosted alongside the HSCS on the Care Inspectorate website. As that is the most likely starting place should stakeholders be searching for the standards.

It was noted that a paper resource should also be considered as YP in secure care who are not able to access the internet need access to the standards.

There was round table agreement we need to clear the actions at point 3 with a timescales between now and September and that discussions should take place off table to pursue these.  It was decided that the next meeting of this group in early September should be dedicated to working through in detail, the tasks in the project plan.

Any other business

  • will the standards be included in the invitation to tender document? This was answered at point 5
  • referral trends form England and Scotland Secure care providers confirmed they are keen to keep beds available for Scottish LA’s however if there is no uptake they may reluctantly take English placements.  The group also discussed the need to develop a better way to monitor the number of referrals against actual placements.  It was agreed this was a discussion for a separate meeting
  • Justice Committee Update The committee are going to take further evidence in September.  If member organisations wished to contact the committee with more information, then they could do so
  • Scottish Government update on remands / sentenced YP It was felt it was important that this remained on the agenda and that we work towards removing vulnerable 16/17 year olds from Polmont. LM said this is on the YJ team’s workplan and would not fall off the agenda. However this requires a legislative change to allow this to happen which would take time    
  • GGC charging outside local authorities for using CAMHS services in secure care  PMc raised the issue of LA’s outside of GGC being invoiced a daily rate when they placed YP in secure care one of the 3 GGC secure services. When this had been initially discussed at the Secure Care Strategic Board it was envisaged the Health Board rather than the LA’s would be invoiced for this service. Beyond the implications of charging local authorities (Health Boards) and the thoughts of the local authority and the secure providers within the GGC catchment area, it raises an important matter of equality. We aspire to creating an integrated national CAHMS provision, but need to be more determined in looking to achieve this

It was agreed that HS would look in to this and provide an update at the next meeting.

Action points and date of next meeting

  • AP1: DC to organise a meeting with AG, AS and DN to tidy up and finalise the standards. When the date is agreed an open invitation should be sent to the whole group.
  • AP2: ICR should re-establish the STARR group so they are able to fully participate in developing the final version of the standards.
  • AP3: The STARR group, Secure Champions and care experienced young people must agree with and sign off any suggested changes to the standards.
  • AP4: DN and DC to organise visits to each secure centre to discuss the changes to the standards with  champions and YP
  • AP5: There needs to be political clearance of the introduction and foreword to the standards. This should be signed off by Ministers, Local Government and care experienced young people. 
  • AP6: HS to provide more information on the charge made by GGC NHS to out of LA placements to secure care. 
  • AP7: DC to arrange to have the Secure Care Group ToR and note of each meeting on the Scottish Government website.
  • AP8: The next meeting will be dedicated to the sign off of the standards and agreeing the project plan fully discussing each risk.

Date of next meeting: Tuesday 3 September, time and venue TBC.

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