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Published: February 2, 2021
Independent Living Fund Scotland: Board Meeting
Video-Conference (COVID 19)
Tuesday 02 February 2021 11:00am – 12:20pm
Susan Douglas-Scott CBE Chair, Board Director
Liz Humphreys Vice Chair, Board Director
Alan Dickson Board Director
Betty McAtear Board Director
Étienne d’Aboville Board Director
Anne-Marie Monaghan Board Director
Mark Adderley Board Director
Peter Scott Chief Executive Officer
Harvey Tilley Chief Operating Officer
Jim Maguire Finance Director
Paul Hayllor Director of Digital and Information Services
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) warmly welcomed everyone to the 21st ILF Scotland Board Meeting.
Declaration of Interest (DoI)
No additional Declarations of Interest were received out with DoI Register.
Chairs Introductory Remarks
Susan opened the meeting welcoming the Board Directors and Executive Team.
The Chair expressed her joy in attending the beginning of the Staff Development Day at the end of January, enjoying spending time with the staff.
Susan advised Quarter 3 has been the busiest and most challenging, particularly through the most recent and challenging COVID lockdown. Wellbeing calls continued during Q3 with financial and support concerns continually raised by recipients. Our COVID response remains uppermost in the day to day activities, however the team has continued to manage ongoing activities smoothly during this period.
The Executive Team have been working closely with the Northern Ireland Sponsor Team with extensive work to date on re-opening the Northern Ireland fund. A decision is expected within the next few weeks.
Susan apprised the Board of ILF Scotland’s involvement in the Independent Review of Adult Social Care, chaired by Derek Feeley. Susan, Anne-Marie Monaghan (Anne-Marie), Peter Scott (Peter) and Robert White (Robert) participated in 3 meetings alongside linked submissions with the review panel. The recommendations are expected to be published early in February 2021.
Susan asked the Executive Team to pass on the Board’s thanks to all staff, recognising the hard work, combined with COVID fatigue which the whole staff are experiencing. The new initiatives of ‘Ditch the Desk’ and ‘Feel Good February’, implemented during the most recent Staff Development Day were welcomed and are supported as positive and required by the Board.
Susan drew the attention of the Board to the Pre-submitted Comments and Questions paper thanking Aileen McNiven (Aileen) for circulating with the corresponding populated and detailed answers (refer to paper).
1. Minutes of Previous Meeting
The ILF Scotland Board approved the Board Minute of 20 October 2020 as an accurate record of the meeting.
2. Matters Arising
All matters arising included within the agenda.
3. Audit Committee Report (refer to paper)
Susan invited Alan Dickson (Alan) to speak to the Audit Committee Report.
Alan briefly updated the Board of the recent ARC meeting on 25th January 2021 confirming that following scrutiny of all papers submitted there are no areas of concern in relation to the current financial year.
However, concerns were raised over the ongoing, but unsustainable, requirement to offset budget shortfalls through use of reserves. This is due to the lack of overall funding to fulfil the full range of activities assigned to ILF Scotland. This matter has been raised by the Executive with the Sponsor Team and Health Finance, and the Audit & Risk Committee confirmed this would remain under close scrutiny.
Risk Register (refer to paper)
Alan thanked Liz Humphreys (Liz) for the submission of detailed questions following the Audit & Risk Committee, confirming they would be addressed during the forthcoming Risk Workshop on 8th February 2021.
Management Accounts (refer to paper)
The Board noted the Management Accounts to December 2020.
Draft Budget Commentary & Key Assumptions - 2021-22, Medium Term Financial Plan (refer to papers)
Susan invited Jim Maguire (Jim) to speak to the Draft Budget Commentary & Key Assumptions 2021-22.
Jim briefly outlined the Draft Budget and Key Assumptions set out in the papers, making the Board aware of the planning assumptions contained therein. Attention was focused on the expectation from April 2021 of the full £5m Transition Fund (TF) allocation, and that funds would be made available to reduce the cap on Available Income (AI) recipient contributions.
As noted previously, recent minuted meetings with Health Finance have highlighted ILF Scotland cannot continue to use current reserves indefinitely.
