Action taken over community care concerns
Problems were highlighted in the council’s community care and building services today, at one point prompting an elected member to call for the public to be excluded from an open meeting.
Audit committee members heard of key concerns surrounding a number of issues within community care including the completion of client records, medication training and fire drills.
The findings were contained in an internal six-monthly progress report, which was introduced by audit manager Crawford McIntyre.
Councillors were told work was already taking place to help address the problems, with an action plan having been prepared.
Committee chairman, Allison Duncan, called for a report on the audit, and the agreed action plan, to be brought before the social services committee or the integration joint board before the end of the calendar year.
The response from either the committee or the board should, he said, be brought back to audit by the end of the financial year.
“I have discussed this audit in detail with the chief internal auditor, and I would like this committee to be given further assurance that the issues raised in the audit are being addressed,” he told members.
“However, I should not like the committee to get bogged down with the detail today, so if any members have questions or wish more detail at this time, I would refer you either to the chief internal auditor or myself, after the meeting.”
Members were encouraged to ask questions, particularly by director of corporate services Christine Ferguson.
When Theo Smith asked questions surrounding building service shortcomings, Mr Duncan called for the press to be excluded from the meeting.
Head of legal Jan Riise later advised discussions had concluded that there was no need to go into private. As a result, he said, no part of the debate was held behind closed doors.
Mr Duncan said he had been concerned confidential information may have been brought into the public domain. But he had withdrawn his motion following agreement with vice-chairwoman, Amanda Westlake.
The delay over, Mr Smith voiced concerns that issues surrounding a building services audit would not be addressed.
Mr McIntyre stressed an action plan was now in place, with concerns due to be addressed by March next year.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Duncan said there had been issues in the past where matters pertaining to the council had not been allowed to be debated in public.
“It’s quite clear that from the original report that there is a further report going up to the functioning committee, which is the social services committee.”
• More in Friday’s Shetland Times.