UKHSA Advisory Board: Science and Analysis committee minutes

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 Well being Safety Agency (UKHSA) Science and Analysis Committee. The minutes have been agreed on eight February 2023.

Minutes (confirmed), UKHSA Science and Analysis Committee, Thursday 1 December 2022

Present at the meeting have 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 have been:

  • Rachael Allsop – Director of Human Sources
  • Interim Head of Business enterprise Partnering
  • Head of Governance
  • Richard Gleave – Director of Scientific Technique and Improvement
  • Public Well being 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 have been received from:

  • Raj Extended – associate non-executive member
  • John Arne-Røttingen – International Influence Specialist – Ambassador for Worldwide Well being 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 Analysis Committee.

22/021 Apologies had been received from Raj Extended and John Arne-Røttingen.

Minutes of earlier meeting and matters arising

22/022 The minutes of the earlier meeting of 30 September 2022 (enclosure SRC/22/004) have been authorized.

22/023 It was agreed that the actions in the minutes would be a lot more clearly highlighted going forward.

(Name redacted)

22/024 The Committee noted the actions report (enclosure SRC/22/005).

22/025 The action for the Chief Scientific Officer to talk about the dangers across international sector and the international effect on public well being with John Arne-Røttingen would be carried forward. It was clarified that the action integrated defining the breadth of the vaccine centre in the approach.

Science workforce

22/026 The Chief Scientific Officer introduced the Science Spend update which was presented by Interim Head of Business enterprise Partnering and Director of Human Sources (enclosure SRC/22/004).

22/027 1 of the key challenges was recruitment and retention of the scientific workforce. A assessment had been undertaken by Rachael Allsop, Director of HR focussing on scientists inside the Science Group. The Interim Head of Business enterprise Partnering was major on implementing the suggestions which had been discussed with the Chief Executive.

22/028 The conclusions have been that while a number of short-term and targeted measures such as Market place Spend Supplements had been implemented, these have been insufficient and there was a require to address the challenges identified a lot more strategically.

The assessment proposed a three phase response to these challenges by way of separate but linked present pieces of perform:

  • extending the present clinical ringfence (CRF)
  • assessment of the CRF criteria and efficiency
  • the wider UKHSA Reward Technique

22/029 It was explained that the challenge was affecting the organisation’s potential to meet its strategic objectives and provide solutions. The proposed phased strategy would permit the challenge to be addressed a lot more swiftly. If there was a delay till a people today approach a lot more frequently was agreed, progress would not be produced.

22/030 The Committee noted that the assessment had compared UKHSA scientist spend to NHS scientist spend rather than spend in academia. The assessment had focused on Science Group but there have been other scientists employed all through UKHSA.

22/031 It was noted that the CRF was only the very first step, and that a assessment 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 Analysis Council, which had a comparable scientific workforce and their personal spend structures in location. It was recommended that these models could be employed to assist inform the perform. 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 circumstances, except for the CRF. It was acknowledged that the Division for Business enterprise, Power and Industrial Technique (BEIS) produced added payments by exception for some scientists, but this was for a pretty compact aspect of the workforce.

22/033 The Committee agreed that communication concerning the very first phase of expansion of the roles integrated in the CRF should really emphasise that it was about solving a laboratory issue mostly on NHS web-sites, rather than the complete scientific spend challenge. The wider science profession and spend structure was a wider challenge which would be addressed later.

22/034 The Committee agreed that:

  • clinical ringfencing was insufficient to address the organisation’s demands in the lengthy term
  • the issue of science spend was biggest in the Science Group but was anything that permeated across diverse components of the wider UKHSA exactly where scientists have been employed in diverse roles
  • the challenge necessary resolving swiftly or talent would be permanently lost and recruitment of new employees was at danger
  • it was critical for the danger to be adequately dealt with*
  • the challenge and related dangers necessary to be flagged to Government in due course

*the Chair would talk about with the UKHSA Advisory Board Chair to make sure the gravity of the danger was adequately reflected on the organisation’s danger register and ideally discussed at the major Advisory Board. Concurrently, the Chief Scientific Officer would talk about additional with the Chief Executive Officer also with a view to bringing this challenge 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 supply surge help, and regardless of whether this would be performed in home. For nuclear and radiation, new graduates and early profession researchers would be recruited and educated, but retention remained a danger. For toxicologists, inside the chemical region, there was a UK shortage and marketplace supplements had been deployed to attract appropriate UK and overseas graduates.

22/038 The Committee discussed the diverse forms of responses needed based on regardless of whether a chemical or radiation incident occurred. It was noted that an incident involving various simultaneous chemical or radiation releases in diverse areas would be the most complicated to deal with. It was critical that UKHSA was clear on its part and accountabilities in relation to other government departments.

22/039 The Committee discussed the critical part that the UKHSA could play in connecting with other organisations and organizations to draft people today in swiftly if there was a require to respond to an emergency.

22/040 The Committee also discussed the possible chance of aspect-funding some posts and for government grant-providing bodies to build profession pathways for scientists. It was noted that there had been some results applying Well being Protection Analysis 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 perform.

22/042 The Committee agreed that:

  • there was a require to make sure the organisation had adequately reflected the danger and the danger should really be viewed as 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 nicely as a quantity of smaller sized, but nevertheless key effect concurrent incidents
  • partnerships in sector should really be created to strengthen surge capability, specifically as regards chemical compounds
  • an update would be offered to the Committee in one particular year

(Isabel Oliver)

Science approach

22/043 The Chief Scientific Officer, Deputy Director of Innovation and Director of Scientific Technique and Improvement presented a paper which summarised the Advisory Board feedback and proposed alterations to the in-improvement Science Technique.

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 approach document.

22/045 The major suggestions from the Advisory Board have been highlighted in three.1 to three.five of the paper.

22/046 A clearer thought of timescales for the final document would be recognized when the scientific writer was engaged on 12 December 2022. It was agreed that an added meeting of the Science and Analysis Committee would be arranged on Microsoft Teams to talk about the final version of the approach.

(Isabel Oliver, name redacted)

22/047 The Committee agreed that:

  • the science hub should really be created additional inside the approach document
  • for the ‘return on investment’ section and ‘response to threats’ section, the approach should really not detail precise timescales

(Isabel Oliver)

22/048 The Committee noted the update.

Forward appear and subjects for future meetings

22/049 The Science and Analysis Committee noted the subjects for future meetings as listed in the paper.

22/050 In addition, the Committee agreed that the following possible subjects would be added to the forward appear:

  • investigation partnerships
  • investigation earnings and Analysis funders – investigation funded that is external, in partnership or scientific coaching necessary for the future that would effect on UKHSA (Steven Riley would be invited to join relevant conversations with investigation funders)
  • UKHSA’s location and part in science ecosystem (for instance, discussions with National Institute for Well being and Care Analysis concerning Well being Protection Analysis Units)
  • animal investigation – Governance and Oversight
  • sharing superior examples of public well being incident responses (for instance, mpox (monkeypox))
  • danger assessment – understanding how the Science region is structured to meet dangers
  • organization approach

Any other organization and close

22/051 In advance of future Science and Analysis Committee meetings, a brief meeting in between the Chief Scientific Officer and Chair would be arranged the day just before the meeting was due to take location.

(Name redacted)

22/052 There getting no other organization, the meeting closed at 11:45am.

[Name redacted]

December 2022

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