The Board approved the Draft Budget Commentary and Key Assumptions 2021-22 and endorsed the Medium Term Financial Plan.
4. Quarter 3 - Corporate Report, Business Plan, Efficiency Report & Information Governance Dashboard (refer to papers 4, 4a, 4b & 4c)
Susan invited Harvey Tilley (Harvey) to speak to the Corporate Report and supporting documents with the following key areas discussed and noted:
- Operational activity has been the busiest period to date with wellbeing calls resulting in a fourfold increase in workload impacting across the organisation. Positive reports continue to be received from recipients and provide evidence to support future areas of priority. Harvey noted that all staff have endorsed the wellbeing calls as ‘doing the right thing’ to support our recipients.
- Due to increased tempo, Harvey reported that staff are feeling fatigued with higher than usual sickness rates (several long term absences). New initiatives have been introduced to alleviate fatigue and support staff – which were outlined in Susan’s opening remarks. Harvey confirmed staff wellbeing is front and centre of decision making and will be regularly reviewed with appropriate and supportive action taken. To support the growing workload and relieve some pressure, 2 ex staff members who recently retired may be invited to return for a 3 month fixed term.
- The Transition Fund applications have slowed slightly in Q3, however historically Q4 is the busiest quarter and expectations are that applications will increase. Peter Scott (Peter) acknowledged the support from the Sponsor Team, working pro-actively towards positive outcomes.
- Assessor Portal: Future planning for a new ‘business as usual’ will be challenging and is ongoing, however recent efficiency additions to the portal have helped streamline the processes.
- Harvey confirmed readiness to process the £500 ex gratia payments promised to PA’s by the Scottish Government. ILF Scotland, supported by the Sponsor Team await an agreed approach with COSLA.
Concerns were raised by the Board noting the COVID fatigue of staff and endorsing the actions and initiatives implemented by the Executive Team to support staff through the pandemic. The Board also requested the Executive Team to lead by example by looking after themselves and take individual leave to recharge.
The Board noted the Q3 Corporate Report and supporting documents.
5. Independent Social Care Review (refer to papers 5 & 5a)
Susan briefly apprised the Board of the recent meetings held with Derek Feeley, Chair of the Independent Review of Adult Social Care, which was announced in the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government 2021-2022. The initial meeting was attended by Susan and Peter, and the two follow up meetings, requested by Derek Feeley to explore some technical aspects of ILF Scotland’s relationship with social care, were attended by Peter, Susan, Anne-Marie and Robert. All agreed the meetings were positive and informative and they look forward to the recommendations when published.
6. MiCase & PQ’s –Q3 2020-21 (refer to paper)
Linda Scott (Linda) was invited to speak to the paper briefly explaining the background of the MiCase submitted in November 2020.
The Board noted the MiCase & PQ’s.
7. Health & Safety Report – Q3 2020-21 (October –December)
The Board acknowledged the additional COVID health & safety measures implemented and noted with assurance the Health & Safety report.
8. Directors Register of Interest 2021
Susan requested an amendment: add Voiceability membership to be included and in addition to the membership column.
The Board noted the Directors Register of Interest 2021.
ACTION 1: Aileen to amend Directors Register of Interest 2021.
Possible discharge of new duties:
With the possibility of ILF Scotland being invited to discharge new duties both in Northern Ireland and Scotland the Chair suggested consideration should be given to the current structure of the Board. Should ILF Scotland be invited to discharge new duties Susan suggested that a Northern Ireland presence on the Board may be considered (caveat- with Minsterial approval), and further recruitment of additional Board Directors to support those duties will be considered.
ACTION 2: Should ILF Scotland beinvited to discharge new duties Susan will discuss with the Minister seeking approval for this change to the Board.
11. Close of Meeting
Important Board Dates:
Next: Risk Workshop: ZOOM: 1:00pm, Monday 8th February 2021(facilitated)
Next: Audit & Risk Committee: ZOOM: 10:30am, Wednesday 14th April 2021
Next Remuneration Committee: ZOOM: 11:00am, Monday 29th March 2021
Next: Board Meeting: ZOOM: 11:00am, Tuesday 27th April 2021