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Introducing…Sheila Cowan


Each month you can learn more about the people behind East Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership and its Integration Joint Board (IJB).

Find out what staff and board members enjoy most about their role and how they spend their spare time!

This month we’re ‘Introducing’…

Sheila Cowan, IJB Member

Sheila joined our Integration Joint Board in April 2021 and became Chair of its Audit and Performance committee the following August.

Here she tells us about her work with others on the board to support the residents of East Ayrshire…

My professional career has been in finance within the private corporate sector, reaching a senior level supporting the technology industry. I left the private sector during 2018, after 25 years of service via an early retirement programme, and moved into consultancy. I also began volunteering as a business mentor for the Chamber of Commerce alongside my role as Finance Director for a sports body between the years of 2019-2021.

I became involved with the Integration Joint Board as I joined NHS Ayrshire and Arran as a non-executive board member/director. As part of the HCSP an NHS board member also becomes a voting member for the IJB, so I became a member for East Ayrshire IJB as result, which I was very happy to do.

My favourite aspects of the IJB are developing the strategy in line with the community’s social and care needs, and understanding the bigger picture for Ayrshire and Arran alongside the NHS and its overall linkage with EAHSCP. I also enjoy working with the IJB committee and team members and getting to know them and the challenges and opportunities they are facing daily.

I have been interested in understanding more about the service improvement plans and how these link into support provided to the community, and in action planning around this to make sure the best services are being provided.

I’m particularly proud of the setup for the delegated committee from the IJB of the Audit and Performance Committee. The setup works so well now, with some changes put in place to have a rolling schedule of review for service improvement plans aligned to the three year strategy. This additional focus means actions are now being closed off much more quickly. I’m also very happy with the tie-out for the financial reviews and the linkage to internal audit planning and external audit signs-offs.

It is a privilege to work with members of the IJB and the importance of this board for the East Ayrshire community cannot be underestimated. It shares a common goal for the short and long-term wellbeing of all individuals, with a focus on sustainability, fairness and equality, and shapes services to reach the demographics of our changing community.

Thanks for chatting with us Sheila!

Don’t miss next month’s ‘Introducing’ segment!