Research Papers 2011

Synopsis Here you will find a list of Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety research papers published during 2011.

  • Influenza Vaccination

    Reference: 175/11 - Date: 21/12/2011

    This briefing paper provides an introduction to the subject of influenza vaccination. It gives an overview of the operation of the annual vaccination programme in Northern Ireland and then looks at selected issues related to influenza vaccination. These include influenza vaccination uptake in the UK, vaccination effectiveness and cost effectiveness of vaccination. The detailed science behind measuring influenza vaccination effectiveness is complex and is touched on in the briefing. The briefing acknowledges the work that is underway in improved influenza vaccine development for the future and highlights that in the interim support will remain for current influenza vaccines as a mainstay in the reduction of influenza morbidity.

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  • Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

    Reference: 161/11 - Date: 17/11/2011

    This briefing note seeks to ascertain the following in relation to Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD): • What are the symptoms of the condition? • Are there any statistics on survival rates? • How many people sufferer from DMD in NI, the UK and worldwide? • What are the current treatment options? • Is there any on-going research into the condition?

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  • Health Targets in the Programme for Government, and Priorities for Action

    Reference: 160/11 - Date: 17/11/2011

    This briefing paper provides an overview of the performance of the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) in relation to a range of targets set out in the following two strategic plans: 1. The current Northern Ireland Executive Programme for Government - Building a Better Future (2008-2011) and; 2. The DHSSPS Priorities for Action 2010/2011

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  • The Pharmaceutical List and the Northern Ireland Drug Tariff

    Reference: 159/11 - Date: 17/11/2011

    This paper provides a brief overview of 1) the Pharmaceutical List, which enables pharmaceutical services to be provided across Northern Ireland, and 2) the Northern Ireland Drug Tariff, which relates to the fees paid to community pharmaceutical contractors for dispensing health service prescriptions.

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  • Adoption

    Reference: 158/11 - Date: 17/11/2011

    This research paper outlines the adoption process in Northern Ireland, the legislative framework and the profile of children mostly likely to be adopted today. Statistical information is presented regarding the number of adoptions and the average length of time the adoption process can take. In addition, adoption legislation from England and Wales, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland is also considered.

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  • Emergency care trends in the Western HSC Trust

    Reference: 149/11 - Date: 11/11/2011

    This briefing paper provides information on attendance rates at the three emergency care sites in the Western Trust area between 2008 to the first half of 2011.

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  • Breastfeeding Rates

    Reference: 148/11 - Date: 10/11/2011

    Northern Ireland has one of the lowest rates of breastfeeding in the world. This paper has been compiled in response to a request from the HSSPS Committee regarding the recent publication of breastfeeding rates in the UK. Breastfeeding rates in Northern Ireland and wider afield are presented. In addition, policy guidelines and initiatives designed to increase and promote breastfeeding across our local landscape are also highlighted.

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  • Incidence of Caesarean Sections

    Reference: 147/11 - Date: 10/11/2011

    This briefing note provides information in relation to the rate of Caesarean sections in Northern Ireland. A Caesarean Section, or a C-section, is the surgical method of childbirth and was introduced as a lifesaving procedure for mother and baby.

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  • Local Commissioning Groups: History, Establishment, Functions and Operation

    Reference: 145/11 - Date: 09/11/2011

    This briefing provides information on the history, establishment, functions and operation of the Local Commissioning Groups, from the first establishment of seven such bodies on a non-statutory basis in April 2007 under the Review of Public Administration to the subsequent establishment of the present five Local Commissioning Groups under Section 9 of the Health and Social Care (Reform) Act (Northern Ireland) 2009. This legislation created a new Commissioning system with the establishment of a region-wide Health and Social Care Board, including 5 Local Commissioning Groups (LCGs), and a Public Health Agency.

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  • Mental Health Expenditure

    Reference: 102/11 - Date: 29/09/2011

    The purpose of this short Briefing Note is to place historic Mental Health expenditure into context with historic expenditure on the other Programmes of Care (PoCs).

