HSENI Board Meeting minutes - January 2021



Board Members:                        

  • Mr D Martin – Chair                
  • Mrs H Singleton – Dep Chair      
  •  Mr M Mawhinney                         
  • Mr H Sinclair                               
  • Mr T Wright                                  
  • Ms L Smith                                   
  • Mr J Kane                                        
  • Mr W Graham                             
  • Mrs C Mounce HSENI Boardroom Apprentice   

HSENI Officials:

  • Mr R Kidd – Chief Executive
  • Mr L Burns – Deputy Chief Executive
  • Dr B Monson – Deputy Chief Executive
  • Mrs N Monson – Deputy Chief Executive
  • Mr K Neeson – Deputy Chief Executive
  • Ms L Nelson – Minutes
  • Mrs A Martin – HSENI Accountant
  • Minister Dodds – Department for Economy (DfE)
  • Mr D Cartland – P/S Minister, DfE           

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting including Minister for the Economy, Mrs Dodds and her Personal Secretary, Mr Cartland.  The Chair thanked the Minister for taking the time to attend the meeting.  The Chair, on behalf of the HSENI Board and HSENI’s Senior Management Team, said that he appreciated the support from the Minister and the Senior Management Team in the Department over the last year.

The Minister thanked the Chair and the Board members for their service to HSENI and their time spent on the HSENI Board.  The Minister also acknowledged the work of the Chief Executive and his team in what has been a challenging year, stating that they carried out their work with integrity, continuing with inspections regardless of the difficulties facing them. 

The Chair reported that five board members, Mrs Singleton, Mr Graham, Mr Kane, Mr Mawhinney and Ms Smith would be leaving at the end of April 2021 after eight years of service on the HSENI Board.  The Minister welcomed their dedication and experience during their time on the Board.  The Minister stated that change is never easy but she has every faith that the HSENI Board will adapt to the changes ahead after the introduction of new members.  The Minister thanked the outgoing Board Members, the Chair, the Chief Executive and his team, stating that she looks forward to meeting in person rather than online.

The Minister and the Minister’s Personal Secretary left the meeting at 9:45 a.m.

The Chair stated that it was good to have contact with the Minister and thanked the Chief Executive for arranging the Minister’s attendance at the meeting

Mr Graham left the meeting at 10:30 a.m.

Mr Mawhinney left the meeting at 12:30 p.m.

1. Apologies


2. Corporate Health, Safety and Welfare

No significant issues to report.

3. Declaration of Conflict of Interest(s)

None to report.

4. Minutes from previous meeting

The minutes of the Board meeting held on 29 October 2020 were circulated to Board members prior to the meeting. The minutes were approved and adopted.

5. Matters Arising

Number One: The Chief Executive reported on the accompanying paper setting out issues preventing achieving objectives in the Operating Plan. He highlighted the following:

  • redeploying Inspectorate staff to deal with high risk industries
  • scaling back on routine inspection work e.g. farm inspections
  • the challenge to keep HSENI staff safe when attending potential clusters or complaints from employees;
  • two person approach when attending an inspection in relation to a COVID outbreak. On larger sites, multiple pairs of Inspectors had to be deployed for multiple days
  • new strain of the virus with up to 70% transmission rate. SMT discussed only deploying staff in the serious incidents e.g. a cluster, a major incident or a fatality. This was to keep staff safe and to prevent the spread of COVID between sites. The Chief Executive reported that to date, HSENI have had no work related COVID positive cases.

The Chair welcomed the positive approach taken by SMT, stating it was good to capture what actions have been taken.

Mr Mawhinney stated that it was an excellent paper and that it was good to have all actions captured in one paper. Mr Mawhinney asked what lessons learned HSENI had encountered. The Chief Executive said that HSENI was in a learning curve at present, and that post pandemic discussions would take place on what actions can be carried forward e.g. two person inspections.

Mrs Monson reported to the Board that SMT had discussed triaging complaints. During the pandemic a high number of complaints had been dealt with via the telephone. This is something HSENI could build on in the future along with other interactions aside from physical site inspections to ensure the achievement of objectives.

Ms Smith stated that she was glad to see lessons learned and issues captured on a document and also that the Minister had endorsed changes to the Operating Plan, adding that it was important to be accountable.

