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20221018 - Board Meeting Minute - 18 October 2022

Type of document: Board Reporting
Front page of the Board Meeting Minute for 18th October 2022

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Published: April 28, 2023


Independent Living Fund Scotland: Board Meeting
Video Conference
Tuesday 18 October 2022 ~ 11:00am – 12:30pm


Susan Douglas-Scott, CBE - Chair, Board Director
Alan Dickson - Board Director
Liz Humphreys - Vice Chair, Board Director
Mark Adderley - Board Director
Anne-Marie Monaghan - Board Director
Betty McAtear - Board Director
Étienne d’Aboville - Board Director


Paul Hayllor - Director of Digital and Information Services

In Attendance

Peter Scott - Chief Executive Officer
Harvey Tilley - Chief Operating Officer
Jim Maguire - Finance Director
Robert White - Director of Self Directed Support
Linda Scott - Director of Policy, Improvement and Engagement
Aileen McNiven - Head of Business Services (Secretariat)

Welcome, declarations of interest and apologies

Susan Douglas-Scott (Susan) welcomed everyone with a wellbeing chat ahead of opening formal business for the 28th ILF Scotland Board Meeting.

Declarations of Interest (DoI)

No additional Declarations of Interest were received outwith DoI Register.

Chair’s Introductory Remarks

Peter Scott (Peter) has reported a further busy quarter mirroring the high operational tempo throughout Q1.

Susan expressed concerns for the exceptionally challenging environment for disabled people, with the cost-of-living crisis now adding additional pressures on top of the consequences of the pandemic, which is clearly distressing for those affected.

Congratulations were presented to Aileen McNiven (Aileen) and the team on the recent announcement of being awarded a Top 10 placement in the Working Families Top 30 UK Employer Benchmark. This is the 5th time ILF Scotland has been in the Top 30 and 3rd in the Top 10. ILF Scotland is the smallest organisation in size and the only one based in Scotland or Northern Ireland.

The team have reported that there has been no real progress to report in terms of reopening the 2015 Fund in Scotland or Northern Ireland. However, Susan apprised the Board of a planned meeting with Humza Yousaf, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care diarised for 24 November. Peter confirmed he had received an email from the Cabinet Secretary’s Diary Secretary in relation to preparation of a briefing by the 17 November. The meeting will include an opportunity to discuss the re-opening, amongst other issues.

Susan also advised that she has requested a meeting regarding several issues with Donna Bell, Director of Social Care and NCS Development, and awaits a response. Finally, Susan reported ILF Scotland finances are in good shape, with no major concerns to report.

1.   Minutes of Previous Meeting (refer to paper)

The Board approved the Board Minute of 28 June 2022 as an accurate record.

Matters Arising

  • Transition Fund (TF) Review: Harvey Tilley (Harvey) confirmed the TF review is well underway with 12%-14% of the 1700 surveys returned. The returns are currently being analysed by the policy team and will form part of the final report which is expected towards the end of 2022.
  • SPAEN: Following the news received in June 2022 that SPAEN may close, Peter Scott (Peter) reported all disabled people supported by SPAEN successfully transitioned to new providers. The Board welcomed this news.

2. Re-appointment - extension (refer to paper)

Susan introduced the paper outlining the detail of the email exchange between Susan and Iain McAllister, Deputy Director, Health & Social Care.

Discussions have been ongoing regarding the possible 1-year re-appointment extension for Susan and Alan Dickson (Alan), whose board terms are scheduled to conclude in October 2023.

The ARC Chair, Alan noted that although he would be delighted to remain on the Board, he is cognisant that it would be possible to find and appoint a new ARC Chair with appropriate level of accountancy skills and experience. He also noted that Ministers may welcome a fresh pair of eyes.

Alan reiterated it would be more important for the Board Chair to remain in post should the re-opening be approved by Minister as the current incumbents organisational experience and networks will be harder to replicate.

If the 2015 fund re-opens the Board agreed that it would constitute exceptional circumstances which would benefit from board continuity for another year to ensure continuity.

The full Board agreed to support the ongoing discussions to extend the Chair’s term of office at ILF Scotland and include on the agenda at the meeting with the Cabinet Secretary.

ACTION 1: Include as an agenda item at the Cabinet Secretary meeting in November 2022.

3. Remuneration Committee Report (verbal update)

Mark Adderley (Mark) gave a brief update on the recent Remuneration Committee meeting held on 21 September 2022.

