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20230627 - Board Meeting Minute - 27 June 2023

Type of document: Board Reporting
Front page of the Board Meeting Minutes from 27 June 2023

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Published: October 19, 2023


Independent Living Fund Scotland: Board Meeting
Video Conference
Tuesday 27 June 2023 ~ 11:00am – 1:00pm


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


Peter Scott - Chief Executive Officer
Aileen McNiven - Head of Business Services

In Attendance

Harvey Tilley - Chief Operating Officer
Jim Maguire - Finance Director
Paul Hayllor - Director of Digital and Information Services
Linda Scott - Director of Policy, Improvement and Engagement
Robert White - Director of Self Directed Support
Heather Melville-Hume - Senior HR Manager (Secretariat)
Kyle McAuley - Audit Scotland (Guest)

Welcome, declarations of interest and apologies

Susan Douglas-Scott (Susan) welcomed everyone ahead of opening formal business for the 31st ILF Scotland Board Meeting.

Susan shared that Maree Todd MSP, Minister for Social Care, Mental Wellbeing and Sport has been confirmed as ILF Scotland’s Minister with a meeting scheduled with Susan and Peter on 28 August 2023. Susan expressed it has always been an aspiration to have the 2015 Fund reopened before the end of her tenure as Chair of the Board. With this being unlikely, Susan expressed her deep personal and professional disappointment.  Susan reiterated that reopening ILF is a priority for disabled people’s organisations across Scotland and Northern Ireland and would have a big impact on the quality of life and citizenship for eligible disabled people. 

Harvey Tilley (Harvey) acknowledged it was the last formal board meeting for Alan Dickson (Alan) and Susan and noted thanks to them both from everyone at ILF.

Declarations of Interest (DoI)

No Declarations of Interest received. Anne-Marie Monaghan (Anne-Marie) has updated her DoI directly with Aileen McNiven (Aileen – apologies)

1.   Minutes of Previous Meeting (refer to paper)

The Board approved the Board Minute of 25 April 2023.

2. Matters Arising

  1. Action 1: Peter/Robert to create and circulate a committee map for staff who attend National Care Service/SDS/Social Work meetings.
  2. Other actions are on agenda

3. Annual Report and Accounts (refer to paper)

Jim confirmed that Statutory Accounts & Annual Report 2022-23 had been scrutinised by the Audit and Risk Committee (ARC) and are presented today for approval. However, before asking for approval it was appropriate for the board to hear from Kyle McAulay (Kyle), our External Auditor. 

Mark Adderley (Mark) highlighted that questions had been raised via huddle and Jim confirmed all points had been addressed. 

Alan stated he was content for the Statutory Accounts & Annual Report 2022-23 to be presented for approval following an update from the external auditors.  

Audit Report Findings (refer to paper)

Kyle introduced the paper, noting several recommendations included in the report.  Kyle highlighted the report is very positive. Key risks highlighted are already in the annual audit plan from April with no further issues.

Kyle noted that there is financial management scope for enhancing systems and controls to manage sustainability with clear plans in place to realise vision and strategy. Furthermore, cyber security arrangements are to be enhanced.  Kyle also noted ILF Scotland had achieved all performance targets with minor improvement around demonstrating value. 

Susan confirmed that it was a clear report, and the recommendations were helpful for improvements as well as assisting with discussions around the fund reopening in relation to medium and long-term financial sustainability. 

The Board spoke of the current property lease in relation to office space required given hybrid working. 

Harvey responded that it has been a frustrating process but now nearly complete. He also confirmed many more people continue to collaborate in the office space, albeit there is now limited meeting space in Denholm House.

Action 2: To review office space in 6 months.

Harvey acknowledged and thanked Kyle and team, recognising the collaborative effort by all involved across ILF Scotland but particular congratulations to whole finance team. 

Susan also acknowledged and congratulated the evidence of strong financial governance and offered thanks to dedicated staff led by Jim Maguire on another excellent annual audit report with no qualifications. 

Susan thanked Alan for his incredible stewardship of the Audit & Risk Committee and accounts during the past 8 years, acknowledging he had achieved this through various challenges.  In particular, Susan reminded the board that during the first year of ILF Scotland, the finance and risk work was greatly improved and supported with Alan’s guidance and support. 