Mr Wright thanked the Chief Executive and SMT on how they dealt with work throughout the pandemic. Mr Wright asked if some sectors were not complying with Covid restrictions. Dr Monson replied that most of the high risk sectors were doing a fantastic job but it was difficult to keep community transmission out of the workplace. Covid fatigue has become an issue and HSENI is working with the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and the Public Health Agency (PHA) to raise awareness on a daily basis.

The Chair stated that it was good to capture the positivity and achievements made this year and to have this recorded. The Chief Executive said that the Annual Report will reflect this.

Number Two: Head count – completed.

Number Three: Dr Monson reported on the Farm Safety Campaign’s Post Project Evaluation (PPE) highlighting the following:

  • The campaign focused on new issues such as stress and mental health.
  • Independent survey carried out indicates responses as expected.
  • Spend was as expected. This is checked quarterly to provide a degree of future proofing.

Mr Sinclair stated that the outcome to raise the profile of HSENI and Farm Safety has been achieved, adding it was good that the Minister had mentioned her awareness of the farm safety campaign and the number of partners now on board. The Chair concurred with this.

Mr Mawhinney said that it was a very encouraging Post Project Evaluation with high success rates and that this is something the Board can take comfort from. He also asked in relation to accidents still happening if these were because of human reaction or taking shortcuts. Dr Monson informed him that HSENI had done analysis on accidents focusing on safety essentials e.g. brakes on tractors.

The Chair asked Dr Monson about statistics on farm safety since the start of the campaign. Dr Monson said that there has been a degree of success in driving down numbers. The Chair said that it would be worth recording the trend of statistics over 5-7 years.

Mrs Singleton thanked Dr Monson for producing the Farm Safety campaign Post Project Evaluation. She stated that it was very positive in demonstrating delivery of the key objectives of the campaign and in showing the transition from awareness to attitudinal and behavioural change within the farming community. Mrs Singleton suggested that the Board should routinely consider Post Project Evaluations and Farm Safety trends when determining spend on future Farm Safety Campaigns. Mrs Singleton thanked the Communications, Agri Food and Health and Well-being teams, as well as SMT for all the work carried out on the farm safety campaign.

Number Four: Comments in relation to DfE Partnership Agreement – Completed.

8. Audit and Risk Management Committee (ARMC) Report

The ARMC met on 14th January 2021.
The following areas were highlighted by the ARMC Chair as having been discussed at the latest ARMC meeting:

  • Cavanagh Kelly presented two internal audit reports: Arrangements to address COVID-19 and Key Financial Controls. Both audits received a ‘Satisfactory’ assurance with no recommendations.
  • The Chair informed the Board that the ARMC agreed to substitute the Legislation Audit with a review of Scientific Services, to include areas not covered by UKAS, including the use of the drone in the 2020/21 Internal Audit Plan.
  • The risk register, focusing on financial risks, information risks specifically the Retention & Disposal Schedule, vacancies, the revised operating plan, legislation and staff resources.
  • The implementation of outstanding audit recommendations was reviewed. There has been slippage with GDPR audit recommendations due to EU Exit work and staff absences. The Chief Executive assured the ARMC that all recommendations will be closed off by the agreed date of September 2021.
  • Northern Ireland Audit Office (NIAO) have appointed a new manager in place of Mr O’Neill, the new manager is called Karen Beattie.
  • Board approval is needed for three polices:
    1. HSENI Retention and Disposal Schedule - this schedule needs board approval, Permanent Secretary approval, PRONI approval before it is laid in the assembly;
    2. HSENI Risk Management Guidance; and
    3. HSENI Raising Concerns (Whistleblowing) Guidance.
    The Board approved all three policies listed above.
  • The Chair asked the Board to note the list of Corporate Policies stating that this document was helpful for Board and Audit Committee members for cyclical review.

The Chair asked Mrs Martin if there had been any update in relation to the programme for completion of annual accounts. Mrs Martin said that there has been no contact yet, the transfer of Mr O’Neill to Ms Beattie could be the reason for this. The plan is to try and get back to normal timescales in the current year.

The Chair thanked Mrs Singleton for her report.

9. Chief Executive’s Report

The following items were highlighted by the Chief Executive:

Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19)

Access to Ladas Drive is under continual review. The Chief Executive, Deputy Chief Executive and Trade Union Representatives carried out a health and safety audit of the building in December. No significant issues were raised and it was agreed to keep the situation under review as things progress towards potentially working to a partial reoccupation of the building. Additional measures have been introduced including the wearing of face coverings in transit areas such as corridors and stairwells


The revised 2020/21 Operating Plan has now been approved by the Minister and will be shared with the Economy Committee through the Department to invite them to note it. The plan was amended to reflect the uncertainties around COVID-19 and how they may impact on the work of HSENI.

