Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Venue: Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings

The meeting commenced at 2.05 p.m. in public session.

1. Apologies

Apologies were received as above.

2. Community Pharmacy Contract

The Committee agreed to postpone taking evidence on the community pharmacy contract and to seek further legal advice on the matter.  

3. Chairperson’s business

The Committee agreed to arrange an evidence session with departmental officials on the measures being put in place to increase breastfeeding rates. The Committee also agreed to take evidence on the matter from key stakeholders in the voluntary/community sector and agreed to commission a research paper on the matter.

The Committee noted that the Committee motion on caesarean section rates had not been moved and agreed to resubmit both the motions on caesarean section rates and motor neurone disease in September.

The Committee agreed to arrange an evidence session with departmental officials and relevant stakeholders regarding screening for Strep B.

The Committee agreed to delegate authority to the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson to submit views on Freedom of Information requests on behalf of the Committee over the recess period.

The Committee agreed to write to the Department requesting the terms of reference for the review of the reconfiguration of health services.

4. Draft minutes of the meeting on Wednesday 22 nd June 2011

The minutes of the Committee meeting held on 22 nd June 2011 were agreed.

5. Matters arising

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding the establishment of the Safeguarding Board.

The Committee noted a redacted version of the Department’s First Day Brief and agreed to write to the Department for further details on clinical excellence awards and the RQIA review of radiology.

The Committee noted a letter from the Minister advising that he is issuing a Commissioning Plan Direction to the Board setting out his initial priorities for 2011/2012 and agreed to write to the Department requesting further information.

The Committee agreed to take evidence on the Commissioning Plan from the Minister and the Health & Social Care Board.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding the Medicines Act 1968.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister in relation to the introduction of HPV testing and agreed to write to the Department for further information.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding the transfer of responsibility for childminding and day care to the Department and agreed to write to the Department for further information.

6. Evidence session on 2011-2012 resource budget

The Committee took evidence from:

Dr Andrew McCormick Permanent Secretary
Ms Catherine Daly Resources & Performance Management Group
Dr Norman Morrow Chief Pharmaceutical Officer
Mr Peter Toogood Director of Finance

A question and answer session ensued. The witnesses agreed to provide the Committee with additional information on the re-settlement of patients from mental health and learning disability hospitals. The Chairperson thanked the witnesses for attending.

7. Proposed Statutory Rule

The Committee considered the Health and Personal Social Services (Superannuation) Health and Social Care (Pension Scheme) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2011. The Committee agreed that it was content for the Department to prepare the rule but expressed concerns regarding the short time period afforded to the Committee to consider the SL1.

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

8. SR 217/2011: The Food Additives (Amendment) (No 2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2011

The Committee considered the Food Additives (Amendment) (No 2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2011 and had no objection to the rule.

9. Correspondence

The Committee noted a letter from the Minister regarding a consultation on ‘A Strategy for the Allied Health Professions in Northern Ireland’.

The Committee noted a letter from the Western Trust regarding its Equality Scheme and Equality Action Plan.

The Committee agreed to co-host an event with the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure on 10 th October 2011 to highlight the ‘Health in Mind Project”.

The Committee noted the June 2011 Investment Strategy for Northern Ireland update.

The Committee noted a letter from Pfizer seeking a meeting with the Committee and agreed to ask Pfizer to forward further information in writing.

The Committee noted a letter from the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry seeking a meeting with the Committee and agreed to ask the organisation to forward further information in writing.

The Committee agreed to invite rheumatology consultants to an informal committee meeting to discuss anti-TNF medication.

The Committee agreed to arrange an evidence session with the Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency.

The Committee noted a letter from the Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists seeking a meeting with the Committee and agreed to invite the group to an informal meeting.

The Committee noted a letter from the Belfast Butterfly Club seeking a meeting with the Committee and agreed to invite the group to an informal meeting.

The Committee noted a letter from the Centre for Aging, Research and Development in Ireland regarding their work.

The Committee noted an email from Roche Diagnostics seeking a meeting with the Committee regarding HPV testing and agreed to ask the organisation to forward further information in writing.

The Committee noted an email from the British Association of Adoption and Fostering seeking a meeting with the Committee regarding the adoption legislation and agreed to meet with the organisation as part of its pre legislative scrutiny of the proposed Adoption Bill.

The Committee noted a letter from the Ulster Cancer Foundation offering to host a Committee meeting and agreed to defer consideration of locations for external meetings until September.

The Committee agreed that the Deputy Chairperson would represent it at MindWise’s Annual General Meeting.

The Committee noted a letter from Mr Michael Davidson regarding the dangers of purchasing drugs on the internet and agreed to forward the letter to the Department for their views on the matter.

The Committee noted a letter from a dentist regarding the RQIA regulation of private dentistry and agreed to write to the Department regarding this matter.

The Committee noted a letter from Mr Allen regarding an individual case and agreed to refer him to his constituency representatives.

The Committee noted a letter from Mr McAlpine regarding an individual case and agreed to refer him to his constituency representatives.

The Committee noted a letter from the Minister informing the Committee of his intention to publish a consultation on a “Draft Policy for Developing Advocacy Services – a Guide for Commissioners”.

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

The Committee noted a letter from Bio Business seeking a meeting with the Committee and agreed to invite the group to an informal meeting.

10. Any Other Business

The Committee agreed to hold its next informal meeting on a Thursday afternoon.

11. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next Committee meeting will be on Wednesday 7 th September 2011 at 2.00 p.m. in the Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 4.31 p.m.

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