Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 02 May 2012

Venue: Room 29, Parliament Buildings

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

1. Apologies

No apologies were received.

2. Chair’s Business

The Chairperson welcomed Conall McDevitt MLA to the Committee.

The Committee agreed a motion on the issue of GP practices using 0844 numbers.

The Committee agreed to write to the RQIA for an update on progress made against the recommendations in its report on prison healthcare at Hydebank YOC and Ash House Women’s Prison. The Committee also agreed to write to the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust regarding a patient survey in prisons.

The Committee noted a consultation document from Steven Agnew MLA regarding his proposed Private Member’s Bill regarding a statutory duty to cooperate on children’s services.

The Committee agreed to write to the Department regarding overtime payments in the NIFRS.

The Committee noted that the RQIA had published the Phase 2 report on the Reporting Arrangements for Radiological Investigations and agreed to write to the Department for further information.

3. Draft minutes of the meeting on Wednesday 18th April 2012

The minutes of the Committee meeting on Wednesday 18th April 2012 were agreed.

4. Evidence session on Funding for Dental Services with the BDA (NI)

The Committee took evidence from:

Dr Claudette Christie - Director, BDA NI

Dr Peter Crooks -  Chair, NI Dental Practice Committee, BDA NI

A question and answer session ensued.

2.12 p.m. Ms Pam Brown joined the meeting.

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

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

The Chairperson thanked the witnesses for attending. The Committee agreed to forward the Departmental briefing paper to the BDA for information.

5. Evidence session on funding for Dental Services with Departmental officials

The Committee took evidence from:

Mr Donncha O’Carolan - Chief Dental Officer, DHSSPS

Mr Eugene Rooney - Director of Primary Care, DHSSPS

Mr Paul Gibson - Finance Directorate, DHSSPS

Mr Michael Williamson General Dental and Ophthalmic Services, DHSSPS

A question and answer session ensued. The Committee agreed to write to the Department for further information on public health issues.

3.16 p.m. Mr John McCallister left the meeting.

3.41 p.m. Mr Conall McDevitt joined the meeting.

3.47 p.m. Ms Michelle Gildernewleft the meeting.

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

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

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

The Chairperson thanked the witnesses for attending.

6. Report of Examiner of Statutory Rules

The Committee noted the report of the Examiner of Statutory Rules drawing attention to a number of statutory rules recently considered by the Committee because they breached the 21-day rule.

7. Proposed Statutory Rule. The Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland (Membership, Procedure, Exercise of Function and Committee) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012.

The Committee considered the Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland (Membership, Procedure, Exercise of Function and Committee) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 and agreed that it was content for the Department to prepare the rule. 

8. Statutory Rule. SR 2012/161. The Firefighters' Pension Scheme (Amendment) Order (NI) 2012.

The Committee considered SR 2012/161 The Firefighters' Pension Scheme (Amendment) Order (NI) 2012 and had no objection to the Rule.

9. Statutory Rule. SR 2012/162. The New Firefighters' Pension Scheme (Amendment) Order (NI) 2012.

The Committee considered SR 2012/162 The New Firefighters' Pension Scheme (Amendment) Order (NI) 2012 and had no objection to the Rule.

10. Statutory Rule. SR 2012/167. The Healthcare (Reimbursement of the Cost of EEA Services etc.) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012.

The Committee considered SR 2012/167 The Healthcare (Reimbursement of the Cost of EEA Services etc.) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 and had no objection to the Rule subject to the report of the Examiner of Statutory Rules.

11. Statutory Rule. SR 2012/168. The Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012.

The Committee considered SR 2012/168 The Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012and had no objection to the Rule subject to the report of the Examiner of Statutory Rules.

12. Forward Work Programme

The Committee agreed its Forward Work Programme.

The Committee agreed to write to groups in the community and voluntary sector involved in suicide prevention seeking their views on how the current strategy and approach is working.

13. Matters arising

The Committee noted a response from the Minister about Equality Impact Assessment screening and agreed to write to the Equality Commission and the Office of the First Minister & deputy First Minister regarding this matter.