Operations / Assembly business

There were 7 assembly questions and 5 constituency correspondence cases during the period.

HSENI has been invited to appear before the Economy Committee to update them on our operational challenges in the previous 6 months. This is scheduled for 3 February.

Fatal accidents / injury rates / prosecutions

There has been an increase in fatal accidents compared to the same period last year. The sectors involved are Agriculture, Construction, Manufacturing, Health and Social Work and Electricity, Gas, Steam and Air Conditioning.

The Chief Executive attended routine meetings throughout the period, mainly DfE Senior Management Team meetings, Pandemic Incident Management Team (PIMT) meetings and the Northern Ireland Emergency Planning Group NIEPG (Covid Regional Co-ordination) meetings.
The Chief Executive thanked the Communications Team for keeping campaigns active on social media throughout the pandemic.

Ms Smith thanked the Chief Executive for the report and asked how HSENI planned to cope with capacity management and additional staff. The Chief Executive stated that SMT had looked at reviewing the WIFI connection within Ladas Drive and potentially hot desking, as well as creating small meeting spaces to accommodate team meetings of 8-10 people.

Ms Smith asked what work HSENI has been carrying out in relation to mental health issues. Mrs Monson stated that there are two aspects of mental health at work, internal and external. In relation to internal, before COVID-19, work was being carried out through the HSENI steering group. At present the group shares articles/resources with staff, runs pilot programmes and Business in the Community (BITC) webinars. Mrs Martin and Mr Ditchfield have been researching a Mental Health First Aid Provision pilot programme. It is hoped to offer this to staff at the end of March.

In relation to the external facing mental health issues, the Mental Well-being at Work Advisory Service continues to work hard offering webinars on the Management Standards on work related stress. Two webinars were recently carried out in the quarry sector and these were very well received. The Workplace Health Leadership Group (WHLG) is also running a series of seminars in relation to Stress and COVID-19.

The Chair thanked Mrs Monson for her feedback. He stated that it would be useful for the Board to receive a paper on Mental Health activities within HSENI. It was agreed that Mrs Monson would provide this.

Mr Wright asked about SMT’s thoughts on ‘business as usual’ when looking forward to September/October, when most people will be vaccinated. The Chief Executive said that working from home (wfh) has worked extremely well for HSENI. Some staff are struggling and would prefer an office environment, while it is beneficial for other staff to avoid the commute into work. SMT have discussed facilitating a low level of working from home as some staff do need to be based in Ladas Drive. The Chief Executive said that since March 2020 all teams in HSENI adapted to the ‘new normal’ of wfh overnight and he is confident that staff will adapt back equally as quickly.

Mr Wright said that he never ceases to be amazed at the high level of camaraderie and friendliness of staff within HSENI, and asked if wfh poses a risk of losing this within the organisation. The Chief Executive replied, yes, it is a risk but online coffee mornings and team meetings etc. ensured that staff have kept in contact with others throughout the remote working period.

Mr Mawhinney commended the Chief Executive and SMT for being forward thinking and realistic in relation to work practices. The Chair agreed with this statement.

Mrs Singleton asked whether the challenge of remote working caused any difficulties for new staff in HSENI. The Chief Executive stated that SMT are ensuring that new members of staff feel part of the organisation. Initially, new members will have a meeting with their line manager, then their team and then this will expanded. Mrs Monson stated that one of the Well-being Advisors who started working in HSENI during the pandemic had pointed out to her how welcoming everyone in HSENI had made her feel.

A discussion took place in relation to the Economy Committee briefing on 3 February.

ACTION: Mrs Monson to provide the Board with a paper on Mental Health activities within HSENI

At this point in the meeting there was a comfort break 11:00 - 11:10.

10. HR Report

The Board was updated in relation to the HR Report and the following items highlighted:

Sickness Absence:
Due to the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency’s ongoing work on Northern Ireland Civil Service HR (NICSHR) statistics, no data is available. Mr Neeson assured the Board that SMT has no concerns in relation to sickness absence within HSENI.

