SCIE minutes of the meeting of the Board of Trustees

Held on Thursday 3 June 2004, 13.30 - 17.00

1) Attendance

Board: Jane Campbell (chair), Shokat Babul, Peter Beresford, Ratna Dutt, Jon Glasby, Janet Lewis, Geraldine Macdonald, Paul Martin, Diana McNeish, Terry Philpot, Roy Taylor,

Staff:

Bill Kilgallon (Chief Executive), Lisa Bostock (Staff Representative), Amanda Edwards (Head of Knowledge Services), Robert Howells (Staff Representative Elect), Victoria McNeill (Head of Corporate Services & Company Secretary), Emma Brooks (minutes).

Also in attendance: Mike Fisher (Agenda item 7: Impact Report); Nasa Begum (Agenda item 8: Participation)

Apologies:

Gail Tucker.

Welcome and announcements:

SCIE staff were welcomed to the meeting. Lisa Bostock was welcomed in her new role as staff representative and Robert Howells was welcomed to his first Board meeting as staff representative elect.

The Board sent its best wishes to Gail Tucker for a speedy recovery.

2) Declaration of any other business

The updated "Forthcoming dates for the Board" and a new SCIE publication - knowledge review 6: 'Teaching and learning communication skills in social work education', were distributed. Board members were asked to note the dates for future board meetings.

ACTION: Board members were asked to notify Jane if they wished to attend the National Social Services conference in October to represent SCIE.

The following Board members declared conflicts of interest: Jane Campbell and Peter Beresford (Agenda item 10c - Remuneration committee minutes). Jon Glasby noted a possible conflict of interest (Agenda item 4 - Chief Executive's report) but it was agreed that this was not of concern for this meeting.

3) Minutes and matters arising

Minutes of the board meeting held on 4 March 2004 were approved by the trustees for signature.

Matters Arising:

Minute 3 - Minutes and matters arising: Chief Executive's report:

The latest version of the looking to the future project brief had not yet been sent to Board members.

Action: Final project brief to be sent to Board members

Minute 5 - Chief Executive's report:

The partnership agreement between the Department of Health and SCIE for the Care Services Development Initiative had been signed. The Care Services Development Initiative would be an agenda item at the next Board meeting.

It was agreed that the Care Services Development Initiative sub-group and the Work programme sub-group should be merged. The members of this merged group were: Peter Beresford, Jane Campbell, Amanda Edwards, Jon Glasby, Janet Lewis, Paul Martin, Terry Philpot and Gail Tucker.

Action: Terry Philpot and Jon Glasby would be advised of the dates already arranged for the work programme sub-group.

Minute 7 - Budget 2004/5:

As requested, a summary of the budget 2004/5 showing a full list of items for Knowledge Services and Corporate Services was distributed to trustees.

4) Reports of Chief Executive and Chair

4.1 Chair's Report

The Chair highlighted the following points from the paper:

The Partners' Council launch in March had been very good. Jane was very pleased that Di McNeish had accepted the chair for the next year. Di McNeish agreed that the launch had been enjoyable. It would be a challenge to enable all members of the Council to participate equally.

Several pieces of work relating to human rights and independent living were underway at SCIE. Stephen Ladyman MP had expressed a strong interest in direct payments and alternatives to institutional care as part of his consultation on a Vision and Framework for Adult Services. CSCI had also expressed a commitment to human rights within their work. SCIE was working in partnership with Doughty Street Chambers, Leigh Day and Co, the British Institute for Human Rights (BIHR) and the Disability Rights Commission (DRC) to develop a conference on disability rights and human rights to be held early next year. The Guardian were interested in supporting the conference as well as a SCIE seminar on independent living which would be held in November as part of SCIE's work on producing a Knowledge Review on independent living. SCIE is working closely on the independent living project with the National Centre for Independent Living (NCIL) and the DRC and would be consulting with groups such as Shaping Our Lives. Groups who had demonstrated low take-up of direct payments, such as older people and children and young people, would be targeted for the seminar.

