Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Venue: Education Centre, Conway Mill

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

1. Apologies

Apologies as above.

2. Chair’s Business

The Chairperson thanked the Conway Education Centre for hosting the meeting.

The Committee noted that members had an informal meeting with the Belfast Health Initiative and would return to the issues raised at its next meeting.

The Committee agreed to write to the Public Health Agency regarding cervical cancer and the HPV vaccination programme.

The Committee agreed to write to the Department and the British Medical Association General Practice Committee regarding cervical cancer, ovarian cancer and endometriosis.

The Committee agreed that the Clerk would work with Research Services to scope out possible approaches to a piece of work on women’s health issues.

The Committee agreed to write to the Department to seeking an update on the tendering processes for Independent Sexual Violence Advisors, and Independent Domestic Violence Advisors for the Sexual Assault Referral Centre.

The Committee noted correspondence from Minister and Permanent Secretary regarding delays in providing briefing papers and agreed to write to the Department welcoming the commitment to provide papers to agreed timescales.

The Committee agreed to write to the Department seeking passes to allow members access to Health & Social Care facilities.

3. Draft minutes of the meeting on Wednesday 19th June 2013.

The minutes of the Committee meeting on Wednesday 19th June 2013 were agreed.

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

4. Tobacco Retailers Bill – Evidence session with Departmental officials

Mr Roy Beggs made a Declaration of Interest that his father is a local councillor.

Ms Pam Brown made a Declaration of Interest that she is a local councillor.

Ms Paula Bradley made a Declaration of Interest that she is a local councillor.

Mr Gordon Dunne made a Declaration of Interest that he is a local councillor.

Mr Kieran McCarthy made a Declaration of Interest that he is a local councillor.

The Committee noted that the Examiner of Statutory Rules was content with the powers contained in the Bill in relation to secondary legislation.

The Committee noted correspondence from the Department regarding the offences and penalties contained in the Bill.

The Committee noted correspondence from NILGA regarding the Bill.

The Committee noted correspondence from the Department of Justice regarding the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 and the Tobacco Products Duty Act 1979 and agreed to forward this to the Department.

The Committee took evidence from:

Mr Gerard Collins, Health Improvement Policy Branch, DHSSPS

Mrs Jenny McAlarney, Health Improvement Policy Branch, DHSSPS

Mr Nigel McMahon, Chief Environmental Health Officer, Public Health Advice Directorate, DHSSPS

A question and answer session ensued. The Chairperson thanked the witness for attending.

3.47 p.m. Meeting adjourned.

4.02 p.m. Meeting resumed.

5. Evidence session on proposed changes to Northern Ireland Ambulance Service Pay Bands with Trade Union officials.

The Committee took evidence from:

Ms Anne Speed, Head of Bargaining and Representation, UNISON 

Mr Alistair Long, Joint Branch Secretary, Ambulance Branch, UNISON

Mr Mark Quigley, Joint Branch Secretary, Ambulance Branch, UNISON

Mr Richard Dundas, Branch Chairperson, Ambulance Branch, UNISON

Mr Brian Ferguson, Regional Officer, UNISON

Ms Paula Bradley made a declaration that she was a member of UNISON.

A question and answer session ensued. The Chairperson thanked the witness for attending.

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

6. Evidence session on proposed changes to Northern Ireland Ambulance Service Pay Bands with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service Trust

The Committee took evidence from:

Mr Liam McIvor, Chief Executive, Northern Ireland Ambulance Service

Mr Brian McNeill, Director of Operations, Northern Ireland Ambulance Service

Ms Roisin O’Hara, Director of Human Resources & Corporate Services, Northern Ireland Ambulance Service

Dr David McManus, Medical Director, Northern Ireland Ambulance Service

Ms Sharon McCue, Director of Finance, Northern Ireland Ambulance Service

A question and answer session ensued.

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

5.16 p.m. Ms Pam Brown left the meeting.

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

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

The Chairperson thanked the witness for attending.

The Committee agreed to write to the Department regarding this matter.

7. Proposed Statutory Rule. The Healthy Start Scheme and Day Care Food Scheme (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013

The Committee agreed that it was content for the Department to prepare the statutory rule.

8. Matters arising

The Committee noted a response from the Minister providing an update on the Health & Social Care Shared Services Project.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding June Monitoring.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding the Meningitis B Vaccination Programme.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding Fracture Liaison Services and agreed to copy the response to the National Osteoporosis Society.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding new health centres in Lisburn and Newry.

The Committee noted responses from the Minister and the HSC Board regarding infant mental health and agreed to copy the responses to the Association for Infant Mental Health.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding support for people with a disability applying for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding the work of the Accident and Emergency Improvement Group, accountability meetings with HSC Trusts and NIAS issues. The Committee agreed to write to the Department to seek copies of the minutes of the 2012/2013 accountability meetings.

The Committee noted a briefing paper from the Minister regarding the prevention of accidents in the home and agreed to copy the paper to Ms Coulter who had contacted it regarding this matter.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding Pandemic Flu Advanced Purchase Agreements.

The Committee noted a response from the Southern Health and Social Care Trust regarding Residential Care Homes.

9. Correspondence

The Committee noted correspondence from the Minister regarding the Breastfeeding Strategy.

The Committee noted correspondence from the Minister regarding draft minimum care standards for independent healthcare establishments.

The Committee noted correspondence from the Minister regarding Group B Streptococcus.

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

The Committee noted correspondence from the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure and the Committee for Education regarding the Replay Theatre Bliss Project and agreed to write to the Department regarding its role is in relation to arts-based projects in special schools.

The Committee noted correspondence from Ms Jo-Anne Dobson MLA regarding a proposed Organ Donation Bill and agreed to invite Ms Dobson to give evidence to it on the proposed Bill.

The Committee noted correspondence from the Patient and Client Council regarding GP access.

The Committee noted correspondence from the Patient and Client Council regarding its Pain Project.

The Committee noted the corporate plan of the Commissioner for Older People (NI).

The Committee noted a letter from College of Occupational Therapists seeking a meeting with the Committee and agreed to invite the organisation to an informal meeting.

The Committee noted a letter from Headway Belfast regarding an event it is organising and agreed to seek further information from the charity.

The Committee noted a letter from UNISON to the Belfast Trust regarding Paediatric Ambulance Services.

The Committee noted a letter from Mr McCloy regarding the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.

The Committee noted a press release from Ilex regarding the launch of an age friendly city charter.

The Committee noted a letter from PEAT

The Committee noted a letter from the USPC regarding National Parks.

The Committee noted a letter from the World Endometriosis Society.

The Committee noted correspondence regarding endometrosis.

10. Forward Work Programme

The Committee noted its Forward Work Programme.

11. Any other Business

The Committee agreed to write to the Department regarding preventative treatment for breast cancer.

The Committee agreed to write to the Belfast Health & Social Care Trust regarding the recent recall of patients who were treated at the Accident & Emergency Unit at the Royal Hospital. 

12. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next Committee meeting will be on Wednesday 3rd July 2013 at 2.00pm in the Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 5.40 p.m.

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