Alan thanked Susan and all of the team.

The Board Approved the Statutory Accounts & Annual Report 2022-23

Letter of Representation (refer to paper)

The Board approved and Peter signed off the Letter of Representation as the Accountable Officer.

Kyle McAulay left the meeting.

4. Corporate Business Reporting (refer to paper)

2015 Fund

Harvey noted that ILF Scotland is now supporting 8,300 recipients a year, with multiple interventions. In 2015, ILF Scotland supported around 3,600 recipients who were reviewed every 2 years.  The demand has increased with a 230% increase and at least 500% increase in interventions. 

Transition Fund

Harvey shared that ILF Scotland has had over 1,000 applications in the first quarter of 2023, a 45% increase in the same quarter last year.  He pointed out that although there are challenges around our processing abilities, it would be remiss not to acknowledge the phenomenal success of this fund. 

Enabling Functions

  • Recognising that the enabling functions e.g., Finance, Digital, Business Services, Policy, Improvement & Engagement having to work harder to support the operation of both funds. 
  • Robert White (Robert) commented that the health and social care landscape remains hugely challenging, with disabled people waiting longer for assessment and funding.  ILF Scotland are picking many tasks from social work, which impacts on our Assessors and in turn this pressure filters through our wider organisation.  Our Assessor teams are meeting more regularly given increasingly complex issues.  External finance and payroll agencies are struggling alongside that.
  • Harvey recognises that it continues to be a very challenging time and we are leaning in very hard to support the disabled people we work with.
  • Linda spoke of the crisis to retain PA’s whilst recipients are in hospital and whose awards are suspended. Susan confirmed that she will raise it with Maree Todd MSP, Minister for Social Care, Mental Wellbeing and Sport given it is a key solution to the impact on all of delayed discharge. 

Action 3: Susan will raise above with Maree Todd MSP, Minister for Social Care, Mental Wellbeing and Sport given it is a key solution to the impact on all of delayed discharge

  • Harvey confirmed that ILF Scotland had received a Best Practice Award from Working Families, even whilst workloads increased, we continue to put ourselves forward and raise our profile as an organisation. 
  • Harvey went on to share that we made good progress on our business plan against a challenging operating environment.  In the next quarter the team will focus on the Transition Fund.  The Transition Fund Review Report highlights that the fund has been hugely successful and has made various changes to support recipients and colleagues.  It is anticipated to take 12 -18 months to implement the majority of recommendations in the review and will meet with the Scottish Government Sponsor Team to have a broad-based discussion on future ability to expand with current financial envelope. 

Betty McAtear (Betty) shared that ILF Scotland can evidence broader support provided to young people to settle in adulthood.  “The success of the Transition Fund is amazing and down to our colleagues that go above and beyond, they go that extra mile each and every time so huge congratulations.”

Susan highlighted that Maree Todd MSP, Minister for Social Care, Mental Wellbeing and Sport came to the Transition Fund celebration event in November 2022, and ILF Scotland needs to ensure the sustainability of ILF particularly in current Health & Social Care environment stating we also need to support older disabled people to live independently given their own care arrangements may break down i.e., elderly parents. 

5. Audit Committee Report

Audit Committee Update (June 2023)

Alan reported a good audit committee with and positive progress. 

Management Accounts to May 2023 (refer to paper)

Jim reported the 2015 Fund in Scotland and Northern Ireland is showing a surplus.  All areas of the Administration Budget are within budget. 

Jim shared that the Transition Fund allocation is ahead of schedule and if applications continue at the current pace, ILF Scotland would need £6M against our allocation of £4.3M. This will be raised with the SG Sponsor Team to consider options. 

The procurement audit report raised a few actions with follow up in the next few months. Jim assured the Board that he would progress. 

Risk Register Summary (refer to paper)

Paul Hayllor (Paul) introduced the paper and shared the risk register’s new format. This helps focus in on the material risks.

Liz Humphreys (Liz) noted that the committee had received significant assurances that solutions are being put in to replace ILF Scotland’s IT systems following changes the Scottish Government are making to their current platforms.