The Chair and Victoria McNeill had recently participated in the consultation for a joint Office for Public Management (OPM), Chartered Institute for Pubic Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) and Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) commission on good governance in public services. She had also been involved in work on governance through Common Purpose. The Chair proposed and the trustees unanimously agreed that there should be a Board appraisal in which the trustees would assess their own performance, at the end of its first 3-year term to consider how well the Board operated.

Action: The Board appraisal would be arranged this autumn.

A meeting had been held between Denise Platt and David Behan, Chair and Chief Executive of CSCI and Jane Campbell and Bill Kilgallon to discuss how the quarterly Chairs and Chief Executives of Social Care Organisation meetings could be made more strategic so that the organisations delivered similar messages and became more involved in Department of Health initiatives.

4.2  Chief Executive's Report

Annual Review Meeting:

The Annual Review meeting with SCIE's sponsors had been good. It had been agreed that in future SCIE's work programme would be a rolling programme as opposed to a static annual work programme. SCIE had been tasked with finding a way to manage this. The Department of Health had accepted the Care Services Development Initiative (CSDI) as part of the work programme. This should lead to some benefit additionally for Wales and Northern Ireland as a number of CSDI issues have a wider application.

England:

Stephen Ladyman MP wanted a vision for adult services equivalent to that for children as expressed in the Children's Green Paper. SCIE had helped with the consultation by distributing the consultation questions at Community Care Live and the Integrated Care Network conference, and an online consultation document was available on the SCIE website. SCIE's "Looking to the Future" work, although a longer term project, would also be informed by the consultation and this vision. The initial results of the consultation might be produced as a green paper later in the year. The initial results of the Arms Length Bodies (ALB) Review had been announced and SCIE had not been named as an ALB. Notification of which ALBs would be merged or closed down "should be completed by the end of June, so that the final outcome can be announced before the summer recess". (John Reid, Health Secretary). Bill Kilgallon noted that the ALB review had been undertaken in a bid to cut administration costs, remove duplication of roles and decentralise government. He felt it was unlikely to have a big impact on the social care sector. The new National Director of Social Care, Kathryn Hudson, would commence work in August.

Wales:

The Chief Executive and Amanda Edwards had attended a very positive meeting in Wales. There was concern about the lack of social care research in Wales and SCIE would look at cooperating with the Welsh Assembly to help strengthen this area.

Northern Ireland:

The Board of the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) has agreed the Service Level Agreement with SCIE for 3 years, until 2007. The funding for SCIE's work in Northern Ireland is based on the Barnett formula - the same arrangements as SCIE has in Wales. SCIE and some from the DHSSPS had hoped for the agreement to include a full time SCIE presence in Northern Ireland but it was still possible that this might occur in the future. Paul Martin was thanked for his help in securing agreement of the SLA.

Scotland:

A major review of people's expectations of social work and social care was being undertaken in Scotland following major failings in the Borders social work department. SCIE would be willing to offer its services to the Scottish Executive if required.

Action:It was agreed to send the Care Services Development Initiative agreement to all Board members.

Action:SCIE would draft a response to Stephen Ladyman's consultation on adult social care and submit a copy to the Board.

Action:Amanda Edwards and Peter Beresford would discuss user consultation with regard to the Vision and "Looking to the Future" work with a view to approaching a service user group regarding the consultation.

50 Financial Report

The trustees noted the financial report.

SCIE had not yet received the agreed budget figures from the Department of Health.

6) Dissemination Strategy

Jane Campbell invited Victoria McNeill to give a presentation on SCIE's dissemination strategy.

SCIE's board had agreed the need to ensure that it effectively disseminated its products to its stakeholders so that it could improve practice and policy.

SCIE currently had a number of routes to disseminate its work, as set out in the report. They include:

SCIE faced huge challenges, employing fewer than 50 staff and 12 board members, to disseminate SCIE's work to a social care workforce of about 1.25 million. SCIE needed to be creative in the way it tried to reach this workforce.

Proposed solutions:

Strengthening the brand: SCIE was working with a creative agency to make all products easily identifiable as SCIE products. Internal and external focus groups had considered the current brand and design. The new ideas had been tested at Community Care Live on SCIE's new exhibition stand. The proposed new logo and stationery were presented to the Board.