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

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding applications for funding from the EU Drug Strategy and agreed to write to the Department again regarding this matter and copy its letter to the Committee for the Office of the First Minister & deputy First Minister.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding awareness of Group B Streptococcus and agreed to copy the Minister’s response to Mrs Bratton who raised this matter with it.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding Departmental underspend at the end of the financial year and agreed to arrange a briefing on 2011/2012 forecast outturn at its meeting on 30 May 2012. 

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding Community Meals and agreed to write to the Department for further information.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding an MRSA colonisation in Craigavon Hospital Neonatal Unit.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister providing an update on the implementation of recommendations in the RQIA Interim Report on the Pseudomonas Outbreak and agreed to seek a further update at the end of May 2012.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding Allied Health Professionals and agreed to write to the Department for further information. The Committee also agreed to copy the response to the Allied Health Professions Federation.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister to the Committee for Education regarding Occupational Therapy Provision in Schools.

The Committee noted a report of an informal meeting Members had had with representatives from Ambulance Service Trade Unions and agreed to write to the Department about the matters raised.

14. Correspondence

The Committee noted a letter from the Minister regarding a public consultation on the UK Plan for Rare Diseases.

The Committee noted a letter from the Minister regarding guidance for sunbed operators.

The Committee noted a letter from the Minister regarding guidance to support the Fire Safety Regulations (NI) 2010.

The Committee noted a consultation document from the Department on Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products.

The Committee noted a letter from the Western Trust about the publication of its Equality Screening Report for 1 October – 31 December 2011.

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

The Committee noted correspondence from the Committee for Justice regarding the Regional Strategy and Action Plan for Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse and agreed to write to the Department regarding this matter.

The Committee noted correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personnel about the Review of Budget Allocations for 2013/14 & 2014/15.

The Committee agreed to forward a letter from the Committee for Education to the Department.

The Committee noted a letter from the Fostering Network seeking to give evidence to the Committee and agreed to schedule the briefing following summer recess.

The Committee noted a consultation from the General Medical Council on Provisional Registration. 

The Committee noted a funding update from the Big Lottery Fund.

The Committee noted a letter about the proposed closure of the psychiatric nursing unit in the Ulster Hospital and relocation to Lagan Valley and agreed to write to the Department about this matter.

The Committee noted a letter from Mr Hanna about the safety of social care workers in the private sector.

The Committee noted a copy of a letter from Mr McCarroll to the Minister providing briefing papers on Point of Use Filters to bring about a reduction in pseudomonas infections.

The Committee noted a copy of correspondence from Ms Browne to the Minister regarding the consultation on maternity services at the Mater hospital.

The Committee noted correspondence from UNISON regarding a newspaper article about McKinsey & Company and agreed to write to the Department about the basis of the Commissioning Plan.

The Committee noted a letter from Lady Hermon MP regarding a personal case of a constituent and agreed a response.

The Committee noted a letter from the Institute of Public Health in Ireland.

The Committee noted correspondence from Dr Hedderwick seeking a meeting with it about the Outpatient and Home Antibiotic Service and agreed to invite Dr Hedderwick to an informal meeting.

The Committee noted a letter from Willowbank Community Resource Centre seeking a meeting with it and agreed to invite the organisation to an informal meeting.

The Committee deferred consideration a letter from Down District Council until its next meeting.

Mr Jim Wells made a declaration of interest that he was previously a member of Down District Council.

The Committee noted a letter from Allergy NI seeking a meeting with it and agreed to invite the organisation to an informal meeting.

The Committee noted correspondence from the Children's Heartbeat Trust seeking a meeting with it and agreed to invite the organisation to an informal meeting.

The Committee noted correspondence from Heartbeat NI seeking a meeting with it and agreed to invite the organisation to an informal meeting.

15. Any Other Business

No other business was discussed.

16. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next Committee meeting will be on Wednesday 9th May 2012 at 2.00pm in room 29, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 4.45 p.m.

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