Date: Tuesday 14 March 2023
Sponsor: Jon Friedland
The Advisory Board is asked to note the minutes of 1 December 2022 meeting of the UK Wellness Safety Agency (UKHSA) Science and Study Committee. The minutes had been agreed on eight February 2023.
Minutes (confirmed), UKHSA Science and Study Committee, Thursday 1 December 2022
Present at the meeting had been:
- Jon Friedland – non-executive Chair
- Jennifer Dixon – non-executive member
- Graham Hart – non-executive member
- Susan Hopkins – Chief Health-related Advisor
- Isabel Oliver – Chief Scientific Officer
- Steven Riley – Director Basic, Information, Analytics and Surveillance
In attendance had been:
- Rachael Allsop – Director of Human Sources
- Interim Head of Small business Partnering
- Head of Governance
- Richard Gleave – Director of Scientific Method and Improvement
- Public Wellness Advisor
- Chief of Employees to Chief Scientific Officer
- Deputy Director of Innovation
- Senior Governance Officer (minutes)
- Ed Wynne Evans – Director of Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards (RCE)
Apologies had been received from:
- Raj Extended – associate non-executive member
- John Arne-Røttingen – International Effect Specialist – Ambassador for International Wellness at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway
Welcome, apologies and declarations of interest
22/020 The Chair welcomed participants to the second meeting of the Science and Study Committee.
22/021 Apologies had been received from Raj Extended and John Arne-Røttingen.
Minutes of prior meeting and matters arising
22/022 The minutes of the prior meeting of 30 September 2022 (enclosure SRC/22/004) had been authorized.
22/023 It was agreed that the actions in the minutes would be a lot more clearly highlighted going forward.
22/024 The Committee noted the actions report (enclosure SRC/22/005).
22/025 The action for the Chief Scientific Officer to go over the dangers across international sector and the international effect on public overall health with John Arne-Røttingen would be carried forward. It was clarified that the action integrated defining the breadth of the vaccine centre in the method.
22/026 The Chief Scientific Officer introduced the Science Spend update which was presented by Interim Head of Small business Partnering and Director of Human Sources (enclosure SRC/22/004).
22/027 One particular of the significant challenges was recruitment and retention of the scientific workforce. A critique had been undertaken by Rachael Allsop, Director of HR focussing on scientists inside the Science Group. The Interim Head of Small business Partnering was top on implementing the suggestions which had been discussed with the Chief Executive.
22/028 The conclusions had been that while quite a few short-term and targeted measures such as Market place Spend Supplements had been implemented, these had been insufficient and there was a require to address the concerns identified a lot more strategically.
The critique proposed a three phase response to these challenges by means of separate but linked present pieces of operate:
- extending the present clinical ringfence (CRF)
- critique of the CRF criteria and overall performance
- the wider UKHSA Reward Method
22/029 It was explained that the concern was affecting the organisation’s capability to meet its strategic objectives and provide solutions. The proposed phased strategy would permit the concern to be addressed a lot more rapidly. If there was a delay till a men and women method a lot more normally was agreed, progress would not be created.
22/030 The Committee noted that the critique had compared UKHSA scientist spend to NHS scientist spend rather than spend in academia. The critique had focused on Science Group but there had been other scientists employed all through UKHSA.
22/031 It was noted that the CRF was only the initially step, and that a critique of the scope of the clinical ringfence and the scientific framework for all scientific employees would adhere to.
22/032 The Committee discussed other government funded organisations such as the Health-related Study Council, which had a related scientific workforce and their personal spend structures in spot. It was recommended that these models could be made use of to support inform the operate. It was explained that these models differentiated in between academic or scientific profession paths and help functions. UKHSA employed its employees on Civil Service terms and situations, except for the CRF. It was acknowledged that the Division for Small business, Power and Industrial Method (BEIS) created added payments by exception for some scientists, but this was for a pretty tiny element of the workforce.
22/033 The Committee agreed that communication relating to the initially phase of expansion of the roles integrated in the CRF need to emphasise that it was about solving a laboratory trouble primarily on NHS web-sites, rather than the complete scientific spend challenge. The wider science profession and spend structure was a wider concern which would be addressed later.
