Scottish Borders Council

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Via Microsoft Teams

Contact: Iris Bishop - Tele 01896 825525  E-mail

No. Item


Announcements & Apologies


Apologies had been received from Mrs Gillian Woolman, Audit Scotland.


The Chair welcomed Mrs Lucy O’Leary, Non Executive NHS Borders who would replace Ms Sonya Lam as a member of the Committee.


The Chair thanked Ms Lam for her membership of the Committee.


The Chair welcomed Ally McGilvray, Radio Borders to the meeting.


The Chair confirmed the meeting was quorate


Declarations of Interest


The Chair sought any verbal declarations of interest pertaining to items on the Agenda.




Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 208 KB


The minutes of the previous meeting of the Integration Joint Board Audit Committee held on 7 December 2020 were approved.


Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 123 KB


4.1     Minute 5: Progress Update on delivery of Internal Audit Annual Plan 2020/21: Mrs Jill Stacey provided clarity in relation to progress on the update of the internal audit plan which had been impacted by change in the delivery of the strategic plan for the Integration Joint Board (IJB). She confirmed that, that piece of internal audit work referred to in the minutes had been designed to be aligned with the planned review of the strategic plan. The IJB had agreed to defer the review until 2022. She stressed that it was important for the Committee to note that the item had been contained within the 2020/21 Internal Audit Plan but would be deferred to the 2021/22 Internal Audit Plan.


 4.2    Action 10: Mr Rob McCulloch-Graham commented that the lessons learnt around delayed discharges would be reviewed by Grant Thornton and presented to the NHS Borders Audit Committee. Those papers would then be shared with the IJB Audit Committee (14 June 2021).




NHS in Scotland 2020 (Auditor General / Audit Scotland) pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Additional documents:


Mr Asif Haseeb provided an overview of the report prepared by the Auditor General on the state of the NHS. He advised that the report was a summary of the individual NHS Board audits that had been undertaken. The report highlighted the impact of the pandemic in 2020 which had forced change in many areas and services. He clarified that the recommendations within the report were mainly for the Scottish Government or the Scottish Government and Health Boards jointly.


Mr Graeme Samson spoke to the key messages in the summary section and advised that the report mainly focused on; the pandemic; the challenges the pandemic presented; the NHS response to the pandemic; demands on services; test and protect; and the impact on local communities.


The Chair commented that in terms of an integrated workforce, by its nature the document was health based whereas it would be more meaningful if it included local authority data. She further wished to assure the Committee that NHS Borders had refreshed its pandemic plan in light of the COVID-19 Pandemic, as the previous pandemic plan had been based on a flu pandemic.


Cllr Tom Weatherston commented that across Europe, people in deprived areas appeared to be more impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic than in other areas, and he enquired if people were generally unhealthier in those areas. He further enquired about the impact of the withdrawal of free Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) across Health and Social Care from June 2021.


Mr Rob McCulloch-Graham commented that the pandemic had exacerbated inequalities, which was most evident in deprived communities where people were living in close proximity to each other, shared often overcrowded public transport and were more likely to be low paid workers. He advised that whilst protection controls were in place they were difficult to enforce and there were some outbreaks in areas of deprivation in the Borders.


In regard to PPE he commented that he did not know what the solution would be as it was highly likely that there would be a continued need for PPE into 2022 and possibly beyond.


Chief Officers of IJBs across Scotland were keen to understand the next stage in regard to PPE provision and he would feedback to the Committee once that position was clarified.


Ms Sonya Lam suggested the recommendation that the Scottish Government and Health Boards monitor and report on staff wellbeing (page 22, point 23), should include social care staff so that learning could be shared across the systems. The Chair welcomed the suggestion.


Mrs Jill Stacey reminded the Committee that the Internal Audit recommendations for 2019/20 had highlighted the need for a refresh of the workforce strategy in order to align it with Scottish Government reporting on integrated workforce planning. The Strategic Planning Group had also requested that the Joint Staff Forum refresh its Terms of Reference and she suggested an update on workforce be provided as part of the annual reporting cycle.


The Chair welcomed the opportunity of brining all the strands of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Audit Scotland – Covid-19: What it means for public audit in Scotland (Audit Scotland)


Mr Asif Haseeb provided an overview of the content of the report and highlighted: that the financial audit had been completed; the 2020/21 financial year had been a transitional year; and the national study programme had been refreshed.


The SCOTTISH BORDERS HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE INTEGRATION JOINT BOARD AUDIT COMMITTEE acknowledged that it was the national picture not simply for SB IJB, and that adjustments in the process and timescales for the IJB Audit Committee to receive audited accounts and external audit reports might be affected.


SB IJB External Audit Annual Plan 2020/21 (Audit Scotland)


Mr Asif Haseeb provided an overview of the content of the report and highlighted that the year 2020/21 was year 5 of Audit Scotland’s audit appointment. Normally it would have been the last year of appointment, however due to the COVID-19 Pandemic the Auditor Page 4 of 5 General and the Accounts Commission had taken the view to extend the appointment by a further 1 year. Mr Haseeb highlighted several elements within the report including the key risks and assurances.


The Chair sought an update on the appointment of a Chief Financial Officer for the IJB. Mr Rob McCulloch-Graham commented that the new management structure had been agreed and a number of new posts were being recruited to. The Chief Financial Officer post was being evaluated with a view to a formal appointment being made within a few months.


The Chair commented that there had been excellent joint working between Mr David Robertson and Mr Andrew Bone to cover the financial management of the 2 organisations whilst the Chief Financial Officer position for the IJB remained vacant.


Further discussion focused on: Exhibit 3 and the definition of a definite error; impact of COVID-19 on the timings of statutory accounts and annual audit reports.




Scottish Borders Health and Social Care Integration Joint Board Internal Audit Annual Plan 2021/22


Mrs Jill Stacey provided an overview of the content of the internal audit plan.


Mr Jim Wilson enquired how the knowledge was gleaned on what had been achieved for people. Mrs Stacey advised that the performance management arrangements were fundamental in providing that feedback and assurance.


Mr Rob McCulloch-Graham commented that feedback had mainly been gleaned through the patient and carer satisfaction surveys which were fed into the performance reports. However, a new methodology would be tested out over the following 4-6 weeks through live conversations with localities. Advertising would take place through the local media and social media and the Leadership Team would be available to take questions from the public and respond live through MS Teams. Questions would also be sought in advance but there would also be an opportunity for supplementary questions to be asked and answered at the live event.


Ms Sonya Lam enquired if there was any shared learning from other IJBs internal audit functions. Mrs Stacey commented that across Scotland there were similar internal audits for IJBs. The internal auditors met on a regular basis to share practice and every 2 years that group held a conference and had shared insight around practice and any toolkits that had been produced and were being used.


The SCOTTISH BORDERS HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE INTEGRATION JOINT BOARD AUDIT COMMITTEE approved the proposed Internal Audit Annual Plan 2021/22 for the Scottish Borders Health and Social Care Integration Joint Board (Appendix 1).


Any Other Business


The Chair confirmed that none had been notified.


Date and Time of Next Meeting


The Chair confirmed that the next meeting of the IJB Audit Committee would be held on Monday 14 June 2021 at 2.00pm via Microsoft Teams.



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