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Scotland Advisory Group Minutes - 22 August 2022

Type of document: Minutes of recipient/stakeholder groups
Cover page of minutes of meeting held on 22 August 2022

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Published: January 24, 2023

Note of Meeting: Independent Living Fund Scotland:
ILF Scotland Advisory Group Meeting, GCIL and via Zoom, Monday 22 August 2022 1.30-3.30 PM

Present

  • Jim Elder-Woodward
  • Andy Higgins (via zoom)
  • Nic Reid (via zoom)
  • Kate Walsh (via zoom)
  • Joan Turner
  • Chloe McKee (via zoom)
  • Gordon McKee (via zoom)
  • Hugh-John Clancy (via zoom)
  • Christine Mercer
  • Justine Oguguo (joined via zoom at 15:10)

In Attendance

  • Peter Scott
  • Lee House
  • Linda Scott
  • Joanna Lee
  • Emma O’Neill (via zoom)

Apologies

-

List of Actions:

  1. Peter and Linda to discuss agencies agreeing to contracts before recipients releasing funding to stop agency rate increases with notification to the recipient. 
  2. Lee to add preferred terminology to next agenda i.e. ‘disabled people.’ V ‘people with disabilities’. 
  3. Lee to add an ongoing agenda item for the joint stakeholder event. 
  4. Lee to keep Planned Registration & Regulation of PAs on agenda for the next meeting.  

1. Welcome and Introductions

2. Jim Elder-Woodward welcomed everyone to the meeting.

Everyone agreed to record the meeting. 

3. Minutes from previous meetings

Lee to pass to communications to team to upload to the website. Completed

Actions from previous meeting

  1. Lee to send out Electronic Forms to the group for review and comment once finalised by Ann Cowan. (Awaiting)
  2. Lee to add planned registration and regulation of PAs to next agenda. (Done)
  3. Lee to add Terms of Reference higher up on the next agenda. (Done)

4. Matters arising

No matters arising.

5. Adult Social Care Wage Increase

 The rate was increased by 5.5% in December for all recipients and a further 4.8% at the beginning of the year but only applied to recipients with PAs, reverting back to the previous practice of applying an increase to provider rates on a case by case basis. Linda advised the group that some providers are applying backdated increases for some months. Payroll / Financial Management Agencies have not been informing award managers at all who in turn have not been able to advise ILF Scotland to allow us to change the rates, which is causing arrears. In addition, some providers are asking agencies direct to apply the increase

Nic suggested if might be possible to have a clause in the contract to stop the increase of rates without notifying the recipient in advance. It was agreed that the Award Manager could suggest that when contracting with providers. 

Linda advised that ILF Scotland had written on at least two occasions previously to providers and Peter confirmed that a few were now applying the correct practice. Linda and Peter to discuss further action. 

6. Terms of Reference

Linda distributed the final draft version of the Terms of Reference. 

Nic asked about changing the wording and using of “people with disabilities”. Currently used is “disabled people”. Agreed to put this on the agenda of the next meeting. In the meantime, Terms of Reference draft now signed up for publication. 

7. Policy Update

Linda confirmed to the group that the sustainability payments have largely stopped as planned in June 2022 but that there will still instances where ILF Scotland can make additional payments in some cases, for example, short term replacement care relating to a new outbreak of Covid-19, expenses relating to testing or vaccination or PPE. In addition, recipients should still top up a PA’s wage to the normal level if they are off ill due to a new outbreak of Covid-19 and if there is not enough funding in the ILF Scotland account, then they should contact their caseworker. This is in accordance with the Scotland Social Care Staff Support Fund, which the Scottish Government has extended to 30 September 2022. 

Linda advised the group there are discussions with the Sponsor Team about the possibility of increasing the maximum award that ILF Scotland pay to help meet the demand of rising provider and PA rates due to the current social care staffing crisis. Currently ILF Scotland can exceed this for statutory employer’s costs and meeting the national wage increases.

8. Joint Stakeholder / Advisory group meeting

Linda asked the group how they would feel about having a joint meeting in Scotland. Everyone would welcome this and feel this would help the reopening of the 2015 ILF Scotland fund.

9. Proposed Disability Commissioner Bill

Emma gave the Advisory Group an update on the submitted response drafted by ILF Scotland. Emma advised that there was a mixed opinion on the role being in place. One of the key points raised as a concern is how this role would be monitored and what difference it would make to people on the ground. Emma has included this in the response. The Group agreed that ILF Scotland submit on behalf of the Group as part of their own submission. 

10. ILF Scotland Award Schedule, Contingency Funds, Holidays

Linda referred to previous discussion with the Group about changing the ILF Award schedule to 3 weeks in arrears and 1 week in advance and allowing a further week’s contingency funds.  

Peter advised the group that while we can consider these options, he has some concerns about the making a case for this at a time when the amount of unspent monies we are receiving back is at an unprecedented amount. It was acknowledged that this was mostly due to Covid-19 and agreed that ILF Scotland would look again at this and discuss further with the Group in 6 – 12 months. 

11. Planned Registration and Regulation

Linda and Jim agreed to have this item as an ongoing agenda point for the next meeting. 

12. Financial Hardship Waiver

Linda reminded the group under policy 4, we can waive the full contribution in cases of terminal illness or full or in part due to a financial hardship. Assessors should be discussing financial situations at each review visit and where required, they can make a recommendation to reduce or remove the contribution on a case-by-case basis.  

The Group’s preference is that Scottish Government suspend all contributions for a period of six months to the end of March 2023 due to the cost of living crisis and asked ILF Scotland to prepare a submission requesting this.  Post meeting note: Linda has submitted to the Sponsor Team. 

13. Re-opening of the 2015 Fund

Peter advised the group that the minister Kevin Stewart and his team have reviewed the re-opening of the fund. There is no further update at this stage and Peter advises that the issue seems to be around finance and the longer-term sustainability of the fund if it were to reopen. 

It was agreed that Jim would write to the minister to voice the disappointment that the Minister was unable to agree to the invitation to attend a meeting with the Group.  

14. Hospital Admission

Linda advised the group of the current policy process for payments and hospital admission and highlighted that Award Managers should notify ILF Scotland of hospital stays beyond 28 days and if the recipient will be receiving support from the PA while in hospital, ILF Scotland may be able to sustain the award for a temporary period of time instead of suspending it. 

15. Charter for Involvement

Linda advised the group that staff are working away at all the changes that were recommended by the Stakeholder and Advisory group. Nic will be supporting ILF Scotland progress and prioritise actions. 

16. Any other business

-

17. Future meeting dates and arrangements

Monday 21st November 2022 12:30 – 15:30

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