We have been engaged by the directors of Life Healthcare Group Holdings Limited (the “Company” or “Life Healthcare”) to perform an independent limited assurance engagement in respect of Selected Sustainability Information reported in the Company’s Integrated Report for the year ending 30 September 2017 (the “Report”). This report is produced in accordance with the terms of our contract with the Company dated 26 October 2017.
Independence, quality control and expertise
We have complied with the independence and other ethical requirements of the Code of Professional Conduct for Registered Auditors issued by the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA Code), which is founded on fundamental principles of integrity, objectivity, professional competence and due care, confidentiality and professional behaviour. The IRBA Code is consistent with the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (Part A and B).
The firm applies International Standard on Quality Control 1 and, accordingly, maintains a comprehensive system of quality control including documented policies and procedures regarding compliance with ethical requirements, professional standards and applicable legal and regulatory requirements.
Our engagement was conducted by a multi-disciplinary team of health, safety, environmental and assurance specialists with extensive experience in sustainability reporting.
Scope and subject matter
The following subject matter in the Report was selected for an expression of limited assurance:
a) Healthcare Risk Waste Generated – HCRW kg/PPD.
b) Total Patient Incident Rate – per 1 000 PPDs
c) Healthcare associated infection rate – per 1 000 PPDs
d) Paid patient days – PPDs
We refer to this information as the “Selected Sustainability Information”.
We have carried out work on the data reported for 30 September 2017 only and have not performed any procedures with respect to earlier periods, except where specifically indicated, or any other elements included in the 2017 Integrated Report and therefore do not express any conclusion thereon. We have not performed work in respect of future projections and targets.
Respective responsibilities of the directors and PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc.
The directors are responsible for the selection, preparation and presentation of the Selected Sustainability Information in accordance with the criteria set out in the Company’s internally defined procedures set out in Performance review: Southern Africa and strategic performance in numbers referred to as the “Reporting Criteria”. The directors are also responsible for designing, implementing and maintaining internal controls as the directors determine is necessary to enable the preparation of the Selected Sustainability Information that is free from material misstatements, whether due to fraud or error.
Our responsibility is to form an independent conclusion, based on our limited assurance procedures, on whether anything has come to our attention to indicate that Selected Sustainability Information has not been prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with the Reporting Criteria.
This report, including the conclusion, has been prepared solely for the directors of the Company as a body to assist the directors in reporting on the Company’s sustainable development performance and activities. We permit the disclosure of this report within the Report for the year ended 30 September 2017 to enable the directors to demonstrate they have discharged their governance responsibilities by commissioning an independent assurance report in connection with the Report. To the fullest extent permitted by law, we do not accept or assume responsibility to anyone other than the directors as a body and the Company for our work or this report, save where terms are expressly agreed and with our prior consent in writing.
Assurance work performed
We conducted our limited assurance engagement in accordance with International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000 (Revised): Assurance Engagements other than Audits and Reviews of Historical Financial Information issued by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board. This standard requires that we comply with ethical requirements and that we plan and perform the assurance engagement to obtain limited assurance on the Selected Sustainability Information as per the terms of our engagement.
Our work included examination, on a test basis, of evidence relevant to the Selected Sustainability Information. It also included an assessment of the significant estimates and judgements made by the directors in the preparation of the Selected Sustainability Information. We planned and performed our work so as to obtain all the information and explanations that we considered necessary in order to provide us with sufficient evidence on which to base our conclusion in respect of the Selected Sustainability Information.
Our limited assurance procedures primarily comprised:
- obtaining an understanding of the systems used to generate, aggregate and report the Selected Sustainability Information;
- conducting interviews with management at Life Healthcare’s offices;
- applying the assurance criteria in evaluating the data generation and reporting processes;
- performing walkthroughs;
- testing the accuracy of data reported on a sample basis for limited assurance;
- reviewing the consolidation of the data at Life Healthcare’s offices to obtain an understanding of the consistency of the reporting;
- analysing and obtaining explanations for deviations in performance trends; and
- reviewing the consistency between the Selected Sustainability Information and related statements in Life Healthcare’s Integrated Report.
A limited assurance engagement is substantially less in scope than a reasonable assurance engagement under ISAE 3000 (Revised). Consequently, the nature, timing and extent of procedures for gathering sufficient appropriate evidence are deliberately limited relative to a reasonable assurance engagement, and therefore less assurance is obtained with a limited assurance engagement than for a reasonable assurance engagement.
The procedures selected depend on our judgement, including the assessment of the risk of material misstatement of the Selected Sustainability Information, whether due to fraud or error. In making those risk assessments, we consider internal control relevant to the Company’s preparation of the Selected Sustainability Information in order to design procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances.
We believe that the evidence we have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our conclusion.
Non-financial performance information is subject to more inherent limitations than financial information, given the characteristics of the subject matter and the methods used for determining, calculating, sampling and estimating such information. The absence of a significant body of established practice on which to draw allows for the selection of different but acceptable measurement techniques, which can result in materially different measurements and can impact comparability. Qualitative interpretations of relevance, materiality and the accuracy of data are subject to individual assumptions and judgements. The precision of different measurement techniques may also vary. Furthermore, the nature and methods used to determine such information, as well as the measurement criteria and the precision thereof, may change over time. It is important to read the Report in the context of the internally defined procedures set out in Performance review: Southern Africa and strategic performance in numbers.
Based on the results of our limited assurance procedures, nothing has come to our attention that causes us to believe that the Selected Sustainability Information for the year ended 30 September 2017 has not been prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with the Reporting Criteria.
The maintenance and integrity of Life Healthcare’s website is the responsibility of Life Healthcare’s directors. Our procedures did not involve consideration of these matters, and accordingly we accept no responsibility for any changes to either the information in the Report or our independent assurance report that may have occurred since the initial date of presentation on Life Healthcare’s website.
Director: Jayne Mammatt
2 Eglin Road, Sunninghill, Johannesburg, 2157
12 December 2017