SCIE website: The website had been redesigned so that information was clearer and the site was more accessible. A service user group was advising SCIE on the changes.

Marketing campaign: It was proposed to employ two publicity and promotions executives who would promote SCIE to our stakeholders.

Contacts management system: A contacts management system was being developed which would enable SCIE to ensure it was reaching all its stakeholders.

Conferences: It was proposed to make SCIE conferences more targeted. This would be discussed under agenda item 9.

New media: SCIE was considering using new media to target different audiences.

Discussion:

Concern was expressed that the Board had been asked to approve a proposed logo, rather than being involved in the initial consultation process.

Most Board members personally liked the proposed logo.

Some Board members felt that the colour palette of the branding was not bold enough.

It was emphasised that all SCIE's stakeholders, particularly service users, needed to be fully consulted.

The list of networks that SCIE works with should include practitioners' organisations such as BASW or SCA.

The Board welcomed the fact that SCIE was starting to deliver on some of the issues the board had emphasised as priorities.

It was acknowledged that SCIE needed to improve dissemination rapidly but this should not be at the expense of consultation with SCIE's stakeholders or the Board.

Decisions:

Action: Victoria McNeill would provide more regular updates and progress reports to the Board.

Action: A temporary email consultation group on branding issues would be created. Members would be Terry Philpot, Jon Glasby and Peter Beresford.

7) Impact

Jane Campbell invited Mike Fisher, author of the report, to present the paper.

The paper arose from two sources - interest within the Board and at SMG to develop appropriate ways to measure and demonstrate SCIE's impact; and a work programme project on evaluating the impact of SCIE's guides. It was important to make a distinction between increasing SCIE's visibility and the effect of SCIE's work on improving practice and policy.

The paper proposed a programme of work, beginning with measuring SCIE's visibility and then moving to measuring SCIE's impact on the improvement of social care. The proposal would mean significant expenditure approximately every 5 years.

Discussion:

Some Board members expressed concern that the paper was too ambitious, although it was noted that SCIE should be aiming to measure its impact on this scale in the future. However the opposite view was also expressed - that the paper was perhaps not ambitious enough considering the huge number of social care interactions which occurred each day.

It was important for SCIE to demonstrate that we can assess our impact rather than have an external body impose assessment criteria upon us. SCIE needed to show that we are planning for the next few years.

It was suggested that SCIE should extend its practice partners network to include social care councils and regulatory bodies. The former were established to improve social care practice and raise the standing of social care staff and could assist the delivery of SCIE's work. Regulatory bodies could be used to promote and measure SCIE's work. A discussion of some of the theories underpinning SCIE's work followed. It was felt that the proposed budget for measuring improvement was too low.

Decisions:

Action:The Board agreed that SCIE could implement the first stage of the proposal, measuring visibility.

Action: Mike Fisher and Amanda Edwards would consider the Board's comments and would return to the board with some further ideas on where SCIE could measure its impact.

Action: Copies of the references on page 5 of the paper would be sent to the Board.

8) Participation Strategy

Jane Campbell invited Nasa Begum to present the paper on SCIE's participation strategy.

The draft strategy demonstrated SCIE's commitment to place SCIE's stakeholders, especially services users and carers, at the centre of its work. The strategy set out 4 different types of participation - coordination, cooperation, collaboration and co-production. SCIE has established a formal structure for participation, including having service user representation and a range of other stakeholders on the Board, quality assurance advisory groups, reference groups and the Partners Council.

SCIE had achieved several quick wins in participation, including a high service user presence at SCIE conferences, partnership agreements with NIMHE, Shaping Our Lives and others, and the Practice Partners' Network.

SCIE future and current participation projects included a guide to paying service users; training for staff on 'Working positively with service users' and 'Participation'; and commissioning a Knowledge review on carers' participation. Participation work would increase as the SCIE staff number expanded, and it was hoped that interns and shadowing posts might be created to increase participation at the heart of the organisation.

SCIE was undertaking consultation on the draft participation strategy, with a deadline of 18 June. An easy-read version of the strategy was attached (appendix 2).