The key areas highlighted were:

  • Staff Engagement Survey 2022 which had an 85% return of the survey. A Staff Survey Working Group has been formed and will work through the findings and update the Remuneration Committee in due course
  • Retirement Policy Update: A phased retirement now offered with the Remuneration Committee requesting that all retirements are managed well with appropriate resources to support the plan
  • CEO Job Evaluation: The Remuneration Committee requested a formal evaluation of the updated job description and personal spec before a final report being presented in due course for consideration
  • Finance Pay Policy (FPP) – Two of the FPP team joined the meeting to offer guidance on the working of an analogued public body. The Remuneration Committee agreed that they are now more knowledgeable

The Board noted the Remuneration Committee update.

4. Audit Committee Report

Audit & Risk Committee (ARC) Meeting – Verbal Update

Alan gave a verbal update reporting the following highlights which included:

  • the change of external auditors to Audit Scotland
  • positively received internal audit reports, evidencing good internal controls
  • funding notification of £925k received to implement the ICI replacement project
  • new updated reporting on the risk register working well

Alan concluded that reassurances had been given on the current level of reserves and ILF Scotland’s finances to August 2022.

The Board noted the reassurances received from the Audit & Risk Committee Chair.

Risk Register Summary (refer to paper)

Harvey referred the Board to the paper.

Following the verbal update on the risk summary from the ARC Chair, Liz Humphreys (Liz) noted the necessity to review and update the 3 ‘red’ risks due to the funding notification news of the ICI replacement project of £925k.

Susan reminded board members that the risk register was part of a suite of papers for today’s meeting which was circulated before confirmation of the ICI funding. Officers confirmed that the risk register was under management review.

The Board noted the Risk Register paper.

Finance Commentary to September 2022 (refer to paper)

Jim spoke to the recently scrutinised Management Accounts and Finance Commentary (Audit & Risk Committee) advising on the key points covering the award funds and administration budgets to the ½ yearly position (September 2022).

The Board noted the Finance Commentary to September 2022.

Modern Slavery Statement 2022 (refer to paper)

Peter spoke to the paper outlining the obligation to publish the organisation’s annual Modern Slavery Statement in line with UK Governments Modern Slavery Act 2015. The annual statement sets out the steps ILF Scotland has taken in the previous 12 months.

Alan confirmed the statement had been scrutinised at the Audit & Risk Committee and recommended the Modern Slavery Statement 2021-22 for approval.

The Board approved the Modern Slavery Statement for 2021-22 for publication.

5. Corporate Business Reporting – Q2

Q2 Corporate Report (refer to paper)

Harvey introduced the paper apologising for the missing tables at the end of the report.

ACTION 2: Corporate Report (including tables) to be re circulated to the Board.

The following key highlights were discussed in detail:

  • The Transition Fund awards have increased with a record pay out last week of approximately £130k. Harvey spoke of the staff commitment to ensuring applications were processed within targeted timescales with overtime worked in the last few months
  • ICI Replacement: After 6 years hard work, the Sponsor Team have confirmed funding is available to commence the ICI replacement project. The Board noted and welcomed this news and thanked Paul Hayllor (Paul) for the work in securing this funding
  • Robert White (Robert) apprised the Board that day care/respite provided previously by local authorities is unlikely to return to pre pandemic levels with a knock-on effect to ILF Scotland Award thresholds. The Self-Directed Support (SDS) team are working hard to work through solutions with reviews taking longer than pre-pandemic due to significant complexity
  • Linda Scott (Linda) talked through the current policy amendment submissions to the Sponsor Teams which includes Policy 38 – Suspensions. The amendment requests recipients who are in hospital or a residential care setting for a prolonged time have their awards suspended indefinitely rather than close the award. Data protection protocols are being worked through at present before a final submission is made
  • The Board welcomed the great news of the Available Income reduction in Northern Ireland from £103 to £43. The team are working to implement this as soon as possible. News of the increased Maximum Award in Northern Ireland was also welcomed with Group 1 – increased from £ 815 to £1000 and Group 2 increased from £475 to £600. Work continues with the Sponsor Team in Scotland to try to replicate this increase.

Anne-Marie Monaghan left the meeting.

The Board noted the Corporate Report for Q2.

Paper 5a

Information Governance Dashboard (refer to paper)

The Board noted the Information Governance Dashboard which had been scrutinised fully at the recent Audit & Risk Committee.

ACTION 3: All papers which are scrutinised at the Audit & Risk Committee to be included in the one area in the Board agenda.

Paper 5b

Q2 Efficiency Report (refer to paper)

Harvey introduced the paper and referred the Board to the paper. The Board welcomed the efficiencies with discussion ensuing including ILF/ LA portal, staff workloads and the 35 Hour Working Week plan.