Risk & Resilience Update (refer to paper)

During a recent resilience conference both Paul and Joanne Leitch (Jo) had the opportunity to share the work of ILF Scotland. Feedback has bene extremely positive with recognition of the forward-thinking approach we take at ILF Scotland. 

Paul also shared an observation about legitimate risk threat from external hostile actors.  He emphasised this is why cyber security is crucial and again stressed individual responsibility alongside his organisational one.  He added that within the wider team people in ILF are vigilant and quick to raise suspicions activity. 

Q1 Efficiency Report (refer to paper)

Paul highlighted how important technology is to our efficiencies and work is ongoing in this area from the Digital team and others across ILF Scotland. 

Liz offered a huge thanks to all involved but recognises frustrations of IT solutions to continue to support people who receive ILF in the best way. 

Information and Governance Report (refer to paper)

Paul raised the issue of Freedom of Information confirming responses are timeous as required. 

Password and Malware training has been made available to colleagues to participate in with a very positive uptake.  ILF Scotland again took part in Scottish Government’s phishing campaign and performed very well.

6.  MiCase & PQ’s (01 April 2023 - 20 June 2023) (refer to paper)

Linda Scott introduced and spoke to the paper with the Board noting the content.  

7. Health & Safety Report (01 April 2023 - 20 June 2023) (refer to paper)

Susan noted a positive report with thanks to be passed to Aileen and the team. 

8.  AOB

Draft Committee Meeting Schedule 2024 (refer to paper)

Anne-Marie flagged that January clashes with her Health Board so we will look at another date and circulate.  Agreed to update and recirculate for January 2024 otherwise the Board approved the Draft Committee Meeting Schedule.

Action 4: Anne-Marie to check dates and inform Aileen. Updated 2024 schedule to be circulated thereafter. 

Signing off Statutory Accounts

Relevant signatories will sign off Statutory Accounts tomorrow, Wednesday 28 June 2023. 

Kings Honours List

Warm congratulations from the Board to Michaela Hollywood, a disabled woman from Northern Ireland and member of the Stakeholder Group, who uses ILF for independent living, on being awarded an MBE in the King’s Honours List

Acknowledgment and Thanks from Board Chair, Susan Douglas-Scott

Susan wanted to share her deep and sincere thanks to all at ILF Scotland colleagues, Board and non-executive members. 

Harvey thanked Susan for her hard work, energy, passion, love and kindness during an extraordinary 8 years.  He went on to express his deep thanks to Alan for all his efforts leading the Audit and Risk Committee also since 2015. Harvey thanked both Susan and Alan from all staff for their support.  

A thank you was offered from Etienne on behalf of non-executive colleagues for Susan’s leadership, commitment and values, we want Susan to be incredibly proud of her contribution to ILF. 

Close of Meeting

Next Board Meeting Dates:

Next Remuneration Committee 11 am, Monday, 09 October 2023: Radisson Blu, Glasgow

Next Board Development Day: 1:30pm, Monday, 09 October 2023: Radisson Blu, Glasgow

Next Audit & Risk Committee: 10:30am, Monday 2nd October 2023: (virtual)

Next Full Board Meeting: 11am, Tuesday, 17 October 2023: (virtual)

Action Points:

Action 1: Peter/Robert to create and circulate a committee map for staff who attend National Care Service/SDS/Social Work meetings.
Action by: Peter/ Robert
Timescale: June 2023
Action: Agreed to be carried forward – January 2024

Action 2: To review office space in 6 months.
Action by: Harvey
Timescale: January 2024
Action: Review in 2024

Action 3: Susan will raise PA retention with Maree Todd MSP, Minister for Social Care, Mental Wellbeing and Sport given it is a key solution to the impact on all of delayed discharge.
Action by: Susan
Timescale: September 2023
Action: Meeting on 28th August 2023

Action 4: Anne-Marie to check dates and inform Aileen. Updated 2024 schedule to be circulated thereafter.
Action by: Anne-Marie
Timescale: January 2024
Action: Complete – January 29th 2024 – new date circulated.

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