Discussion and decisions:

The picture on the front cover of the easy-read version was not very representative of SCIE's stakeholders.

It was suggested that the definition on page 2 of appendix 1, final line, should be amended to 'strengthen families, communities and individuals' but it was highlighted that this definition was taken word for word from SCIE's memorandum and articles.

Peter Beresford welcomed the draft participation document, and suggested that consultation should involve a diverse range of users. The best way to achieve this would be to allow service users to meet and feed in their views collectively.

Peter had submitted service user feedback on the first meeting of the Partners Council to the consultation. This included having a full definition and approach to participation, an agreed policy on service user involvement and agreement on how the Partners Council's work is fed into SCIE.

Action: Peter Beresford's email correspondence with Nasa Begum about the Partners Council would be forwarded to the rest of the Board.

There was discussion about whether all SCIE products should be accessible to all or whether some documents should be more targeted. Documents which were accessible to people with learning disabilities would not necessarily be accessible to older people or children.

It was agreed that the easy-read document should be clearer about telling stakeholders why they should participate and how they could be involved.

It was agreed that paragraph 2 on page 3 of the accessible document should be amended to read 'Service users and carers.'.

Action: Nasa Begum to amend the document accordingly.

Lisa Bostock noted that staff at SCIE welcomed the participation strategy and would particularly embrace the use of interns and secondments from service user groups.

The document was welcomed as a good start to SCIE's participation work.

Action: Board members were asked to feed any further comments to Nasa Begum.

9)Conferences

Jane Campbell invited Victoria McNeill to present the paper on conferences.

Feedback had been received from staff on SCIE's last conference. Their feedback included that there should be increased frontline practitioner involvement; conferences should be targeted and have a theme; conferences should be as participative as possible - engaging different people in different ways.

It was recommended that SCIE conferences become biennial and are held on a specific theme, to attract a particular group of stakeholders.

SCIE's cross-organisational steering group on conferences had recommended that the next SCIE conference focus on frontline practice, and tie in with SCIE's work on future thinking in social care.

Discussion:

Board members generally welcomed the idea of targeted biennial conferences although there was some call for more targeted, shorter and smaller conferences across the country - particularly to attract practitioners.

Ratna Dutt suggested that a themed conference could be targeted at black and minority ethnic stakeholders. This would be a good way of putting the race on the agenda at SCIE and giving SCIE access to black practitioners. Peter Beresford supported this suggestion.

Paul Martin invited the SCIE Board to meet in Northern Ireland on 25 November, with the meeting to be preceded by a fostering seminar.

10) Human Resources report, Audit Committee minutes and Remuneration Committee minutes

10.1 Human Resources Report:

Victoria McNeill presented the report.

Over the past year there had been substantial recruitment at SCIE and there had been an improvement in the diversity of the workforce. SCIE now carefully considered where and how it advertised, and the language and accessibility of its recruitment documents.

SCIE was still trying to recruit an African-Caribbean board member and was doing this through working with the Commission for Racial Equality, Race Equality Councils, individuals and organisations.

Staff had received training in equal opportunities and had there had been many other internal training programmes during the year. Staff were now setting their training and development plans with their manages and SCIE had allocated a significant part of its budget to staff training and development. Staff had given good feedback on the training they had received so far but in the future SCIE would encourage more individually targeted training as well as in-house group training.

A Joint Consultative and Negotiating committee had been created to enable effective discussions between the union and management.

The Board noted the disclosure of the 2 employment related claims.

10.2 Audit Committee:

Geraldine Macdonald noted that the audit committee were satisfied that all pertinent issues were being covered and that the Director of Finance was doing an effective job.

10.3 Remuneration Committee:

The Board noted the minutes of the Remuneration Committee and Victoria McNeill was asked to circulate the assessment criteria for payments to trustees to those trustees who had joined SCIE after the assessment criteria were agreed.

Action: Victoria McNeill would circulate the assessment criteria for payments to trustees.

11) Next Board meeting

The next Board meeting would be held on 9 September 2004 at SCIE.