Independent Oversight and Assurance Group on Tayside's Mental Health Services: follow up letter on matter arising about Integration Joint Boards

Letter from Fiona Lees, Chair of the Independent Oversight and Assurance Group on Tayside’s Mental Health Services on 20 January 2022.

20 January 2022

Dear Colleague

Integration Joint Boards 

I hope this letter finds you well. The festive season seems all but a distant memory but I do hope you had an enjoyable time and my very best wishes for the year ahead. 

We are looking forward to our meeting with you next week and I did want to take the opportunity to set out in advance, some of the business we would like to discuss with you. 

Before doing so, I want to address the question Margo raised at our last meeting, which I said I would reflect upon, regarding our role with the Integration Joint Boards and the absence of any reference to them within our Terms of Reference. 

The terms of reference recognise the formation of the Tayside Executive Partners - to provide innovative, inclusive and collective leadership and your acceptance of Trust and Respect and your commitment to work with key agencies and stakeholders to address all of the recommendations in partnership: that is why we see you as our principal point of engagement with Tayside. 

The terms of reference also recognise your collective assurance processes and your accountabilities to NHS Board and your Councils respectively. In doing so, it was never intended that this would preclude the Oversight and Assurance Group from engaging with others, in this case the Integration Joint Boards. Indeed, as you are aware, David has been meeting with Chief Officers and Review Leads in respect of Recommendation five and the current review of Integration Schemes. We will also be meeting with Integration Joint Board (IJB) Chairs and Vice Chairs, as part of our forthcoming schedule of meetings. 

I hope this clarifies the matter. I also think it would be helpful, for the avoidance of doubt, to make sure Integration Joint Boards are included within the terms of reference and we will pick this up at the review stage in April. I have consulted Scottish Government colleagues and they see no difficulty with this. 

Turning now to our forthcoming meeting, it would be good to spend time discussing the review of your Integration Schemes and to get an update from you on progress. In addition, it would be helpful to hear from you on any further developments from your leadership weekend and on how you plan to take forward your work together, as executive partners.

When we meet next week, we are also due to discuss those recommendations relating to children and young people’s mental health services. In order that we make best use of our time, I will forward to you under separate cover, the points we would like to discuss and where further detail would be of assistance. 

Finally, we want to share with you in advance of next Wednesday, a copy of our Assessment of Progress which we will complete later this week, on receipt of the further information you agreed to provide. You are aware this will form the basis of our first report to the Minister and accordingly, it would be helpful to hear from you in the event of any factual inaccuracies. We do see this as a baseline from which assurance can be taken and support provided as we move forward together.

Looking forward to meeting you again next week. If there’s any matter you wish to discuss in advance, I have included my mobile number below.

Best wishes,

Fiona Lees

Chair of the Independent Oversight and Assurance Group on Tayside’s Mental Health Services

Mobile: redacted 



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