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Minutes of Forum Meeting

08th October 2018

National Confidential Forum

Meeting of the Forum Members  

8 October 2018



Minutes of the Meeting


Dr Rachel Happer, Head of the National Confidential Forum (Chair)

Moira Ramage, Member, National Confidential Forum

Aileen Blower, Member, National Confidential Forum

Kate Davidson, Member, National Confidential Forum


In Attendance

Alison McRae, Head of Corporate Services, Mental Welfare Commission

Martin McKee, Research Associate, National Confidential Forum

Dale Meller, Project Manager, National Confidential Forum (minutes)



Anni Farrington, Member, National Confidential Forum

Safaa Baxter, Deputy Chair, Mental Welfare Commission


1. Welcome and Apologies

The Chair noted the presence of a quorum.


2. Minutes from the previous meeting

The minutes from the previous Forum meeting on 13 August 2018 were approved.


3. Matters Arising

The agreed changes to the database testimony fields from the last Forum meeting have been taken forward.


4. NCF Review

Alison McRae updated the Forum’s new members about the current governance structure of the Forum and the role of the Mental Welfare Commission. The Head updated the Forum about the planned review of the Forum initiated by the InterAction Action Plan Review Group. The review will now be restricted to the role of the National Confidential rather than the wider acknowledgement function. The review proposal has now been agreed, in addition to a review chair (Judith Robertson, Scottish Human Rights Commission) and the key stakeholders who will be represented on the review group. The Mental Welfare Commission, on behalf of the InterAction Action Review Group, will undertake a short public tender exercise to identify a consultant / similar role to lead on the review itself. The review will commence in November 2018 and will aim to report recommendations in March 2019. The Forum was asked to identify potential individuals or organisations who might be interested in receiving the invitation to tender.


5. Recruitment Update

The Project Manager updated the Forum on recent recruitment activities. The Audio Typist has now commenced in post and the Engagement Co-Ordinator is expected to start later this month. An interim Operational Manager has been recruited through an agency to cover the Project Manager post until the internal business review (and review of all job roles) is concluded. The Head and the Forum thanked the current Project Manager for her work in the post since January 2018 and wished her well in her next job.


6. Forum Communication Campaign

The Project Manager updated the Forum on plans for the second ‘wave’ of the Forum’s media campaign, ‘Shine a Light on Care’. The first wave was evaluated in September and, as a result, an additional round of TV adverts has been commissioned to run for 2 weeks from 22 October. The Head also advised the Forum that there will be some PR activity to tie in with the second wave, including a light projection in public places. The Project Manager will send the report of the campaign evaluation to Forum members and present this to the next Mental Welfare Commission Board.


7. Transcription Analysis Update

The Research Associate joined the meeting to update the Forum on progress with the transcription analysis work. He described that he initially undertook an audit of the database and he is now immersing himself in the transcripts to complete the thematic analysis. The current timeline for the draft findings report is December 2018. A group of key stakeholders has been identified to assist with contextualising the findings in January 2019 in a series of planned workshops. The Research Associate reminded the Forum of the importance of commencing the testimony profile as soon as possible following the hearing so that information can be added when the information is fresh.


The Forum then reflected on and discussed a range of issues related to the collection of testimonies, including language conventions, anonymization conventions and the sharing of audio recordings and transcripts with participants. These issues require further discussion and action – the Head and Forum members will follow up and bring to a future Hearing meeting.


8. Hearing Processes

The Forum discussed current hearing processes and, given that 3 Forum members are relatively new, ways that support can be offered to ensure that hearing processes are consistent. This will be remitted to the Hearing meetings. The Forum members also discussed the protocols for when participants bring documents with them to hearings. A couple of recent examples were discussed and decisions made about the process to be followed in each case. There is currently no facility for storing personal documents in the Forum in the longer term, therefore case by case decision making is required at the current time through Hearing meetings.


9. Date of Next Meeting

The next Forum Meeting will take place on Monday 26 November 2018 at 2pm.

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