Minutes of the VSS Board Meeting No 73

Board Meeting Type: Strategic Board

Wednesday 9 September 2020 at 10:00am

Remote via Zoom



Board Members Present:

Oliver Wilkinson (OW) Chair

Patricia Haren (PH) Board Member

Bertha McDougall (BMcD) Board Member

Richard Solomon (RS) Board Member

Beverley Clarke (BC) Board Member


VSS Officers in Attendance:

Margaret Bateson (MB) Chief Executive Officer

Andrew Walker (AW) Acting Head of Operations

Tara Lewsley (TL) Acting Head of Corporate Services

Elaine Murphy (EM) Head of Service Development

Peter Topping (PT) Health and Wellbeing Case Manager (until 10:50am)

Melissa McCartan (MM) Business Support Officer (minutes)



A Apologies


No apologies received.


B Minutes of Previous Meeting


The minutes of the previous Board meeting held on Thursday 30 July 2020 were approved.


C CEO Reporting by Exception


In respect of the VSS business delivery plan, budget report and strategic risk register, MB advised the Board that there is nothing new to report since the previous update last month.


The Chair asked for an update on the recent communication issued to TEO in respect of the VSS proposal for Home Heating Payments for 2020. MB advised no response has been received to date but raised serious concerns about the current decision making approach in TEO.


There was discussion around 2 reports that have recently been concluded, one by two VSS Board members and the other by an external panel. The Chair asked MB if there were any specific lessons that have come from these two reports. MB advised that a detailed report on Lessons Learnt will be prepared for the VSS Board following completion of an on-going third investigation. It was noted the VSS complaints and appeals procedure will be reviewed once the final investigation has been completed.


D Needs of the Bereaved and Carers


PT delivered a presentation on care for carers and then welcomed questions from the VSS Board.


MB delivered a presentation on the needs of the bereaved and welcomed questions from the VSS Board.



The Board asked for an update on MSFM Ref 4.4.3 Ministers shall meet with the Board formally each year. Following no response to the reissued letter to TEO officials, the Board asked that a new letter of request be prepared and issued directly.

09.09.20 AP1: Updated letter of request to be issued directly


F Date of Next Meeting


The next meeting of the Board is scheduled to take place on 21 October 2020 via Zoom.