Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Venue: Room 29

The meeting commenced at 2.02 p.m. in public session.

1. Apologies

No apologies were received.

2. Chair’s Business

The Committee discussed the scrutiny workshop provided by the Assembly Legislative Strengthening Trust and agreed to investigate available dates.

The Committee agreed to write to the Department regarding Accident & Emergency services.

The Committee agreed to write to the Department regarding contamination of beef burgers with horsemeat.

The Committee agreed to write to the Department seeking an update on the prevalence of whooping cough.

The Committee agreed to write to the Department regarding the Memorandum of Understanding between it and Invest NI on the Connected Health project.

The Committee noted a paper from the Clerk setting out options for scrutiny of the Mental Capacity Bill and agreed to return to this matter at its next meeting.

2.04 p.m. Mr Conall McDevitt joined the meeting.

2.05 p.m. Ms Maeve McLaughlin joined the meeting.

3. Draft minutes of the meeting on Wednesday 12th December 2012

The minutes of the Committee meeting on Wednesday 12th December 2012 were agreed.

4. Evidence session with Departmental officials on the Evaluation of the Protect Life Strategy.

The Committee took evidence from:

Mr Gerard Collins, Health Improvement Policy Branch

Dr Elizabeth Mitchell, Deputy Chief Medical Officer

Ms Mary Black, Assistant Director of Public Health (Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement)

Ms Madeline Heaney, Public Health Agency

A question and answer session ensued.

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

2.17 p.m. Mr Gordon Dunne joined the meeting.

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

2.39 p.m. Mr Conall McDevitt left the meeting.

2.42 p.m. Mr Conall McDevitt rejoined the meeting.

3.01 p.m. Mr Conall McDevitt left the meeting.

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

3.11 p.m. Mr Conall McDevitt rejoined the meeting.

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

3.21 p.m. Mr Kieran McCarthy rejoined the meeting.

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

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

5. Review on Health Inequalities- Consideration of draft report

3.29 p.m. Mr Sam Gardiner left the meeting.

3.31 p.m. Mr Conall McDevitt rejoined the meeting.

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

The Committee agreed a report on its Review on Health inequalities.

The Committee agreed to write to the Department and the Assembly and Executive Review Committee Committee regarding the recommendations in the report.

The Committee agreed to consider bringing forward a motion on the report at its next meeting.

The Committee agreed to invite Dr David Hickey to brief it on his experiences of the Cuban healthcare system.

The Committee agreed to commission a research paper on international co-operation between different healthcare systems.

The Committee agreed a motion on annual GP check-ups.

6. Proposed Statutory Rule. The Food Information Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013

The Committee considered the proposals for the Food Information Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013 and agreed to seek further information from the Food Standards Agency.

7. Matters rising

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding Children's Congenital Heart Services and agreed to invite the Department to brief it on the outcome of the public consultation.  

The Committee also agreed to copy the correspondence to the Children’s Heartbeat Trust, Heartbeat NI, NICCY, Ms Clifford, Ms Greenaway, Ms Bryson and Ms McElroy who have contacted it regarding this matter.

The Committee noted responses from the Minister regarding the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service reports and agreed to write back to the Department to seek further information.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding issues raised by a retired member of the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service and agreed to copy the response to the correspondent.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.

3.45 p.m. Mr Conall McDevitt left the meeting.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding Accident & Emergency waiting times and agreed to arrange an evidence session with the Accident & Emergency Improvement Action Group.

The Committee agreed to forward a response from the Minister regarding the Small Business Research Initiative to the Committee for Enterprise, Trade & Investment.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding the Tobacco Products Duty Act 1979 and agreed to write to the Committee for Justice regarding this matter.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding Transforming Your Care and agreed to forward this to Trade Union representatives who raised this matter with the Committee.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding Familial Hypercholesterolaemia.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding funding for the Northern Ireland Hospice and agreed to copy this to the NI Hospice.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding delays to the new Critical Care Building at the Royal Hospital.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding funding allocated to Health & Social Care Trusts by the Public Health Agency.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding Elective Care.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding Arrangements for Ensuring the Quality of Care in Homes for Older People.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding a fire at Altnagelvin Hospital.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding Community Pharmacy and agreed to write to the Department for further information.

The Committee noted a response from the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust regarding advertisements for treatment providers and agreed to copy this to Mr & Mrs Cosgrove who raised the matter with it.

8. Report on informal meeting 5 December 2012

The Committee noted a report on an informal meeting held on Wednesday 5 December 2012.

9. Report on informal meeting with Trade Union representatives 12 December 2012

The Committee noted a report on an informal meeting held with Trade Union representatives on Wednesday 12 December 2012.

10. Forward Work Programme

The Committee agreed its forward work programme.

The Committee agreed to attend the Confederation for Health and Social Services conference on Transforming Your Care on Wednesday 6 March and the morning of Thursday 7 March.

11. Correspondence

The Committee noted correspondence from the Minister regarding Health and Social Care Pension Schemes.

The Committee noted correspondence from the Minister regarding Firefighters' Pension Schemes.

The Committee noted correspondence from the Minister regarding a consultation on Draft Pharmacy Regulations.

The Committee noted correspondence from the Minister regarding the Indicators of Performance Direction.

The Committee agreed to schedule a briefing on the new Sexual Assault Referral Centre.  

The Committee noted correspondence from the Minister regarding the Regional Community Resuscitation Strategy.

The Committee noted correspondence from the Minister regarding protection of animals used for scientific procedures.

The Committee noted correspondence from the Minister regarding the Northern Ireland Social Care Council.

The Committee noted correspondence from the Minister regarding General Dental Services.

The Committee noted correspondence from the Minister regarding a consultation on overseas visitors’ access to health services.

The Committee noted correspondence from the Minister regarding Clinical Excellence Awards and agreed to take evidence from officials on this matter.

The Committee noted correspondence from the Department regarding the Investment Strategy for Northern Ireland December 2012.

The Committee noted correspondence from the Committee for the Office of the First Minister & deputy First Minister regarding the European Commission Work Programme Pilot Project and agreed to return to this matter at its next meeting.

The Committee noted correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personnel regarding Financial Forecasting.

The Committee agreed to forward correspondence from the Committee for Education regarding Post-19 Provision to the Department.

The Committee agreed to support an event being organised by the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure regarding funding for arts projects for audiences with profound learning difficulties.

The Committee noted correspondence from the Western Health and Social Care Trust regarding its Condition Management Programme.

The Committee noted correspondence from Asitis consulting .

The Committee noted correspondence from Allergy NI and agreed to forward the letter to the Department for its views.

The Committee agreed to invite NIASW to give evidence to it regarding Transforming your Care.

The Committee agreed to sponsor an event being organized by ME Support NI.

The Committee noted correspondence from the Energysaver NI.

The Committee agreed to write to the South Eastern Health & Social Car Trust regarding Mental Health Services.

12. Any other Business

The Committee agreed to write to the Department for an update on funding for Homestart schemes.

13. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next Committee meeting will be on Wednesday 23rd January 2013 at 2 pm in the Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 4.04 p.m.

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