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Published: October 20, 2020
Independent Living Fund Scotland: Board Meeting
Video-Conference (COVID 19)
Tuesday 20 October 2020 11:00am – 12:40pm
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
Aileen McNiven Head of Business Services
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
Lorraine Denholm HR & Business Support Officer (Secretariat)
Welcome, declarations of interest and apologies
Susan Douglas-Scott (Susan) warmly welcomed everyone to the twentieth ILF Scotland Board Meeting. Susan in particular extended a warm welcome to Peter Scott (Peter) following his period of ill health. She added it was great to see Peter looking so well and is delighted with his progress
Declaration of Interest (DoI)
No additional Declarations of Interest were received out with DoI Register.
Chairs Introductory Remarks
Susan opened the meeting welcoming the staff Executive Team who were attending today’s Board meeting. Susan conveyed Aileen McNiven’s (Aileen) apologies and registered both her and the Board’s get well wishes.
Susan advised Quarter 2 has been busy and challenging, especially through the second semi lockdown. This has been of great concern to our recipients with one of our stakeholder group being very unwell. ILF has continued to manage activities smoothly during this period and Susan offered the Board’s get well wishes for a speedy recovery.
Welfare calls have continued to 2015 recipients and the Transition Fund has been at its busiest period to date. Susan confirmed both would be covered by the Executive Team in more detail later in the meeting.
Susan remarked the social care landscape continues to be a challenge for disabled people across the country and ILF Scotland and ILF Scotland are flexing our policies where possible to extended additional support. Susan continued that she and Peter would provide an update on the Independent Review of Adult Social Care currently underway.
Susan was pleased to confirm the plans to re-open the fund in Northern Ireland are gathering pace and Harvey Tilley (Harvey) would provide more information on this.
Referring to the 2020-23 Draft Strategic Plan, Susan stated that after various amendments, this is on today’s agenda for the Board to consider and if content, agree to sign off today.”
To close the introduction, Susan asked the Executive Team to pass on the Board’s thanks and best wishes to all staff for their hard work especially through this critical time of the pandemic.
1.Minutes of Previous Meeting
The ILF Scotland Board approved the Board Minute of 30 June 2020 as an accurate record of the meeting. All matters arising included within the agenda.
2. Audit Committee Report (refer to paper)
Susan invited Alan Dickson (Alan) to speak to the Audit Committee Report.
Alan explained there is now a better structure of the audit plan and reports working with Henderson Logie and SMT following up any actions timeously. One of the issues identified as arising is with the Transition Fund available funding. In terms of the Management Accounting and Admin Fund, these are both in line with forecast and the Reserve Policy will be discussed as a separate agenda item. Alan indicated the Risk Register process is 3 working well following the addition of reports for Fraud and Data Governance now being noted.
Mark Adderley (Mark) enquired if the Letter of Comfort from the Minister reduced residual risk. Jim Maguire (Jim) explained the letter gives short term comfort whereas the Risk Register takes a more long term view to risk.
Alan advised the main issue on the Management Accounts to September 2020 is the position of the Transition Fund and the possibility of funds running out. Written Confirmation has been received from Scottish Government that additional funding will be supplied to cover the overall expenses for the financial year.
Susan invited Peter and Harvey to update on the position of the Transition Fund. Harvey advised there is a summary in the Corporate Report and in a paper sent to the Sponsor Team that was also copied to the Board. He further explained it was flagged up before the year started that demand was expected to increase. The success of the fund has initiated more growth by an increase in applications and has become known as the main service during the transition of our young disabled people.
Peter concluded the Sponsor team have confirmed that there will be no additional funding made available for this year. This confirms the budget for the Transition Fund for the year and action is required to manage this as effectively as possible. The Executive and Management Teams are meeting after the next Sponsor Meeting to look at options and agree final decisions to manage the Transition Fund spend.
The Board discussed in depth and agreed:
a) Information to continue to be captured on the level of unmet needs
b) Escalate to Minister to avoid potential reputational damage and embarrassment to the Cabinet Secretary
Alan confirmed there was nothing additional he wished to raise under Q1 and 2 Efficiencies.
ACTION 1: Draft letter for escalation via Joe Fitzpatrick MSP. (Peter)
3. Reserves Policy (refer to paper)
Jim informed that discussion had taken place within the Audit & Risk Committee meeting and a decision reached. As Chair, Alan updated the Board that the Committee could not advocate a Reserves Policy as this is not part of the financial framework for a NDPB. It may be more appropriate to have a debate on funding rather than on reserves with Scottish Government and move to a funding, not reserves, strategy to allow ILF Scotland to operate with confidence moving forward.
This will be addressed as part of the Medium Term Financial Plan.
4. Remuneration Committee (verbal update)
Mark summarised 3 points he wished to raise from the Draft Minute.
