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Independent Living Fund Scotland: Minute of Board Meeting 28 June 2022

Type of document: Board Reporting
Cover page of board meeting minute for 28 June 2022.

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Published: October 19, 2022

APPROVED

Independent Living Fund Scotland: Board Meeting
Video-Conference (COVID 19)
Tuesday 28 June 2022 ~ 11:00am – 1:00pm

Present

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

Apologies

Betty McAtear - Board Director
Étienne d’Aboville - Board Director
Linda Scott - Director of Policy, Improvement and Engagement
Aileen McNiven - Head of Business Services

Observers

David McDonald - Chair, Stakeholder Group, Northern Ireland
Dr. Jim Elder-Woodward, OBE - Chair, Advisory Group, Scotland

In Attendance

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
Rebbecca McConnachie - Deloitte, External Auditor
Lorraine Denholm - Senior Business Services Officer (Secretariat)

Welcome, declarations of interest and apologies

Susan Douglas-Scott (Susan) warmly welcomed everyone to the 27th ILF Scotland Board Meeting introducing Rebbecca McConnachie (Rebbecca) from Deloitte; David McDonald (David), Chair of the Northern Ireland Stakeholder Group and Jim Elder-Woodward, Chair of the Scotland Advisory Group.

Susan noted the apologies received from Betty McAtear, Étienne d’Aboville and Linda Scott.

Declarations of Interest (DoI)

No additional Declarations of Interest were received out with DoI Register.

Chair’s Introductory Remarks

Susan congratulated Mark Adderley (Mark) on his re-appointment as Board Director for a further 4 years to January 2027.

Peter Scott (Peter) has reported the last quarter has seen the busiest start to any reporting period since opening in 2015 and is mainly due to the resumption of physical visits in full with recipients.  The Transition Fund has also seen the highest number of applications and this has been particularly challenging translating in to award payments for reasons explained later in the meeting.  The cost of living crisis, budget pressures, the social care recruitment crisis and various other issues are being faced by disabled people as we emerge from the pandemic and we continue to support them to navigate these turbulent times.

The team have continued to be exceptionally busy as one of the key delivery partners for both the Scottish Governments Personal Assistant (PA) Thank You Payment Project and the Northern Ireland Government’s Special Recognition Payment for PA’s Project.  This work is expected to be complete by Christmas this year.

The organisation has again stepped up health and wellbeing activity in the last quarter including in person meetings.  The whole staff team met for an extremely successful all staff meeting in Glasgow for the first time since February 2020.

Although we have had some promising interactions with both the Scottish and Northern Irish Governments, we still have no concrete proposals on re-opening the 2015 fund.

1.   Minutes of Previous Meeting (refer to paper)

The Board approved the Board Minute of 26 April 2022.

2.  Matters Arising

All matters arising included within the agenda

3.  Statutory Annual Report & Accounts 2021-22

Jim Maguire (Jim) introduced the Statutory Annual Report and Accounts and stated the Audit & Risk Committee (ARC) had been through the report during the June 2022 meeting and have given their recommendation to bring to the Board for final approval.

Liz Humphreys (Liz) commented that praise had been noted in the ARC Minute for Jim and the team on the high calibre of Report and supporting documentation and she would also like it noted in the Board Minute.

3a. Audit Report Findings

Rebbecca McConnachie spoke to the paper.  Rebecca highlighted the report is very good and one of the best delivered by any public sector organisation to Deloitte, which is a testament to Jim and the Finance Team, who provided full support and co-operation throughout the audit process.  Rebbecca also highlighted that this is the last year of appointment for Deloitte as auditors with the transition date of October 2022 to the new auditors.

Susan echoed the praise to Jim and his Team for a very clean audit.  Jim thanked Rebbecca for a positive working relationship with the team at Deloitte.

The Board approved and signed off the Statutory Annual Report and Accounts 2021-2022.

3b. Letter of Representation

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

4.   Corporate Business Reporting – Q1

Susan invited Harvey Tilley (Harvey) to speak to the Quarterly Corporate Report.

Harvey outlined the report and identified the main areas that have led to the busiest quarter to date; the return of physical reviews coupled with the Transition Fund and other corporate work being undertaken.

The Executive Team summarised key areas of the business concentrating briefly on the following:

Self-Directed Support (SDS): Robert White (Robert) apprised the Board of the record number of applications to the Transition Fund along with a record number of phone calls, in turn, generating more work.  The 2015 review visits are taking more time due to the number of complexities that have arisen for our recipients during the pandemic and the emotional and carer support we are providing.  To summarise we have expanded our role to fill a gap as local authority services are slow to return to pre-pandemic levels.

