Minutes of the VSS Health & Wellbeing Committee Meeting 9

Tuesday 19th May 2020

Remote via Zoom


HWB Committee Members Present:

Beverley Clarke (BC)                    VSS Board Member & Committee Chair

Patricia Haren (PH)                      VSS Board Member


VSS Officers in Attendance

Margaret Bateson (MB)                VSS CEO

Rachael McConnell (RMcC)          VSS HWB Case Manager

Emma Dargan (ED)                      VSS Programmes Manager

Aongus O’Keeffe (AOK)               VSS HWB Programme Manager


A      Apologies and Welcome


BC welcomed everybody to the first HWB Committee meeting held remotely by video conference.

B      Minutes of Previous Meetings


Minutes of the meeting held on 18 February 2020 were agreed and adopted.

C       Action Point updates from Previous Meeting


         Outstanding action points from the previous meeting were discussed and reviewed.



AP2 Access NI Policy

Draft policy has been prepared.  The CEO has asked that it is reviewed in line legislation/guidelines for conflict related convictions before being finalised.


        AP3 & 4 Committee Effectiveness & Governance

        Committee effectiveness and committee governance training was due to take place at the end of March. Postponed due to Covid-19. Committee to liaise with VSS Head of Corporate Services regarding reschedule dates.


        AP5 Independent HWB Committee Member

        HWB Committee gap to be filled through recruitment of an independent member for a temporary period. To be undertaken as a procurement exercise with criteria to be agreed by existing Committee members. Should invite 3-4 candidates with the relevant clinical experience and expertise. To be finalised and issued in September 2020.


        AP6 Committee Membership

        Committee to reconsider this in October given the current circumstances. For review at Sept 2020 meeting.

D      Policies: Development and Approvals


Independent Clinical Governance Review approved by Committee.


Draft Guidance Note on Clinical Governance for Supported Organisations approved by Committee.


AP1 Training to be arranged for all Committee members when new member recruited.


AP2  Need to look at adapting Safeguarding policies to reflect the risk to staff and clients

E      Regional Trauma Network


        MB provided an update that there had been no real progress on the RTN due to pressures relating to covid-19 in the department of health.   A meeting with VSS funded organisations will be arranged to agree next steps.

F      Clinical Governance


Safeguarding: No new cases reported.


Serious Adverse Incidents: No cases to report to date in 2020/21.


Client Risk: No cases added to date.


Unacceptable Behaviour: No clients or members of the public listed on the register in 2020/21.


Challenging Engagements with VSS Clients: VSS is monitoring data on the volume of challenging engagements, which will be used to inform VSS staff thresholds for unacceptable behaviour, but also to establish repeat patterns of negative behaviour towards VSS staff and the impact this has.  This is monitored monthly by VSS management, and the Committee will be kept informed. 


HWB Case Manager has drafted Domestic Abuse guidance which is currently under review.


Training & Development: Funding and participation information provided to the committee, in relation to the Workforce Training & Development Plan.

As at 01 May 2020, a total of 1,413 places have been attended equating to 541 unique participants across 95 training events/courses arranged by the VSS Programmes Team.  All apart from two VSS funded organisations have participated in training to date.

G     CEO Exception Report (Replaced with updates on Covid-19 Resource Guides for this Quarter)


        MB overseeing the Health & Wellbeing function in the absence of HHWB until HIA support / services permanently under VSS.  Some SMT restructure to assign additional duties to AW temporarily as Head of Operations.

H      VSS Staff HWB Guide


Guide developed to support staff working from home during Covid-19 crisis.

I       AOB: HWB Committee Annual Report


        For reschedule to September meeting.


        AP3 AOK to draft and share with Committee Chair for review.

        Date of Next Meeting

        The date of the next meeting is scheduled for 9th September 2020.