22/034 The Committee agreed that:
- clinical ringfencing was insufficient to address the organisation’s requires in the lengthy term
- the trouble of science spend was biggest in the Science Group but was some thing that permeated across unique components of the wider UKHSA exactly where scientists had been employed in diverse roles
- the concern required resolving rapidly or talent would be permanently lost and recruitment of new employees was at threat
- it was necessary for the threat to be correctly dealt with*
- the concern and related dangers required to be flagged to Government in due course
*the Chair would go over with the UKHSA Advisory Board Chair to guarantee the gravity of the threat was correctly reflected on the organisation’s threat register and ideally discussed at the key Advisory Board. Concurrently, the Chief Scientific Officer would go over additional with the Chief Executive Officer also with a view to bringing this concern to Advisory Board, sponsored by the Chair and Chief Executive Officer.
(Jon Friedland, Isabel Oliver)
22/035 The Committee noted the paper and the measures it set out.
Capabilities to respond to radiation and chemical incidents
22/036 The Chief Scientific Officer and Director of Radiation Chemical compounds and Environmental Hazards introduced a paper that outlined the present specialist capabilities of UKHSA to respond to chemical, radiological and nuclear incidents and how it was proposed this would be enhanced.
22/037 The Committee discussed the proposed coaching of employees to give surge help, and whether or not this would be carried out in home. For nuclear and radiation, new graduates and early profession researchers would be recruited and educated, but retention remained a threat. For toxicologists, inside the chemical region, there was a UK shortage and market place supplements had been deployed to attract appropriate UK and overseas graduates.
22/038 The Committee discussed the unique forms of responses needed based on whether or not a chemical or radiation incident occurred. It was noted that an incident involving a number of simultaneous chemical or radiation releases in unique areas would be the most tough to deal with. It was vital that UKHSA was clear on its function and accountabilities in relation to other government departments.
22/039 The Committee discussed the vital function that the UKHSA could play in connecting with other organisations and organizations to draft men and women in rapidly if there was a require to respond to an emergency.
22/040 The Committee also discussed the prospective chance of element-funding some posts and for government grant-providing bodies to build profession pathways for scientists. It was noted that there had been some good results utilizing Wellness Protection Study Unit models searching at chemical or radialogical and environmental hazards. The National Poisons Data Service also integrated a pool of talent that could be utilised.
22/041 The Committee noted the paper and expressed help for the operate.
22/042 The Committee agreed that:
- there was a require to guarantee the organisation had adequately reflected the threat and the threat need to be deemed by the Advisory Board as it was potentially pretty higher profile
- the proposed strengthening of capabilities in this region would permit UKHSA to respond correctly to a single pretty big scale incident in the UK or elsewhere, as properly as a quantity of smaller sized, however nevertheless significant effect concurrent incidents
- partnerships in business need to be created to enhance surge capability, especially as regards chemical substances
- an update would be offered to the Committee in a single year
22/043 The Chief Scientific Officer, Deputy Director of Innovation and Director of Scientific Method and Improvement presented a paper which summarised the Advisory Board feedback and proposed alterations to the in-improvement Science Method.
22/044 It was reported that the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer had agreed that a specialist scientific writer would help with the updating of the science method document.
22/045 The key suggestions from the Advisory Board had been highlighted in three.1 to three.five of the paper.
22/046 A clearer notion of timescales for the final document would be identified after the scientific writer was engaged on 12 December 2022. It was agreed that an added meeting of the Science and Study Committee would be arranged on Microsoft Teams to go over the final version of the method.
(Isabel Oliver, name redacted)
22/047 The Committee agreed that:
- the science hub need to be created additional inside the method document
- for the ‘return on investment’ section and ‘response to threats’ section, the method need to not detail particular timescales
22/048 The Committee noted the update.
Forward appear and subjects for future meetings
22/049 The Science and Study Committee noted the subjects for future meetings as listed in the paper.
22/050 In addition, the Committee agreed that the following prospective subjects would be added to the forward appear:
- investigation partnerships
- investigation revenue and Study funders – investigation funded that is external, in partnership or scientific coaching required for the future that would effect on UKHSA (Steven Riley would be invited to join relevant conversations with investigation funders)
- UKHSA’s spot and function in science ecosystem (for instance, discussions with National Institute for Wellness and Care Study relating to Wellness Protection Study Units)
- animal investigation – Governance and Oversight
- sharing great examples of public overall health incident responses (for instance, mpox (monkeypox))
- threat assessment – understanding how the Science region is structured to meet dangers
- company method
Any other company and close
22/051 In advance of future Science and Study Committee meetings, a quick meeting in between the Chief Scientific Officer and Chair would be arranged the day just before the meeting was due to take spot.
22/052 There becoming no other company, the meeting closed at 11:45am.