Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Wednesday, 08 February 2012

Venue: Room 29, Parliament Buildings

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

1. Apologies

Apologies noted above.

2. Chair's Business

The Chairperson reminded members about the Committee visit to Leinster House on Thursday 1st March 2012.

3. Draft minutes of the meeting on Wednesday 1st February 2012

The minutes of the Committee meeting on Wednesday 1st February 2012 were agreed.

4. Matters arising

The Committee noted a response from the Minister about the transportation of patients to hospital appointments and agreed to write to the Department for further information.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister about the proposed Belfast psychiatric inpatient facility and agreed to write to the Department for further information.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister about community pharmacy and agreed to write to the Department for further information.

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

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

The Committee noted a response from the Minister providing details of the clinical excellence awards paid in 2010/11 and agreed to write to the Department for further information.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister on representation for Allied Health Professionals within the Department and agreed to copy this to the Allied Health Professionals who raised the issue with the Committee.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister about the availability of oxygen services and agreed to forward the response to the Chest, Heart, and Stroke Association who raised this issue with the Committee.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister about the Beechcroft Child & Adolescent Mental Health Unit.

The Committee noted a copy of the terms of reference for the independent review of the pseudomonas outbreak and agreed to write to the Department for further information.

The Committee noted a letter from the Minister correcting information provided during the evidence session on allegations of abuse at Lissue House and Forster Green Hospitals on 18th January 2012.

The Committee noted a response from the Department for Regional Development about representation on the Ministerial Group on Public Health.

The Committee noted that the report of the Examiner of Statutory Rules drawing the Committee’s attention to The Specified Products from China (Restriction on First Placing on the Market) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012. 

5. Evidence session on Group B Streptococcus

The Committee agreed to write to Dr Paul Fogarty regarding evidence given at its meeting on 14th September 2011.

The Committee took evidence from:

Dr Michael McBride                 Chief Medical Officer, DHSSPS

Dr Margaret Boyle                    Senior Medical Officer, DHSSPS

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

3.38 p.m. Meeting adjourned.

3.44 p.m. Meeting resumed.

6. Evidence session on Shared Services with Trade Unions

The Committee noted correspondence from Down Borough Council regarding shared services.

The Committee noted correspondence from NIPSA regarding shared services.

The Committee took evidence from:

Ms Anne Speed                         Lead Joint Secretary HSC trade unions, UNISON

Mr Jonathan Swallow                UNISON

Mr Kevin McCabe                     Joint Secretary HSC trade unions, NIPSA 

Mr Kevin McAdam                   Chair HSC trade unions, UNITE

Ms Catherine Arkinson             NIPSA

A question and answer session ensued.

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

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

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

The Chairperson thanked the witnesses for attending. The Committee agreed to write to the Department for further information.

7. 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 Scheme, Injury Benefits and Additional Voluntary Contributions), Health and Social Care (Pension Scheme) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 and agreed that it was content for the Department to prepare the rule.

8. Forward Work Programme

The Committee agreed its Forward Work Programme.

9. Correspondence

The Committee noted a letter from the Minister regarding proposals to increase HSC pension members’ contributions.

The Committee noted a letter from the Minister regarding the Tobacco Retailer Sanctions Bill and agreed to take evidence from officials on this matter.

The Committee noted correspondence from the Committee for the Office of the First Minister & Deputy First Minister regarding the Office of the First Minister & Deputy First Minister’s Draft European Priorities 2012-13.

The Committee noted a letter from the Food Standards Agency seeking a meeting with the Committee and agreed to invite the organisation to an informal meeting.

The Committee noted a letter from the Good Morning Northern Ireland Network seeking a meeting with the Committee and agreed to invite the group to an informal meeting.

The Committee noted correspondence from Optometry Northern Ireland seeking a meeting with the Committee and agreed to invite the organisation to an informal meeting.

The Committee noted correspondence from the Fostering Network seeking a meeting regarding the Adoption & Children Bill and agreed to defer consideration of which organisations to invite to give evidence on these issues until its meeting on 22 February 2012.

The Committee noted correspondence from the South Tyrone Hospital Community Forum seeking a meeting with the Committee and agreed to invite the group to an informal meeting.

The Committee noted a letter from the Children’s Commissioner regarding Regulations for the Safeguarding Board and agreed to take evidence from officials on this matter.

The Committee noted a letter from Age NI and the Social Care Institute for Excellence regarding the seminar ‘Prevention: The Way Forward’.

The Committee noted a letter regarding a former patient of Belfast City Hospital and agreed to refer the correspondent to their constituency representatives for assistance.

The Committee noted correspondence from the Green Party attaching an article entitled ‘The Impacts of Gas Drilling on Human and Animal Health’.

The Committee noted correspondence from Dr Geralyn McCarron regarding hydraulic fracturing.

10. Any Other Business

The Committee agreed to write to the Department for an update on Sexual Health Promotion Action Plan.

The Committee agreed to write to the Department for an update on the Speech and Language Action plan.

The Committee noted correspondence from M McCloskey and agreed to refer the correspondent to her constituency representatives for assistance.

11. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next Committee meeting will be on Wednesday 15th February 2012 at 2.00pm in the Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings.

 

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 4.59 p.m.

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