Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Venue: Room 29, Parliament Buildings

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

1. Apologies

No apologies were received.

2.  Electronic Committee packs

The Committee agreed to participate in a further trial of electronic meeting packs.

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

2.11 p.m. Mr Jim Wells joined the meeting.

2.18 p.m. The meeting moved to public session.

3. Chair’s Business

The Committee noted that it would visit Hydebank Wood Young Offenders Centre and Ash House Women’s Prison on Wednesday 25th April 2012.

The Committee agreed to write to the Department for an update on a review of Safefood.

The Committee agreed to prepare a Committee motion on the use of 0844 numbers by General Practitioners Surgeries. The Committee also agreed to write to the Department for further information on this matter.

4. Draft minutes of the meetings on Wednesday 28th March 2012 and Wednesday 4th April 2012.

The minutes of the Committee meetings on Wednesday 28th March 2012 and Wednesday 4th April 2012 were agreed.

5. Evidence session on the Sexual Health Promotion Action Plan with the Public Health Agency

The Committee took evidence from:

Dr Eddie Rooney - Chief Executive, Public Health Agency

Dr Carolyn Harper - Director of Public Health/Medical Director, Public Health Agency

Dr Bernadette Cullen - Consultant in Public Health, Public Health Agency

Mr Jim Wells made a declaration of interest that a family member worked as a volunteer for Love for Life.

A question and answer session ensued.

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

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

3.37 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.

6. Mental Capacity (Health, Welfare & Finance) Bill

The Committee noted correspondence regarding the Mental Capacity (Health, Welfare & Finance) Bill from the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children & Young People and the Children’s Law Centre and agreed to invite the organisations to give evidence on the Bill in relation to children and young people. The Committee also agreed to invite departmental officials to brief on the same matter.

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

7. The Mental Health (Private Hospital Regulations (NI) 2012

The Committee considered the Mental Health (Private Hospital Regulations (NI) 2012 and agreed that it was content for the Department to prepare the rule.

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

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

8. Assembly Research briefing – Child Protection Register

The Committee was briefed by Assembly Research & Library Service on the Child Protection register. Dr Black agreed to provide the Committee with further information.

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

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

9. Proposed Statutory Rule. The Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2012.

The Committee considered the Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2012 and agreed that it was content for the Department to prepare the rule. 

10. Forward Work Programme

The Committee agreed its Forward Work Programme.

The Committee agreed to visit the neo-natal unit and the Children’s Hospital at the Royal Victoria Hospital.

The Committee agreed to schedule a special meeting with the Minister on the day of publication of the final RQIA report on the pseudomonas outbreak in neonatal units.

11. Matters arising

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding the dental services budget and agreed to forward the letter to the BDA for information.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding the Tackling Violence at Home Strategy and agreed to request a further update following a meeting of the Children & Young People Sub-group.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding legislation to prosecute people who carry out attacks on health and social care staff and agreed to copy this to Mr Hanna who raised this matter with the Committee. The Committee also agreed to write to the Minister and the Minister of Justice about the sentencing of those convicted of assaults on health staff.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding the RQIA review of the pseudomonas outbreak in neonatal units.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding the prompt payment of invoices.

The Committee noted a copy of a letter from Trade Unions and a response from the Minister regarding the Shared Services project and agreed to write to the Department for a further update on this matter.

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

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding Programme for Government Delivery Plans and agreed to write to the Department for an update on this matter.

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

12. Report on informal meetings held with Health Related Groups on 22nd March 2012.

The Committee noted a report on informal meetings with health related groups held on Thursday 22nd March 2012.

The Committee agreed to write to the Department regarding NICE guidance.

The Committee agreed to write to the Department about treatment for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

The Committee agreed to write to departments regarding the work of Business in the Community.

The Committee agreed to write to the Department regarding services available for adults who were abused as children.

The Committee agreed to hold further informal meetings with health related groups on Thursday 24 May 2012.

13. Correspondence

The Committee noted a letter from the Minister regarding pilot schemes for a new dental contract and agreed to write to the Department for further information about dental services.

The Committee noted a letter from the Minister regarding the Firefighters Pension Schemes. 

The Committee considered the Firefighters’ Pension Scheme (Contributions) (Amendment) Order (Northern Ireland) 2012 and agreed that it was content for the Department to prepare the rule. 

The Committee considered the New Firefighters’ Pension Scheme (Contributions) (Amendment) Order (Northern Ireland) 2012 and agreed that it was content for the Department to prepare the rule. 

The Committee noted a letter from the Southern Health & Social Care Trust about a General Medical Council investigation.

The Committee noted correspondence from the Committee for Justice regarding the draft Community Safety Strategy for 2012-2017.

The Committee noted a correspondence from the Royal College of General Practitioners to the Minister in relation to a joint statement on ‘General Practice and the Future of Health & Social Care in the UK’.

The Committee noted a letter from the Royal College of Physicians inviting the Chair to speak at a debate and agreed to decline the invitation. The Committee agreed to consider a committee motion on clinical excellence awards at a later date.

The Committee noted an invitation to the launch of the MindWise Community Bridge Building for Older People Project.

The Committee agreed to sponsor the launch of a Patient and Client Council domiciliary care report.

The Committee noted a letter from the ME Alliance for NI seeking a meeting and agreed to invite the organisation to an informal meeting.

The Committee noted correspondence from the BDA.

The Committee noted a letter from Abbott UK.

The Committee noted a letter from the Department regarding changes to charging for Residential Care.

The Committee noted correspondence from Mr W Bovaird regarding an individual matter and agreed to refer him to the Department and to constituency representatives.

14. Any Other Business

The Committee discussed that the Speaker’s ruling of 17 April 2012.

The Committee agreed to write to the Department regarding the role of the UK National Screening Committee in the introduction of HPV testing.

The Committee agreed to write to the Department regarding the 2010 Review of transplant surgery.

The Committee agreed to write to the Department regarding a report being prepared on the Antrim Hospital.  

The Committee agreed to write to the Department for update on community pharmacy negotiations for 2012/2013.

Mr Durkan thanked members for his time on the Committee and was thanked by the Chairperson for his contribution to the work of the Committee.

The Committee agreed to arrange a visit to the Ulster Hospital.

15. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next Committee meeting will be on Wednesday 2nd May 2012 at 2.00pm in room 29, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 4.37 p.m.

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