Secure Care Group minutes: September 2019

Minutes from the fourth meeting of the Secure Care Group.

Attendees and apologies

  • Carole Dearie - St Mary’s, Kenmure
  • Andy Sloan – Care Inspectorate
  • Ruth Kerracher – Staf
  • Nicola Dickie – COSLA – Joint Chair (First Part of Meeting)
  • Tom McNamara – Scottish Government – Joint Chair
  • Liz Murdoch – Scottish Government
  • David Cotterell – Secretariat 
  • Rod Finan – OCSWA
  • Gill Robinson – Scottish Prison Service
  • Debbie Nolan – Secure care National Development Manager 
  • Ruby Whitelaw – Kibble 
  • Emma Clater – Independent Care Review (Observer)
  • Norma Corlette – Staf
  • Janine Hunt – Scotland Excel
  • Nicola Burleigh – Scotland Excel

Items and actions

Welcome and apologies 

TM welcomed everyone to the meeting and invited round the table introductions. 

Apologies were received from:

  • Helen Smith – NHS
  • Aileen Blower – NHS 
  • Ben Farrugia – SWS
  • Karen Dyball – SWS 
  • Sinclair Soutar – Kibble 
  • Cath Agnew – Care Inspectorate 
  • Peter McCloskey – Edinburgh Secure Services
  • Alan Mulholland – Police Scotland

Note of the 25 June 2019 meeting and action points  

AS said he did not recall the group agreeing that the preferred option to host the standards was on the CI website. DC said this would be discussed again today under the project plan agenda item.  

TM asked if any of the group had been asked to give evidence to the Justice Committee. Members confirmed COSLA, Scotland Excel and the Children’s Commissioner have all been invited to give evidence. 

TM advised that mental health colleagues are keen to engage with partners around young people and mental health. It was agreed mental health colleagues would be asked to provide an update on the work they are delivering and how partners can support this work. 

  • AP 5 from June: Ministers and COSLA leaders to be invited to agree the standards - carried forward
  • AP 6 from June: Prior to the meeting DC circulated a response from Stephen McLeod regarding the NHS charge to purchasers of secure care in the GGC area. There are contact details in the response should anyone require more information

All other action points were cleared. 

Final draft of the standards 

DN and AS provided an update of the actions that had taken place since the last meeting enabling us to arrive at the current draft of the standards. DN has engaged with members of the STARR group, Champions in each of the secure units (which included feedback from young people in one centre) and took part in two meetings with stakeholders to consider the standards and the implementation plan. Comparison with all previous versions of the standards, co-produced materials and previous feedback from STARR members has also been completed. 

TM asked about the number of STARR members that took part in this work.  Confirmation was provided that there had only been three, however, members were satisfied that STARR have been meaningfully engaged over a number of meetings and that their comments had been taken in to account. 

Members still had concerns about some of the language in the standards for example the use of the word Liberty. It was also highlighted whilst some of the standards would be difficult to implement this should not stop us trying to do so, with AS reiterating the pathway and standards work stream was tasked with responding to the calls for action form young people and supporting the vision for transformational change. The group noted at this point some of the standards are aspirational and there is a danger they will never be implemented but the standards will be subject to ongoing review and updating. 

The group agreed it would be helpful to have a glossary and narrative around the standards which would help to address some of the concerns around the language and aspirations. 

It was agreed that the standards are final and should now be approved by Ministers and COSLA leaders.  Once agreement has been given then further engagement and communication can be undertaken with all the interested stakeholders and the organisations that will be responsible for their implementation. 

DN, AG, and AS agreed to carry out a final proof read of the standards. 

DC is to finalise the Children’s Rights Welfare Impact Assessment (CRWIA) and the Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA). The standards can then be presented to Ministers and COSLA.     

Commissioning update 

The invitation to tender will be issued October/November.

Scotland Excel will issue a Prior Information Notice (PIN) via Public Contracts Scotland inviting potential bidders to meet prior to the issue of the tender. 

NB advised of staff changes at Scotland Excel: 

  • Janine Hunt has taken over from Jennifer McKerrall 
  • Shona Bryson will manage the day to day running of the contracts and tender
  • Nicola Burleigh will remain involved in the Secure Care Group meetings  

JH asked that she and NB are copied in to papers and they would agree who will attend future meetings between themselves based on the agenda items and availability.

Project plan

DN guided the group through some of the challenges and questions in the project plan. 


