Minutes of the VSS Board Meeting No 78

Board Meeting Type: Strategic Board

Tuesday 9 February 2021 at 10:00am

Remote via Zoom



Board Members Present:

Oliver Wilkinson (OW) Chair

Patricia Haren (PH) Board Member

Bertha McDougall (BMcD) Board Member (from 11:20am)

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 Service Development

Tara Lewsley (TL) Acting Head of Corporate Services

Bryan Leonard (BL) Head of Health and Wellbeing

Melissa McCartan (MM) Business Support Officer (minutes)



A Apologies


No apologies received.


B Minutes of the Previous Meeting


The minutes of the previous meeting held on 20 January 2021 were approved.


C CEO Reporting by Exception


MB provided the Board with an update on progress against budget.


It was noted another call for funding will be issued in relation to Covid-19 emerging needs. MB advised a more detailed update on progress against budget will be provided at the next VSS Board meeting.



D Update Mother and Baby Institutions/Magdalene Laundries


MB presented the Mother and Baby Homes and Magdalene Laundries in Northern

Ireland, 1922-1990 summary report and welcomed questions from the VSS Board thereafter.


The Board explored ideas for a co-design process for designing and developing services and an independent inquiry.



E Interim Mental Health Champion for NI Professor Siobhan ONeil


The Interim Mental Health Champion for NI and colleague Neill Goodwin joined the meeting at 12:00pm.


The Chair welcomed Professor Siobhan ONeill and Neill Goodwin to the meeting and invited all in attendance to introduce themselves and outline their role within the VSS.


SON introduced the role of Interim Mental Health Champion for NI and then engaged in a Q&A session with the VSS Board to identify and share learning in common areas of work.


Professor Siobhan ONeill and Neill Goodwin left the meeting at 1:00pm.



F Date of Next Meeting


The next VSS Board meeting is scheduled to take place on Tuesday 9 March 2021 via Zoom.