Secure Care Group minutes: March 2019

Minutes from the first meeting of the Secure Care Group.

Attendees and apologies


  • Alison Gough, The Good Shepherd Centre
  • Mary Geaney, Rossie Young People’s Trust
  • Nicola Dickie, COSLA, Joint Chair
  • Mary Berrill, Education Scotland 
  • Lisa Muirhead, Care Review
  • Nicola Burleigh, Scotland Excel 
  • Andy Sloan, Care Inspectorate
  • Catherine Agnew, Care Inspectorate
  • Liz Murdoch, Scottish Government
  • David Cotterell, Secretariat
  • Beth-Anne Logan, Care Review / STARR (by phone) 
  • Debbie Nolan, Secure Care Development Manager (by phone) 


  • Tom McNamara, Scottish Government (joint chair)
  • Jane Johnstone, Office of the Chief Social Work Adviser, Scottish Government
  • Steven McPherson, Education Scotland 
  • TBC, Social Work Scotland

Items and actions

Welcome and introduction

ND welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked them for agreeing to join the group. 

LM explained the group is to be established at the request of the Secure Care Strategic Board to provide strategic oversight for the implementation of the secure care national standards and where appropriate their inclusion in the next round of commissioning.

The aims of the meeting

ND said the main aims of the meeting were:

  • agree the terms of reference and name of the group
  • identify gaps in the membership   
  • agree how we engage with stakeholders to seek their validation of the standards
  • discuss how the standards will be implemented, potential resourcing issues and the timeframe for full implementation 

Agree terms of reference and the group's name

The meeting agreed the name should be amended to the Secure Care Group.

MG and AG expressed concerns about  representing secure services and the wording in the ToR. They felt they were not able to represent all secure services.

There was good open discussion around the terms of reference, concerns were raised by a number of people about the word governance. It was agreed this would be removed from the ToR and replaced by strategic oversight.

This change to the ToR and the open discussion appeared to provide some comfort for secure services reps and they said they were now better informed of the role of the group. AG and MD said it may be reasonable for one or two representatives from secure care to take part in the group. They will discuss future representation with the other secure providers and come back to DC with the decision.

It was noted that the standards cover the young person journey before, during and after their stay in secure care. Only a third of the standards were in the gift of secure care services and there is a major role for CSWO’s and SWS in delivering the standards.

The group are aware of the pressures on everyone’s time however they noted it was disappointing CSWO’s and SWS were unable to send a representative to today’s meeting.

The group identified the following gaps in membership and asked they are invited and encouraged to attend the next meeting –

  • NHS Scotland
  • Scottish Prison Service
  • Police Scotland
  • Scottish Throughcare and Aftercare Forum (STAF)

The group did not want to place a time limit on the life of the group, they don’t want to rush the work or end the group before the work is completed. It is expected the group will run for at least 12-18 months. 

The group agreed to the ToR with some minor amendments and suggestions to fill the gaps in the membership. DC agreed to take account of the amendments and circulate the revised ToR with the note of this meeting.  

Engagement and validation

The draft paper we plan to go out to stakeholders with was circulated prior to meeting. The group discussed the content and were in general agreement with some minor changes.  It was suggested that we include some comments from the staff and young people who drafted the standards.

AG and DN agreed to pass on information to be included in the paper.

It is hoped the standards will be aligned to the Health and Social Care Standards.

The group asked that the paper is issued soon and for it be out for at least 3 weeks for responses. DC agreed to make the changes and issue the paper the  week commencing 18 March.

The group agreed the paper should be circulated to a minimum of all the secure care strategic board members, CSWO’s, Children Commissioner, Police Scotland, SWS, Mental Welfare Commission and ETC’s.    

Commissioning update

NB provide an update of the meeting Scotland Excel held on 27 February 2019 saying there was a lot of energy and enthusiasm in the room a real commitment to take the standards forward.

The group went through all the standards and agreed which were relevant to the contract and future commissioning.

NB said she was looking for some help to draft the specification to incorporate the standards, members agreed this support would better come from the commissioning group.

NB agreed to share slides from that meeting which detail the next steps with meetings planned for 25 March, 27 April and 22 May (Purchasers only) 

Discuss how this group will ensure the standards are implemented

There was a good conversation about resources and the lead in time required to implement the standards. The group discussed the role the Care Inspectorate (CI) who agreed they have a significant role however they cannot be the sole regulator to ensure implementation.

The CI will never cover all the standards during a single inspection.

MG asked if the CI could provide secure services with a framework they could complete. The CI said they were working on a framework that will support self-evaluation. 

It became clear not all the key players were around the table, and the the discussion should take place at the next meeting.

ND said she would take this away and have a conversation with TM to come back to the next meeting were this topic including resources should be on the agenda again. 

Next meeting

The group agreed it would be helpful to meet again soon after we had the responses from the engagement exercise. DC to arrange a meeting for early May.

Meeting booked for Tuesday 7 May 10:30 – 12:30, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh. 

Action points:

  • AP 1: LM to contact the Minister to seek her response to the Secure Care Strategic Boards report.
  • AP 2: Name of the group agreed as Secure Care Group. 
  • AP 3: Remove the word governance from the ToR and replace with strategic oversight.
  • AP 4: MG and AG to speak to the other secure service heads to agree  on future representation.
  • AP 5: Amend ToR to say the standards will be aligned to the Health and Social Care Standards.
  • AP 6: Chairs to encourage CSWO’s, SWS, SPS, Police Scotland, NHS, CAMH’s to join the group.  
  • AP 7: the ToR and the notes from these meetings should be published on the SG website. 
  • AP 8: AG and DN to provide examples of input from YP and staff to be included in the engagement paper.
  • AP 9: The engagement paper to be issued by DC in the next 2 weeks.     
  • AP 10: NB to share the slides from Scotland Excel 27 February meeting. 
  • AP 11: ND and TM to discuss this item and bring it back to the next meeting to discuss resource and the next steps.



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