The Health and Social Care Standards (HSCS) are owned by Scottish Government (SG) and hosted on the SG website. It is expected that the secure care standards will also be hosted on the SG website. DC advised the HSCS are also linked to other websites including the Care Inspectorate HUB and ''.

It was agreed the Standards should be hosted on the SG website however there will be a need for them to be linked to the CI website and potentially standalone webpage that would include links to legislation and showcase the workings of the young people in the co-production. This will incur a cost. TM agreed to see if funding could be sourced. It was agreed DN, DC and AS would explore the costs and come back to SG. The webpage should be ready for April 2020. 

Communication plan

DN agreed to take forward this work with support from DC. This should be about partnership, authorisation and ultimately implementation. DN asked the group to provide her with organisation or meetings they attend where information on the standards should be provided/final standards taken too. 

DN asked members of this group to take back information to their organisations to spread the word.  Once the standards are published organisations should be encouraged to conduct a base line assessment. 

The group highlighted a lack of join up and agreed that we should not split this work in to three sections - before, during and after secure care, and that it is important that everyone is committed to implementation. Events have to be tailored to achieve maximum impact and stakeholder engagement. DN agreed to give these proposals some thought when considering the plan.  

AG asked if the secure care providers could all attend future meetings due to the vital stage we are at and having only two representatives at each meeting was creating difficulties. It was agreed that the chairs would discuss this request off table and making a decision. 

Members asked how we could encourage Social Work Scotland, Police, Education, and Chief Social Work Officer’s to attend meetings and engage in the implementation. Members recognised the pressures on organisations and it how it is difficult to attend all the meetings you are invited to. It was agreed the chairs would discuss this off table, to find a solution.    

Implementation / risk

Thanks were offered to all involved in pulling together the standards and implementation plan. It was accepted this was a first draft that would require more work and engagement with partners who were not able to attend the meeting.  

AS advised the during stage of the standards will be incorporated in to the Care Inspectorate framework that is being developed.

Any other business 

Helen Gunniss Secure Welfare Co-ordination Unit in England had been in contact with the Scottish Government to ask if the staffing breakdown for a secure care home in Scotland could be shared. It was agreed that a reply email would be issued to which all the unit Heads would be copied in to so they could contact Helen directly. 

DC advised the Secure Care Research Group was due to meet with research colleagues from Wales.  The aim of the meeting is to share information and good practice. 

An update was provided in advance of the meeting from Aileen Blower with regards to the Secure Mental Health facility.  The group raised some concerns that there appeared to be a lack of joined up work but appreciated that this group are not fully informed of all the work that has been done and is currently taking place with regards to the new facility.  TM agreed LM would clarify the position on where this work is at.  Individuals are asked to contact AB directly if they wish to discuss the facility in more detail.       

Scotland Excel confirmed they had agreed to consider secure care transport to explore if there was a need for a national contract, however, no commitment has been given at this time. 

DN said CYCJ were drafting a paper on deprivation of liberty this will include examples of who does and does not have a route in to secure care.  TM asked that the paper be shared with SG before it is issued. 

Next meeting 

The next meeting is scheduled for 10 December. It was agreed that a further meeting may be needed in early November.

Action points 

  • AP 1 - DC to send a link to the groups papers on the Scottish Government website
  • AP 2 - LM to invite mental health colleagues to provide an update on their work and links to young people
  • AP 3 - DN, AS and AG to have a final proof read of the standards
  • AP 4 - DC to draft the CRWIA and EQIA 
  • AP 5 - Ministers and COSLA leaders to be invited to agree the standards and develop the Joint foreword along with the STARR group
  • AP 6 - DN to update project management plan and any comments on this, including on the risk register to be shared with DN. Any feedback on draft implementation and monitoring plan to be shared with DN
  • AP 7 - All members to send DN details of any groups, forums or meetings who the standards should be shared with/taken too
  • AP 8 - DN and DC to draft a communication plan 
  • AP 9 - TM to discuss with ND about all 5 providers attending future meetings
  • AP 10 – TM and ND to discuss SWS, LA, Education, Police engagement
  • AP 11 - DN working with AS and DC will make initial enquiries about developing a webpage which highlights co-production and legislation to host the standards. TM to seek funding.
  • AP 12 – LM to contact mental health colleagues and Aileen Blower to see what engagement the facility has had around secure care
Back to top