Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Wednesday, 01 February 2012

Venue: Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings

The meeting commenced at 2.04 p.m. in public session with the Deputy Chairperson in the Chair.

1. Apologies

Apologies noted above.

2. Chair’s Business

The Committee agreed to invite the Minister to brief the Committee on the pseudomonas outbreaks at its meeting on 15th February 2012.

3. Draft minutes of the meeting on Wednesday 25th January 2012

The minutes of the Committee meeting on Wednesday 25th January 2012 were agreed.

4. Matters arising

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding the security breach at the Belvoir Park Hospital site and agreed to write to the Department for further information.

2.13 p.m. Ms Michelle Gildernew joined the meeting and took the Chair.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister about the provision of community meals and agreed to seek further information from the Department for the evidence session on 15 February 2012.

The Committee noted a summary of responses to the Department’s consultation on ‘A Draft Policy for Developing Advocacy Services – A Guide for Commissioners’ and agreed to arrange an evidence session with Departmental officials.

The Committee noted a response from the Department regarding car parking charges at the new South West acute hospital and agreed to write to the Department for further information.

The Committee noted copies of responses from NIPSA and the Royal College of Psychiatrists to the Department’s consultation on the Mental Health (Private Hospital) Regulations.

2.20 p.m. Ms Paula Bradley joined the meeting.

5. Evidence session on the Health & Social Care Review with the Royal College of General Practitioners and the BMA

The Committee took evidence from:

Dr Stephen Austin                     Chair, BMA's consultant committee (NI)

Dr Tom Black                            Chair, BMA's GP committee (NI)

Professor Scott Brown              Chair, RCGP NI Council

Dr David Johnston                    Executive Member RCGP NI Council

A question and answer session ensued.

2.40 p.m. Mrs Pam Lewis left the meeting.

2.56 p.m. Ms Sue Ramsey left the meeting.

2.59 p.m. Ms Sue Ramsey rejoined the meeting.

3.11 p.m. Mrs Pam Lewis rejoined the meeting.

The Chairperson thanked the witnesses for attending.

3.18 p.m. Mr Gordon Dunne left the meeting.

3.18 p.m. Mr Mark H Durkan left the meeting.

3.19 p.m. Ms Sue Ramsey left the meeting.

3.20 p.m. Ms Sue Ramsey rejoined the meeting.

3.20 p.m. Mr Mark H Durkan rejoined the meeting.

6. Evidence session on the Health & Social Care Review with the Minister of  Health, Social Services & Public Safety

The Committee took evidence from:

Mr Edwin Poots                        Minister for Health, Social Services & Public Safety

Dr Andrew McCormick            Permanent Secretary, DHSSPS

Mr John Compton                     Chief Executive, Health and Social Care Board

A question and answer session ensued.

3.21 p.m. Mr Gordon Dunne rejoined the meeting.

4.08 p.m. Mr Mark H Durkan left the meeting.

4.16 p.m. Ms Sue Ramsey left the meeting.

The Chairperson thanked the witnesses for attending. The Minister agreed to share a paper with the Committee regarding proposals for funding of the community/voluntary sector.

4.37 p.m. Mr Kieran McCarthy left the meeting.

4.37 p.m. meeting adjourned.

4.53 p.m. meeting resumed.

4.53 p.m. Ms Sue Ramsey rejoined the meeting.

7. Evidence session on the Commissioning Direction for 2012/2013

The Committee took evidence from:

Dr Andrew McCormick            Permanent Secretary, DHSSPS

Ms Catherine Daly                    Deputy Secretary, DHSSPS

Mr Eugene Rooney                   Director of Primary Care, DHSSPS

A question and answer session ensued.

5.32 p.m. Mr Jim Wells left the meeting.

The Chairperson thanked the witnesses for attending.

8. Proposed statutory rules

The Committee considered the Materials and Articles in Contact with Food Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 and agreed that it was content for the Food Standards Agency to prepare the rule. 

Ms Paula Bradley declared an interest as a member of the HSC Pension Scheme.

The Committee deferred consideration of the Health and Personal Social Services (Superannuation Scheme, Injury Benefits and Additional Voluntary Contributions), Health and Social Care (Pension Scheme) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012.

9. Forward Work Programme

The Committee agreed its Forward Work Programme.

The Committee noted that a visit to Dublin had been arranged for Thursday 1st March 2012 to meet with the Committee on Health & Children.

10. Correspondence

The Committee noted a letter from the Minister regarding a consultation on the Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services and agreed to request a summary of responses from the Department.

The Committee noted the Investment Strategy for Northern Ireland Investing Activity Report for January 2012.

The Committee noted a letter from the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust regarding a consultation on emergency service provision at Lagan Valley Hospital.

The Committee noted correspondence from the Committee for Education regarding the motion ‘Pupils Living in Poverty’ passed by the Assembly on 23rd January 2012. The Committee agreed to write to the Committee for Education stating that it was content for that Committee to write to the Department about this matter.

The Committee noted a letter from Kennedy’s Pharmacy about funding for Community Pharmacy.

The Committee agreed to accept an invitation from Queen’s University to visit its Biological Resources Unit.

The Committee noted an invitation from Queen’s University to a cancer conference on Monday 27th February 2012.

The Committee noted a letter from Asthma NI seeking a meeting with the Committee and agreed to invite the organisation to an informal meeting. The Committee also agreed to write to the Department about access to inhalers in schools.

The Committee noted a letter from Grunenthal Limited seeking a meeting with the Committee and agreed to refer the company to the Department and Health & Social Care Board.

The Committee noted reports from the Centre for Ageing, Research and Development.

The Committee noted a copy of the Belfast Healthy Cities Annual Review.

The Committee agreed to accept an invitation from the British Heart Foundation to an event on 8 February 2012.

The Committee noted a letter from Ms Mullin regarding a conference at Orangefield Presbyterian Church and agreed to respond to Ms Mullin about the matters raised.

The Committee noted a letter from Mr McConkey regarding the care received by a neighbour and agreed to refer the correspondent to his constituency MLAs.

The Committee noted correspondence from the Patient Client Council seeking a meeting with the Committee and agreed to invite the organisation to an informal meeting.

11. Any Other Business

The Committee agreed to write to the Department seeking an update on the implementation of the Tackling Violence at Home action plan.

12. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next Committee meeting will be on Wednesday 8th February 2012 at 2.00pm in room 29, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 6.02 p.m.

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