- Discussions around the level and types of support offered to staff during the times of COVID 19. In particular, the noted compliment given to the team on their initiatives including the introduction of extended weekend leave between July and September. It was acknowledged that this was greatly appreciated by staff.
- Staff Survey working group has been set up internally to progress actions. There was a high response rate to the survey and very positive feedback on attitude towards the organisation.
- The Workforce Plan and Navigator report have highlighted areas to explore on how best the workforce can future support the organisation. These will be worked on by Peter and Harvey will work on these areas and bring back any actions to be fed in to the business planning. The focus areas are:
a) Age Diversity within the workforce
b) Succession Planning
Harvey added that indications are that this dynamic environment may last for the next 12 months and, if appropriate, extended weekend leave may be introduced again. The health & wellbeing of staff is a core part of the resilience plan and as such, any re-introduction will be balanced against workloads and business needs.
5. Quarterly Corporate Report, Business Plan, Recovery Plan & COVID 19 Update (1st July 2020 to 30th September 2020) (refer to paper)
Harvey referred to the 2 documents shared with the Board and reviewed the main points.
- It has been the busiest operational activity period to date. Welfare calls have generated a significant amount of internal work. This has been offset with positive reports being received from recipients and provided intelligence to support the next set of work priorities.
- Growth in the Transition Fund means that it is now on par with the 2015 in terms of number of recipients. It is a busy and dynamic fund that generates a great deal of work.
- The Recovery Business Plan for the next 6 months and beyond has been aligned to the Corporate Strategy.
- Northern Ireland Working Group have provided an options paper to be presented to the Minister. This has been shared with the Board Directors.
Robert White (Robert) provided a summary of the welfare calls and advised round two has more content with discussion on local authority care & support and income maximisation and can be likened to a mini review. The assessors have taken on more of an advocacy role due to reduction of care affecting circa one third of recipients. Carers stress is evident and funding flexibility has been used to provide much needed emergency respite to carers. A relatively small exercise has taken place involving the BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) community within ILF Scotland, approximately 2% of recipients. This has identified there are currently no issues reported, nonetheless, monitoring will be maintained. Linda Scott (Linda) advised on 3 areas of flexible policy usage.
- Additional replacement care over and above the normal ILF award
- Reimbursement of recipients personal contribution towards a service that has not been provided
- Reimbursement to recipients for payment of personal assistant earnings including for periods when they have been unable to support due to COVID 19
Areas 1 and 2 are due to conclude at the end of October. Discussion is ongoing with the Sponsor team to seek extension. Area 3 is due to terminate at the end of November with the proviso it will be kept under review every 2 months thereafter. Over 300 recipients (15%) will be affected negatively if they are still reliant on the temporary replacement or additional care and services have not been resumed.
6. 2020-2023 Draft Strategic Plan (refer to paper)
Susan introduced the agenda item and invited Harvey to briefly clarify the amendments made before seeking approval from the Board.
Harvey confirmed the fundamental modification was to include for ILF Scotland involvement in the social care review.
Following discussion, the Board members approved and signed off the 2020-2023 Strategic Plan. Susan thanked the Executive team for their work and perseverance.
7. Independent Social Care Review
Susan apprised the Board of a meeting scheduled with Derek Feeley, Lead Consultant to the Independent Social Care Review published in the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government 2020-2021. As both Susan and Peter will be attending the meeting, Susan invited Peter to provide a brief synopsis.
Peter advised the meeting would take place on Friday 30th October 2020 and a second member of the Panel would also attend with Derek Feeley. Peter indicated this is an exciting opportunity to explore the future role of ILF Scotland within the social care landscape and voiced that in preparation of the meeting, it would be prudent to arrange a pre meeting with Anne-Marie Monaghan (Anne-Marie) and Robert to utilise their professional social work expertise.
ACTION 2: Pre Social Care Review meeting to be arranged directly. (Peter)
8. MiCase & PQ’s (July – September)
Harvey confirmed there are none to report.
9. Health & Safety Report & Annual Audit Report (refer to paper)
Harvey advised there is nothing additional to the report.
Susan observed the date for the Remuneration Committee meetings are out of alignment with other sub-committee and Board Meetings. Mark offered to identify alternative dates.
Concluding the meeting, Susan thanked the Board for their attendance and gave assurance the outcome of the meeting with Derek Feeley along with any information received from the escalation letter concerning the Transition Fund and would be shared forthwith.
ACTION 3: New dates to be identified for Remuneration Committee meetings. (Mark)
11. Close of Meeting
Important Board Dates:
Next: Audit & Risk Committee: ZOOM: 10:30am, Monday 25th January 2021.
Next: Board Meeting: ZOOM: 11:00am, Tuesday 02nd February 2021.