Mr Neeson informed the Board that HSENI was working with NICSHR to fill vacancies as the NICS embargo has now been lifted. Mr Neeson highlighted the following vacancies to the Board:

  • Scientific Officer - On hold.
  • Staff Officer (Planning / Complaints) – On hold.
  • Administrative Officer (Complaints & Notifications) – On hold.
  • Business Advisor Construction (EO1) – On hold.
  • Higher Scientific Officer – HSENI Laboratory (HSO) – In progress.
  • Health and Safety Inspectors (TBC) – In progress.
  • 2 Deputy Principal's (Legislation) – In progress.
  • Staff Officer Accountant (Finance) – In progress.
  • EU Exit Posts (Chemicals & Product Safety) – In progress.
  • 1 Executive Officer 1 Complaints Officer – In progress.

Mr Neeson highlighted the following appointments to the Board:

  • 2 Principal Inspectors (Grade 7) appointed to fill Head of Group posts in Occupational Health Team and Operational Support Team) – Completed 2 November 2020.
  • 2 Executive Officer 1 Complaints Officers – 2 successful candidates were appointed. One on 7 December 2020 and one on 18 January 2021. The earlier appointment has since moved to the Construction Team which has created a vacancy in the Complaints Team.
  • 1 Typist – Major Investigation Team – Appointed.

Mr Neeson highlighted the following other staffing issues:

  • There is a pressing need to establish a new Grade 6 command in HSENI, given the current work levels and as a result of the significant increase in many areas, most notably the out-workings of the Northern Ireland Protocol (NIP).
  • Trainee Inspector Competition - HSENI is progressing work on developing a training programme for Trainee Inspectors. HSENI is liaising with NICS HR to initiate a competition once the training programme has been agreed.
  • 1 Complaints Officer (EO1) move: from Complaints & Notifications to Construction.

The following new posts are required for the EU Exit Team and are subject to funding approval:

  • Principal Officer / PPTO (Grade 7): EU Chemicals (new post required for EU NIP).
  • Deputy Principal / SPTO: EU Chemicals (new post required for EU NIP).
  • 2 Executive Officer 1's / PTO's: EU Chemicals (new posts required for EU NIP).
  • Principal Officer / PPTO (Grade 7): EU Product Safety (new post required for EU NIP)
  • Deputy Principal /SPTO: EU Product Safety (new post required for EU NIP).
  • 2 Executive Officer 1's/ PTO's : EU Product Safety (new posts required for EU NIP).

A discussion took place in relation to staff vacancies. The Chair stated that it is important to keep vacancies under review and it would be useful if target dates for securing appointments could be included. Mr Neeson agreed to look into this for future reports.

ACTION: Mr Neeson to look into including dates for securing appointments on future reports.

11. Finance Report

Mrs Martin updated the Board in relation to the Finance Report and highlighted the following items:

Staff and Operating Costs’
The following bid was made in the October monitoring round and has been met:

  • Bid for £300k in relation to baseline shortfall in salaries funding, offset by savings made and anticipated due to vacancies

Following a review of finances in December 2020, in light of recruitment delays and further vacancies having developed, the opportunity was taken to revise budgets through the second tranche of the January monitoring round.

The following adjustments were made;

  • Reduced requirement of £320k in relation to vacancies and further Covid-19 spend implications - £30k requested to be transferred to Programme budget to cover investigation costs, and £290k surrendered

Programme expenditure 
The transfer of £90k from DAERA in the October monitoring round, in support of the Farm Safety Campaign, has been confirmed and added to the budget above.

The following adjustments were made to Programme budget as a result of the December 2020 budget review and surrender of Staff and Operating Costs budget;

  • £30k requested transfer from Staff and Operating Costs budget to Programme budget;
  • Request to retain £25k anticipated income and use against Programme expenditure

During Quarter 4, budgets will be kept under constant review to ensure optimum use is made of the budget available and that spend is within tolerance.

Key spend areas for Quarter 4 are as follows;

  • £255k Farm Safety and Asbestos Campaigns;
  • £75k MIT, including approx. £65k in relation to the HSE (GB) investigation work;
  • £35k IT including Quarter 4 Case Management System support charges, other CMS costs and domain renewals;
  • £25k Scientific Services including cost of UKAS accreditation;
  • £20k Finance including costs associated with National Fraud Initiative and External Audit of financial statements;
  • £18k Corporate Admin including Internal Audit charges;
  • £18k Board including salary costs for Quarter 4 and recruitment and other associated costs for new board members; and
  • £17k Information Advisory Service including Accessibility Audit costs and costs associated with promotional activities, information provision and publications.

