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Minutes of Forum Meeting

26th November 2018


National Confidential Forum

Meeting of the Forum Members  

26 November 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

Anni Farrington, Member, National Confidential Forum


In Attendance

Safaa Baxter, Deputy Chair, Mental Welfare Commission



Victoria Hill, Interim Manager of the Forum  


  1. 1.  Welcome and Apologies

The Chair noted the presence of a quorum.


  1. 2.  Minutes from the previous meeting

The minutes from the previous Forum meeting on 8 October 2018 were approved. 


  1. 3.  Matters Arising

The importance of entering the testimony profile in a timely manner after the hearing was reiterated to ensure numbers are captured. 


  1. 4.  NCF Review


Two applications were received to provide the consultation role in the NCF External Review process.  The decision was made to interview both groups of candidates and interviews took place on 12 November 2018.  The tender was offered to Animate Consultancy as it was felt they captured the policy context and the sensitivity of the participant group. The first meeting of the working group went ahead on 19 November and centred on the hopes for the review and a discussion on key contacts.  


  1. 5.  Recruitment Update


Dr Rachel Happer, Head of the Forum has handed in her notice and will not be renewing the public appointment tenure for Head of the Forum past March 2019. Rachel Happer is working closely with the Sponsor Team, MWC & the Public Appointments Team to move the recruitment process forward and develop the job description to more accurately reflect the engagement role required for this post.  


Gregor Leishman, Engagement officer started on 29 October 2018.  He is reviewing the stakeholder map and drawing together a strategy.  Victoria Hill, Interim Manager has started and has met with staff.  She will be focusing on supporting staff through a period of transition and streamlining the transcription process in light of the increase in number of members with limited time available. 


  1. 6.  Forum Communication Campaign & Engagement Opportunities 

The second ‘wave’ of the Forum’s media campaign, ‘Shine a Light on Care’ went ahead on 22 October for a two week period.  The light projections went ahead however, the PR around this was poorly coordinated and so there was concern raised by the team that this did not have the impact it could have had.  This was discussed with the PR Agency and weekly updates were reinstated to maintain awareness.   


The Forum Team attended an inspiring conference: Beyond Trauma on 31 October to raise awareness of the Forum, create contacts and ensure trauma informed work is supported for staff.  


The Forum Team had a successful meeting with representative from Who Cares? Scotland and discussed ways to encourage a younger cohort of participants to engage.   


The Forum Head attended a successful engagement event with the Scottish Boarding School Association on 1 Nov 2018. The Scottish Boarding School Bi-Annual general meeting was held at Gordonstoun and was attended by a number of Scottish Boarding School Head Teachers alongside representatives from Boarding Schools Association (BSA) & Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS).  


  1. 7.  Transcription Analysis Update


Following the recruitment of new Members and a higher number of hearings following the summer campaign a new dashboard Spreadsheet has been created by Rachel Happer & Martin McKee. This was taken forward by the Interim manager but it was noted that there was a significant build up in transcriptions and database entry required.  The impact on the research timeline was discussed and a further discussion with the Research Supervisor at Edinburgh University was arranged.  It became apparent that a significant number of hearings would not be included if the timeline didn’t change and so this was agreed.  The aim was to delay report writing until the New Year and all members were clear that transcriptions required prioritisation.  There were a number of problems with the database noted and these would be taken forward.  For analysis purposes transcriptions were the priority. This would be revisited.  It was noted by the Head of the Forum that the level of backlog was quite extensive.  


Critical readers would be contacted and a discussion was had regarding keeping the report focused on participant content rather than Forum review processes.    


  1. 8.  AOB


The Head raised the issue of team dynamics and the stressful culture that had arisen due to the Internal Role Review and the number of changes at the Forum.  An extensive discussion was had between the members: difficulties were acknowledged by all members (although to different extents).  Safaa Baxter, Deputy Chair of the MWC acknowledged the difficulties.  Support for the Forum Head was discussed and the importance of office presence was stated. 



  1. 9.  Date of Next Meeting

The next Forum Meeting will take place on Monday 18 Feb 2018 at 2pm. 

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