Meetings of the Assembly
The Assembly was intended to meet over 6 weekends between autumn 2019 and spring 2020 and to submit its report in early summer 2020. However, meetings 5 and 6 scheduled for March and April had to be postponed in line with the public health measures put in place in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. The Assembly reconvened when the initial public health measures were relaxed in the summer and met on an online basis, completing its work through four shorter meetings held between September and December 2020.
The first meeting of the Assembly took place in the Grosvenor Hotel in Edinburgh and included a welcome reception at Edinburgh Castle. Weekends 2 to 4 were held at the Golden Jubilee hotel and conference centre in Clydebank. Key considerations on determining the venue for Assembly sessions included the size and availability of conference facilities and accommodation, and ease of access for members travelling from throughout Scotland. The Golden Jubilee had the added advantage of being owned by the NHS so the public sector benefitted from the booking and all staff were paid the living wage.
At the outset consideration was given to rotating meetings to different venues. However, this would have resulted in substantial logistical challenges for members and additional costs. A single location was also considered preferable as members would become familiar with the venue and how to get there.