Transition Fund: Harvey updated on the Transition Fund advising there has been an up-turn by 24% year on year. There are a number of challenges being faced resulting from the organisation stepping in, by default, to the vacuum of support to young people increasing during the pandemic.  Along with the growth in applications, there is also an increase in complexities causing pressure in workload.  An internal review has commenced to take the scheme forward in a sustainable manner whilst maintaining the timescale targets.

Over the last quarter there has been noticeable staff fatigue echoing the wider social care sector.  To address this the organisation has pushed our wellbeing initiatives front and centre including new resilience re-charge workshops; looking at how hybrid working is being imbedded and how it is working for us; and discussions in face to face meetings and an in-person development day on 20th June 2022.

Paper 4a

Information Governance Dashboard (refer to paper)

Paul Hayllor (Paul) spoke to the paper summarising that internally a high level of discipline is being maintained and is confident this will continue. There is however a degree of nervousness across the public sector in relation to the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the possibility of a cyber-attack.  We are working robustly with the Scottish Government to mitigate risk.

The Board noted the Information Governance Dashboard.

Paper 4b.

Q1 Efficiency Report (refer to paper)

Paul summarised the paper confirming that the first quarter has focused on final stage testing & planning and returning to business as normal operations.  The Local Authority Portal has had a soft launch with a small pilot cohort and, as such, it is too early to identify the time savings and efficiencies.  This will be monitored and reported on in Q2.

The Board noted the Q1 Efficiency Report.

5.  Audit Committee Report (verbal report)

Alan Dickson (Alan) gave feedback from the recent Audit & Risk Committee held during June 2022 stating it had been a good meeting with meaningful discussions around the Statutory Annual Report & Accounts as discussed at agenda item 3a.  Alan added his praise to the Finance Team for their excellent work.  The Internal Audit Reports covering Corporate Governance and Budgetary Control have also been completed with both confirmed as good.

5a. Management Accounts (refer to paper)

Jim advised on the key points covering the 3 funds detailing the position of each fund and the plans in place to continue monitoring.

Susan advised the meeting that Peter Scott (Peter) had submitted his apologies as he was experiencing technical difficulties and had to leave the meeting at this point.  Harvey would now take the lead from this point.

Anne-Marie Monaghan (Anne-Marie) raised the prospect of commissioning a group or body to assist with the Transition Fund applications to support with the increase in quality thus improving the processing time and the number of grants awarded.

ACTION 1: Harvey to look in to this further and feedback in due course as part of the review.

5b. Risk Register (refer to paper)

Paul confirmed the previous work completed by the Board setting risk tolerances and risk appetites has allowed more a more focused and targeted approach at Management level.  Paul summarised the 2 main vulnerabilities and concluded we are working with the Scottish Government to address at a national level.

Liz reminded at the ARC meeting in April 2022 and subsequent Board meeting the same month, it was noted this was good progress and a helpful way forward for the Board to remain focused on the key risks it needs to address.

6. MiCase & PQ’s (01 April - 21 June 2022) (refer to paper)

Harvey, on behalf of Peter, spoke to the paper outlining the content of two enquiries received by Scottish Government on the subject of reduction of available income contribution.

The Board discussed the content of the letter to Kevin Stewart, Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care from Jim Elder-Woodward. Further discussion ensued regarding the Coming Home Programme used by Swedish Disability Organisations where LA’s are responsible for social care but direct payments are made through a national organisation. Harvey confirmed ILF Scotland would be able to administer direct payments if required.

The Board noted the MiCase & PQ’s.

7. Health & Safety Report (refer to paper)

Susan spoke to the paper and commented that the report is very clean as always and Harvey asked for a well done to Aileen and the team to be noted.

The Board were assured by the Health & Safety Report thanking the team for the hard work.

AOB

9. Draft Committee Meeting Schedule (refer to paper)

Liz noted that dates for the Audit & Risk Committee and the Board meetings are only one week apart.  Jim advised that a verbal update will be provided in the event that the draft minute is not available.  Paper approved with no amended Board & Committee dates for 2023.

10.  Close of Meeting

Important Board Dates:

  • Next: Remuneration Committee: Virtual: 11:00am-12:30pm, Monday 19th September 2022
  • Next: Development Day: Virtual: 1:00pm – 4:00pm, Monday 19th September 2022
  • Next: Audit & Risk Committee: ZOOM, 10:30am, 10th October 2022 Next: Board Meeting: ZOOM: 11:00am, Tuesday 18th October 2022

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: Due to COVID 19 – Carry Forward to April 2023

Action point: ACTION 1: Harvey to consider the prospect of commissioning group/body to assist in improving the quality of Transition Fund applications at point of submission.
Action by: Harvey
Timescale: October 2022
Action: Update: A review is currently taking place and this suggestion will be considered as part of the recommendations. A team has been formed in the meantime to discuss all findings as part of the review.


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