The ILF / LA portal is now being trialled with up to 7 authorities which make further efficiency saving as it is rolled out. We hope to open the portal to one of the largest councils - Edinburgh City Council - in the next week or so. Further efficiency updates will be reported in due course.

Linda spoke of the efficiencies being introduced with changes to recipient forms and procedure and changes in several areas including the TF. Those changes are leading to greater efficiencies within the workforce and the organisation.

Susan welcomed the update on the efficiencies praising the teams for their great work.

The Board were apprised that a full consultation for the 35 Hour Working Week is diarised for November 2022 to work through any concerns, issues and efficiencies which will support the successful implementation of the 35 Hour Working Week. The Board noted the final 35 Hour Working Week recommendation will be submitted to the Board to seek final approval.

Harvey confirmed staff wellbeing remains front and centre with work ongoing through the Staff Survey Working Group / 35 Hour Working Week consultation and will be monitored.

ACTION 4: Add overtime/35 Hour working week discussion to Remuneration Committee agenda.

The Board noted the Q2 Efficiency Report which was scrutinised by the Audit & Risk Committee.

6.  Risk & Resilience Project Update (refer to paper)

Harvey referred the Board to the paper highlighting the recent desk top exercise which was completed during Q2. A review has been completed outlining the lessons learned. A further desk top exercise is planned before the year end before a live exercise in the New Year.

ACTION 5: Circulate the Risk & Resilience review and output to the Board for information to be discussed at a future Board meeting or development session.

The Board noted the Risk & Resilience update which was scrutinised at the Audit & Risk Committee.

7.  MiCase & PQ’s (refer to paper)

The Board noted the MiCase and PQs submitted between 01 July 2022 and 31 September 2022.

8.  Health and Safety Report (refer to paper)

Aileen McNiven (Aileen) spoke briefly to the paper highlighting the increase in First Aiders/Fire Marshalls/DSE. Aileen explained the increase supports the new hybrid working protocols.

The Board noted and were reassured by the Health & Safety report.

Paper 8a

Annual Health and Safety Audit Findings Report (refer to paper)

The Board noted the Annual Audit Findings (H&S) Report and congratulated the team on another outstanding report which again reassured the Board. Aileen confirmed an Internal Audit is due on Health & Safety during Q3 and will be reported at the right time.#

9. AOB

Scottish Advisory Group

Peter informed the Board that Dr. Jim Elder-Woodward OBE, Chair of the Scotland Advisory Board has written to Kevin Stewart, Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care expressing the group’s disappointment that he could not accept their invitation to attend their September meeting, and requesting a written update on:

  • The Government’s continued commitment to re-open the 2015 fund
  • Outcome of the financial affordability and sustainability work conducted in relation to re-opening ILF Scotland’s fit within the National Care Service
  • Available Income reduction timeline

Peter confirmed he will update the Board as appropriate.

10.  Close of Meeting

Next Board Meeting Dates:

Next Audit & Risk Committee: Monday 23 January 2023 (virtual)

Next Full Board Meeting: Tuesday 31 January 2023 (virtual)

Next Remuneration Committee: Friday 31 March 2023 (venue tbc)

Next Board Development Day: Friday 31 March 2023 (venue tbc)

Action Points:

Action point: From BD 30 Jan 2020 and 28 April 2020 : Evacuation – Wheelchairs in SG buildings (above ground floor level) – Susan to formally write to Deputy Director, however acknowledged COVID -19 issues currently have priority - Carry forward
Action by: Susan
Timescale: April 2022 (depending on COVID 19)
Action: SG Building - AQ4, Atlantic Quay, Glasgow – Ground floor hybrid conference room (max 16 ppl) now available to book.

Action point: Action 1: Include as an agenda item at the Cabinet Secretary meeting in November 2022.
Action by: Susan / Peter
Timescale: 17 November 2022
Action: Complete

Action point: Action 2: Corporate Report (including tables) to be re-circulated to the Board.
Action by: Harvey
Timescale: November 2022
Action: Complete

Action point: Action 3: All papers which were scrutinised at the Audit & Risk Committee to be included in the one area on the Board agenda.
Action by: Aileen
Timescale: January 2023
Action: Complete

Action point: Action 4: Add overtime/35 Hour working week discussion to Remuneration Committee agenda.
Action by: Mark / Aileen
Timescale: March 2023
Action: Complete

Action point: Action 5: Circulate the Risk & Resilience review and output to the Board for information to be discussed at a future Board meeting or development session.
Action by: Harvey
Timescale: January 2023
Action: Complete – circulated in Huddle for ARC to view.

NB: Due to workload challenges and staff absence, desk top exercise rescheduled to March 2023, with live exercise to follow thereafter.

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