A discussion took place in relation to the finances. The Chief Executive thanked Mrs Martin and her team for the efficient management of HSENI accounts. The Chief Executive also informed the Board that Mrs Martin’s Deputy is due to retire. This will be a huge loss to the team. SMT has decided to replace this post with a Staff Officer Accountant, in order to provide accountancy support to Mrs Martin. Mrs Martin is due to commence an extended period of leave later this year.

13. Legislation Report

Mr Burns reported that the Legislation Unit is continuing to work under significant pressure with the majority of legislation being made. Four sets of legislation are still in draft form due to a back log in the Departmental Solicitors office:

  • Draft Biocidal Products (Fees and Charges) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021
  • Draft Equipment and Protective Systems Intended for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021
  • Draft Chemicals (Health and Safety) and Genetically Modified Organisms (Contained Use) (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021
  • The Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021.

There has also been inevitable disruption due to the Covid-19 crisis. In relation to all the above entries, HSENI is liaising with GB colleagues to help ensure that requirements such as amendments to comply with the Northern Ireland Protocol are met.

Mr Burns highlighted a risk to the Legislation team with the upcoming retirements of two Deputy Principals (DPs). One has been confirmed for late February 2021 and the second has yet to confirm a date. All work funnels through the two DPs and they will be difficult to replace due to their knowledge and expertise. After a delay from NICS HR, the recruitment process has commenced to fill these imminent vacancies. The Permanent Secretary has been made aware of the situation. Mr Burns reported that there was a DP legislation promotion list with the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) and that the Grade 5 in the Department for Infrastructure had agreed to allow others to take staff off this list. However there are three other Departments waiting to take off the list. It was agreed that Mr Burns would liaise with NICS HR and temporarily promote staff within the team until the situation was resolved.

The Chair stated that he recognises the risk to the organisation and the pressure the team is working under.

The Board noted the remainder of the report.

14. EU Exit

Mr Burns updated the Board on EU Exit preparations:

HSENI has two areas of work which are captured in Annex II of the NI Protocol (NIP). These are ‘Chemicals’ and ‘Product Safety’. These two areas are covered by five and twelve sets of regulations / directives respectively.

Two of the chemical regimes and all of the product safety regimes fall under Regulation for Accreditation and Market Surveillance (RAMS) and the upcoming RAMSII.

HSENI has traditionally done a very small amount of market surveillance work under these regimes. This has been because the majority of chemicals and products were coming from the EU (our work was mainly focused on items coming from outside the EU). In any event, HSENI has no option but to view this work as new both in nature and in volume. This means that under both regimes it will be necessary to stand up new teams to discharge HSENI’s statutory functions.

Mr Burns reported that funding for new posts had been agreed and that recruitment for EU Exit staff had commenced. However it will be September 2021 before all staff are in post and fully trained. Mr Burns assured the Board that the team will be able to deal with queries on Product Safety and Chemicals on a re-active basis until this time.
Mr Burns reported that he had his first direct face to face meeting with the EU in relation to access to data and databases. The EU has created a sharing platform to share information that is required by HSENI. Mr Burns explained that HSENI work will be mostly desk based, providing an audit type function and only going to premises to inspect products. The EU has EU Oversight Officers operating in Northern Ireland but they have not yet made contact with HSENI.

The UK Government Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is responsible for market surveillance and any contact with the EU must be cleared first by BEIS. HSENI is currently receiving very good support from all GB Government departments on all fronts.

The Chair thanked Mr Burns for his update and work carried out to date.
Mr Kane expressed his appreciation to Mr Burns for his challenging role.

The Chair agreed with this. Mr Burns thanked Mr Kane and stated that he cannot take all the credit and thanked his team, Mr Downey, Mrs Henry and Mr Lyons, for their work.

15. Trainee Inspector Training

Mr Neeson reported to the Board that the five trainees who started in April 2019 have now been enrolled on the RTP training. The training will last for two years and they are on course to complete in the second quarter of 2021/22.

The three trainees who started in October 2019 are enrolled on the RTP training as of 1 October 2020. They have commenced the e-learning elements of the course. Work is also progressing via workshops and tutorials. They should complete training in 2022.

Mr Neeson reported that SMT is investigating a new approach for delivering the appropriate training. This would involve recruiting people with a NEBOSH Diploma and supplement with a regulatory element to allow progression to a Health & Safety Inspector. Mrs Monson and Ms Donaghy have done a lot of work as HSENI do not want to dilute the standard of training required. Contact has been made with local universities to provide legal training.