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  • Group B Streptococcus Infection in Neonates

    Reference: 94/11 - Date: 15/09/2011

    This briefing paper provides an introduction to the subject of Group B streptococcus (GBS) infection in neonates (newborn babies). It includes some key statistics outlining the scope of the issue and an overview of the policy, professional guidance and practice around screening for GBS in the UK and some other countries. The briefing also touches on some of the conflicting research evidence. The need for further research in areas such as surveillance and more rapid GBS test development is also highlighted.

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  • The DHSSPS budget: where does the money go?

    Reference: 89/11 - Date: 08/09/2011

    According to the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) more than £10 million per day is spent on the health system in Northern Ireland. This paper provides some details of health and social care expenditure across nine Programmes of Care (PoC). It also provides a breakdown of the Family Health Services budget. It is intended to provide background to the Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety in its role in scrutinising the work of the department.

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  • Belfast City Hospital A&E

    Reference: 84/11 - Date: 06/09/2011

    At a meeting with the Northern Ireland Health Committee on the 20th July 2011, the Minister for Health (HSSPS) Mr Edwin Poots indicated that changes to the A&E unit at Belfast City hospital are needed which would “not be the type of A&E service that is currently provided”. This paper discusses the implications of these changes and the impact it may have on waiting times, and other A&E departments.

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  • Provision of Emergency Care to Smaller Communities

    Reference: 44/11 - Date: 11/03/2011

    Accident and Emergency (A&E)/Emergency departments provide important access to the healthcare system in Northern Ireland. They are hubs that interact directly with primary care, in-hospital care and community care services. The College of Emergency Medicine have highlighted that service development in emergency care in Northern Ireland has not been associated with the investment in staff and facilities which has taken place in the rest of the UK.

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  • Health and social care: plans, priorities and performance

    Reference: 20/11 - Date: 27/01/2011

    This paper is the third in a series of three papers commissioned by the Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety within the context of the Executive’s Budget 2010. Its purpose is to provide the Committee with an overview of the high level plans and priorities pertinent to health and social care (HSC) in Northern Ireland.

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  • Costs and efficiencies: supporting evidence

    Reference: 19/11 - Date: 27/01/2011

    This paper provides a brief overview regarding several issues that arose in relation to the Budget where the HSSPS Committee requested further information. These are considered particularly in relation to Northern Ireland and include: Current levels and cost of obesity; Reducing unnecessary hospitalisation; Cost savings from patient reminder systems using mobile phone text messaging; Reducing health costs in the pharmaceutical sector; Alternatives to agency staff; and DHSSPS bid concerning pay award of £250 for staff earning under 21K.

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  • Autism Bill: Clause 1: Amendments to Disability Discrimination Act 1995

    Reference: 16/11 - Date: 26/01/2011

    Clause 1 of the Autism Bill provides for amendments to the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (the DDA). This briefing note, which supplements an earlier research paper on the Autism Bill, provides further information to support Members’ consideration of the proposed amendments.

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  • The DHSSPS Budget: where does the money go?

    Reference: 15/11 - Date: 21/01/2011

    According to the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) almost £10 million per day is spent on the health system in Northern Ireland. This equates to nearly £6 per person in Northern Ireland every 24 hours. Tracking where that money is spent, by whom, and on what is quite a complex task. This paper provides some detail about how the budget is used. It provides detail on expenditure by various bodies and also examines some elements of the Health and Social Care (HSC)Trusts’ accounts. Some figures on how they utilise the resources allocated to them are presented.

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  • The DHSSPS Budget 2011-15 Consultation

    Reference: 14/11 - Date: 21/01/2011

    The Department for Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) published a consultation document on its draft budget allocation on 13 January 2011. This Briefing Note considers some of the issues raised in the document and by the Minister in evidence to the Committee Health, Social Services and Public Safety (“the Committee”) on the same day.

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