Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Venue: Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings

The meeting commenced at 2.04 p.m. in public session.

1. Apologies

Apologies noted above.

2. Chair’s Business

The Committee noted a record of the Chairperson’s meeting with the Minister on Monday 13th February 2012.

The Committee deferred consideration of a motion on IVF treatment until its next meeting.

The Committee agreed to sponsor an event in the Long Gallery on Monday 12th March to celebrate World Social Work Day.

The Committee noted that the sub-committee to appoint a specialist advisor will meet on Wednesday 22nd February 2012 and Wednesday 29th February 2012.

3. Draft minutes of the meeting on Wednesday 8th February 2012

The minutes of the Committee meeting on Wednesday 8th February 2012 were agreed.

4. Matters arising

The Committee noted correspondence from the Committee for Justice regarding the Committee visit to Hydebank Wood Young Offenders Centre and agreed it was content that Committee for Justice members who had not previously visited Hydebank could take part in the visit.

The Committee noted a letter from the Chairman of Down District Council raising concerns about the Department’s consultation on the Shared Services Project and agreed to forward the letter to the Minister.

The Committee noted a letter from the Department in relation to the community pharmacy judicial review.

5. Report on informal meetings held on Thursday 2nd February 2012

The Committee noted a report on informal meeting held by the Committee on Thursday 2nd February 2012.

The Committee agreed to write to the Department about autistic children with co-existing conditions.

The Committee agreed to write to the Department for an update on the proposals for a new women & children’s hospital.

The Committee agreed to write to the Department about the implementation plan for the Cancer Service Framework.

The Committee agreed to write to the Department about funding for the Family Fund.

The Committee agreed to write to the Department about the need to produce business cases for lower levels of spend in the NI Fire & Rescue Service.

6. Evidence session on Community Meals

The Committee was briefed by Assembly Research on Community Meals.

The Committee took evidence from:

Ms Christine Jendoubi - Director, Mental Health, Disability and Older People Directorate, DHSSPS

Mr Michael Swann - Principal, Elderly and Community Care, DHSSPS

Mr Brian Taggart - Deputy Principal, Elderly & Community Care, DHSSPS

A question and answer session ensued.

2.30 p.m. Mr John McCallister joined the meeting.

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

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

3.26 p.m. Ms Paula Bradley left the meeting. 

The witnesses agreed to provide the Committee with additional information. The Chairperson thanked the witnesses for attending.

The Committee agreed to write to the Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland for her views on the provision of community meals.

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

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

3.29 p.m. Meeting adjourned.

3.31 p.m. Meeting resumed.

7. Evidence session on Pseudomonas Outbreak

The Committee took evidence from:

Mr Edwin Poots MLA - Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety

Dr Andrew McCormick - Permanent Secretary, DHSSPS

Dr Michael McBride - Chief Medical Officer, DHSSPS

Dr Liz Reaney - Senior Medical Officer, DHSSPS

A question and answer session ensued.

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

3.40 p.m. Ms Paula Bradley rejoined the meeting.

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

4.21 p.m. Mr John McCallister left the meeting.

The Chairperson thanked the witnesses for attending.

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

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

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

4.47 p.m. Meeting adjourned.

4.56 p.m. Meeting resumed.

8. Proposed statutory rule

Ms Paula Bradley declared an interest as a member of the HSC pension scheme.

The Committee considered the Health and Personal Social Services (Superannuation), Health and Social Care (Pension Scheme) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 and agreed that it was content for the Department to prepare the rule.

9. Commencement order

The Committee noted a commencement order for the Sunbeds (2011 Act) (Commencement No1) Order (NI) 2012 & the Sunbeds (2011 Act) (Commencement No2) Order (NI) 2012.

10. Forward Work Programme

The Committee agreed its Forward Work Programme.

11. Correspondence

The Committee noted a letter from the Minister regarding a consultation on draft Pharmacy Regulations.

The Committee noted a letter from the Minister providing an update on the development of the new Strategic Framework for Public Health.

The Committee noted correspondence from the Committee for Education about access to inhalers and administration of medication to pupils and agreed that the Chairs of each Committee should meet regarding this matter.

The Committee noted a letter from Community Pharmacy NI about problems faced by community pharmacies and agreed to write to Community Pharmacy NI to advise that it will be taking evidence from officials on the issue on 29 February.

The Committee noted a letter from Phalmac Healthcare regarding a proposal for a new eating disorders clinic at Tullyallen.

The Committee noted a letter from the Hospice regarding the redevelopment of the adult hospice at Somerton House and agreed to forward this to the Minister.

The Committee noted a letter from Mr Evan Bates regarding the review of Investing for Health and agreed to write to Mr Bates informing him of the Department’s plans to develop a new Strategic Framework for Public Health.

The Committee noted correspondence from the General Medical Council on new draft guidance on dealing with complaints about assisting suicide.

The Committee noted correspondence from the General Medical Council regarding a call for evidence to inform the review of language testing for doctors from outside the EEA.

12. Any Other Business

No other business was discussed.

13. Evidence session on car parking charges in the health and social care sector

The Committee noted a briefing paper prepared by Assembly Research on car parking charges in the health and social care sector.

The Committee took evidence from:

Dr Bernie Stuart - Investment Directorate, DHSSPS

Mr Conrad Kirkwood - Head of Patient Environment Branch, DHSSPS

Mr Gordon Dunne declared an interest that a relative is an employee of the Belfast Health & Social Care Trust.

A question and answer session ensued. The witnesses agreed to provide the Committee with additional information

5.01 p.m. Ms Paula Bradley left the meeting.

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

5.08 p.m. Mr Jim Wells rejoined the meeting.

The Chairperson thanked the witnesses for attending

14. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next Committee meeting will be on Wednesday 22nd February 2012 at 2.00pm in the Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 5.37 p.m.

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