Standing Committee of Pandemic Preparedness minutes: December 2022

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 13 December 2022.

Attendees and apologies

  • Professor Andrew Morris, Chair
  • Professor Dame Anna Dominiczak
  • Professor Julie Fitzpatrick
  • Professor Linda Bauld
  • Professor Mathew Williams
  • Professor Tom Evans
  • Dr Audrey MacDougall
  • Professor Stephen Reicher
  • Professor Sir Aziz Sheikh
  • Professor Mark Woolhouse


  • Redacted S.38 (1)(b)
  • Redacted S.38 (1)(b)
  • Daniel Kleinberg
  • Redacted S.38 (1)(b)
  • Redacted S.38 (1)(b)
  • Dr Arlene Reynolds
  • Redacted S.38 (1)(b)


  • Redacted S.38 (1)(b)

  • Redacted S.38 (1)(b)

Items and actions


The Chair welcomed Committee members to the meeting. 

Scottish risk assessment

The Chair welcomed colleagues from the Scottish Government’s Civil Contingencies team who gave a short presentation on the Scottish Risk Assessment (SRA) and outlined the methodology that underpins this. 

Redacted 3(2)(a)(ii), Redacted 30(b)(1),  – The NSRA and the SRA are not in the public domain. Information on these was shared in confidence with the Standing Committee on Pandemic Preparedness and for this reason minuted information has been redacted.]

The Chair thanked the resilience team for their work.

Interim report – next steps

The Committee was given an overview of the proposed work plan for 2023. 

The terms of the Commission from the First Minister run until the end of February 2024. The aim in practice will be to have a viable draft of the final report by September 2023.

The final report will follow on from the interim report, drawing on the recommendations from the main report and the issues raised in the appendix. A brief overview of the four workstreams that follow on from the four recommendations in the main report was given and updates from each of these will be fed back into the main Committee meetings as these progress. 

The point about pandemic preparedness needing to encompass outbreak preparedness, as raised at the International Reference Group meeting, was reiterated. The value of local actions in the COVID-19 response was also raised at that meeting and should be noted in the final report. 

There are many other programmes relevant to the work of SCoPP and connections with those groups should be maintained, linking to the work of this Committee. The Pathogen Genomics Group was raised as an example of one such group. 

The risk of misinformation was noted as a risk which sits across different areas and where work should be undertaken now, linking with the issues raised in the appendix of the interim report.  

On data and innovations it was noted that it is not sufficient to develop tools or solutions that are kept on the shelf. Solutions should be developed which are useful for current service provision and can be used outside of pandemics. 

The Chair summarised next steps:

  •  a plan for 2023 going to September should be defined
  • consider comprehensive outbreak preparedness that supports local activity
  • cross-sectoral partnership in Scotland will be essential to avoid siloed work and connections to other expertise and relevant groups
  • the opportunity to define functions and capabilities which are useful outside of pandemics – expanding this to outbreaks (recent examples of non A-E hepatitis and Strep A highlight the relevance of this)
  • in early January a work plan will be shared with Committee members
  • five short-life subgroups should be supported to do an environment scan of where we are now, where we want to get to, and what the functions and leadership required to reach that are with an indication of resource required for this
  • prioritisation and specificity are key

Committee members commented on the positive role of the Science Media Centre and the role this plays in the communication and science in the media. 

Any other business

The Committee was given a brief update on the Scottish and UK Inquiries and the information being collated for these. They also received a brief update on the WHO Pandemic Instrument. 

The Chair thanked Committee members for their participation. The next meeting is scheduled for 23 February.  

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