The Chief Executive has written to HSE Chief Executive, Sarah Albon, in relation to running a pilot programme to maintain relationships with HSE and to be able to access e-learning material and bespoke training days. The Chief Executive stated that he has spoken to Mr Malcolm in DfE as there are challenges in getting costings in place as a programme needs to be in place first.

16. Any other business

DfE Partnership Agreement
The draft Partnership Agreement is still with Corporate Governance for review. The Chief Executive proposed that SMT will review the document when HSENI receives it back and will then share with Board members. All members were content with this approach.

Building Safety Regulator
The Chief Executive updated the Board on the Building Safety Regulator duties after the report from Dame Judith Hackett. This regulatory function now rests with HSE in GB. The Chief Executive attended a meeting with Construction and Procurement Delivery (CPD). He informed the Board that this function is not within HSENI’s remit in Northern Ireland. CPD has asked for a written response from the Chief Executive, endorsed by the Permanent Secretary, in relation to this. The Chair agrees with this position. It does not sit with HSENI and the organisation has no plans to develop it. A paper has been received from Private Office sent by Mr Murphy, Minister Department of Finance (DoF), and the Executive will need to make a decision on this.

Board Appointments
The Chair reported that the competition to appoint new Board members continues and it is currently expected that appointments will be made to commence on 1 May, 2021.

The Chair will keep all Board Members informed of the appointment progress.

As this is the last scheduled Board meeting, the Chair thanked the five outgoing Board members for their service over the last 8 years. The Chair hopes to get an informal meeting before the end of April to say goodbyes and to wish outgoing members the best of luck. If members are unable to meet in person, this will be arranged via videoconference.

The Chair, on behalf of the Board, expressed condolences to staff member Mr McSorley’s family on his passing.

The Chief Executive thanked the Board for their condolences.

ACTION: Partnership Agreement to be shared with Board members 

Mrs Singleton asked if a link was available for the Economy Committee on 3 February. The Chief Executive agreed to send a link for the Economy Committee to Board members.

ACTION: The Chief Executive to forward a copy of the link for the Economy Committee.

The Chief Executive thanked the five outgoing Board Members for their wise counsel and support to himself and SMT.

Mr Wright thanked the outgoing Board members, stating that he had learned so much from Mrs Singleton during his time on the ARMC. He is looking forward to saying a proper farewell.

Dr Monson expressed a huge thanks to all outgoing Board members for their support stating “they will be leaving temporarily but never getting away fully”.

Mr Sinclair thanked the outgoing Board members for their great support and professionalism.

Mrs Monson thanked the outgoing Board members for their support and engagement in staff development and mental health issues.

Mrs Mounce thanked the full Board for the welcome she received and expressed best wishes to outgoing Board members.

Mrs Singleton thanked everyone for their comments. She stated that it had been a privilege to serve on the Board. The learning she has digested has been immense and can be applied daily in other roles. The organisation is characterised by the competency and integrity of SMT. She is thankful for the support she received from the Secretariat Ms Nelson and Mrs Mullan. Mrs Singleton wishes all in HSENI the best.

Mr Kane echoed all comments already made. He stated that he was made very welcome, he thanked the Chair and the previous Chair Mr Lucas, the Chief Executive and SMT including Mr Breen, retired Deputy Chief Executive. He also thanked the Secretariat, Ms Nelson and Mrs Mullan, expressing best wishes to everyone.

Mrs Martin said that she hopes everything goes well for the outgoing Board members, thanking them for their support and for their concern for HSENI staff.

Mr Neeson thanked all outgoing Board members wishing them the best for the future.

Ms Smith stated that she appreciated the last eight years. She stated that experience is about relationships and that she had embraced the challenges and the support the Board offered.

Ms Lindsey thanked everyone including the Chair, the Chief Executive, SMT, all HSENI staff for their help and competence in carrying out their roles. Ms Lindsey hopes the new Board members will continue building relationships. Ms Lindsey wished Mrs Mounce all the best.

Mr Burns echoed all sentiments already expressed adding that he has developed himself as well as the organisation, appreciating the way the Board has guided him to bridge the gap between approachable whilst remaining independent. He wishes all outgoing Board members well in any future ventures.

The Chair thanked all for attending.

17. Date of next Board Meeting

The next Board meeting will be held on Thursday 6 May 2021, 09:30 a.m.

The meeting ended at 1.10pm.

The Board Minutes were adopted, approved and signed by the Chairman on 1 June 2021.