Kirsty Darwent – Chair of Redress Scotland.
Kirsty Darwent – Chair of Redress Scotland
As the chair of Redress Scotland, I am pleased to share our Annual Report and accounts for 2022-23.
Redress Scotland was created for survivors, and we place great importance on ensuring that we get it right for them. We are acutely aware of the responsibility we have to survivors, and the trust they place on us every day.
Our latest Annual Report highlights the work that has gone to achieving our mission over the past year. It outlines how we are performing as an organisation, along with the various steps we have taken to improve the way we work to consider and make decisions about applications for redress.
Publishing this report is a vital step towards building and maintaining trust with the survivor community. Survivors depend on us to be transparent and accountable in our work. I hope that the report forms the basis for a positive year ahead as we work towards the national collective endeavour to support survivors to heal from the trauma they have experienced.
We recognise, of course, that we are one part of the important steps being taken to ensure that the wrongs of the past are acknowledged, learned from and never repeated.
What have we done this year?
• The decisions made by the Redress Scotland Panel have led to almost £22.7 million being paid out by the Scottish Government to survivors during 2022 – 2023.
• We received and assessed 649 applications, convening 163 panels to carefully consider and make determinations.
• We trained and supported 26 independent panel members who collectively made 510 decisions that resulted in 493 redress awards. The majority of these were level 4 and level 5 awards – the highest awards granted by the scheme (£80,000 and £100,000 respectively). 39% of all decisions made on individually assessed applications resulted in Level 5 awards.
As part of our commitment to transparency, and to keeping the survivor community up to date with our work, in addition to the annual report we also regularly publish this type of data in our Fact and Figures reports.
Improvements and next steps
As the new chair of Redress Scotland, I am proud to lead an organisation that is committed to achieving for survivors and have been heartened to witness the extent to which our staff work to fulfil our values every day.
However, I am also aware of improvements that still need to be made. Reducing waiting times remains a priority in the coming year, as many survivors continue to wait for long periods before receiving a decision.
As outlined in the report, we have recruited additional panel members to ensure the waiting time is reduced and survivors do not experience delays.
How we will continue to play our part in the scheme
Redress Scotland was founded on values of dignity, compassion and respect. This ethos guides the work we have undertaken this year, along with the improvements we have made to our practices. In my role as chair, I am committed to continuing this good work, and ensuring that we develop and evolve to deliver for survivors. They are why we exist and we will never lose sight of that.