Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 11 January 2012

Venue: The Senate Chamber

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

1. Apologies

No apologies were received.

2. Chair’s Business

The Committee agreed to invite Aware, Defeat, Depression to an informal meeting.

3. Draft minutes of the meeting on Wednesday 14th December 2011

The minutes of the Committee meeting on Wednesday 14th December were agreed.

2.04 p.m. Mr Jim Wells joined the meeting.
2.04 p.m. Mr John McCallister joined the meeting.

4. Matters arising

The Committee noted a letter from the Minister about an evidence session regarding allegations of abuse at Lissue & Forster Green Hospitals on 18th January 2012.

The Committee noted a letter from the Minister about an evidence session regarding the Health & Social Care Review on 1st February 2012.

The Committee noted that a Take Note Debate on the Health & Social Care Review would take place on Monday 16th January 2012.

2.08 p.m. Mr Sam Gardiner joined the meeting.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding planned expenditure by Programme of Care for 2011/2012 and agreed to take evidence from officials on this matter on 25 January 2012.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister and a letter from trade unions regarding Health & Social Care shared services and agreed to take evidence on this matter from both the trade unions and departmental officials.

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

The Committee noted a response from the Minister about H1N1 influenza.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister about a proposed psychiatric mother & baby unit and agreed to write to the Department for further information.

The Committee noted a response from the Department regarding the Mental Capacity (Health, Welfare & Finance) Bill.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding Allied Health Professionals and patients with communication difficulties. The Committee agreed to write to the Department again about this matter and copy the response to the Allied Health Professionals and the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists who raised these matters with the Committee.

2.22 p.m. Mr Jim Wells left the meeting.
2.25 p.m. Mr Jim Wells rejoined the meeting.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister about the regulation of Clinical Physiologists and agreed to copy this to the Northern Ireland Regional Training and Advisory Group who raised this matter with the Committee.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister about the availability of portable oxygen services and agreed to write to the Department for further information. The Committee also agreed to copy the response to the Chest, Heart & Stroke Association who raised the issue with the Committee.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister about Group B Streptococcus.

The Committee noted a response for the Minister for Regional Development about the provision of transport for patients to hospital appointments.

The Committee noted a response from the Health & Social Care Board about the provision of transport for patients to hospital appointments. 

The Committee noted a letter from the Southern Health & Social Care Trust thanking the Committee for its visit to Daisy Hill Hospital.

The Committee noted a briefing paper on complementary alternative medicines from the Belfast Health Initiative.

5. Report on informal meetings on Thursday 1st December 2011

The Committee noted a report on informal meetings held on Thursday 1st December 2011. The Committee agreed to take evidence from the British Medical Association and the Royal College of General Practitioners on the Health & Social Care Review. The Committee also agreed to write to the Department about issues raised by the Royal National Institute for the Blind.

The Committee noted that further informal meetings would be held on Thursday 2nd February and Thursday 22nd March.

6. Evidence session on the Investment Strategy for Northern Ireland

The Committee took evidence from:

Mr John Cole, Under Secretary, Health Estates and Investment Group, DHSSPS

Dr Bernie Stuart, Director of Investment Directorate, DHSSPS

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

3.05 p.m. Mr Jim Wells left the meeting.
3.05 p.m. Mr Gordon Dunne joined the meeting.
3.07 p.m. Ms Paula Bradley left the meeting.

7. Evidence session on Community Pharmacy

The Committee took evidence from:

Dr Norman Morrow, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, DHSSPS

Mr David Bingham, Chief Executive, Business Services Organisation

Mr Joe Brogan, Assistant Director Integrated Care, Health & Social Care Board

Ms Emer Morelli, Medicines Policy, DHSSPS

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

3.08 p.m. Mr Jim Wells rejoined the meeting.
3.17 p.m. Ms Paula Bradley rejoined the meeting.
3.54 p.m. Mr Kieran McCarthy left the meeting.
3.59 p.m. Mrs Pam Lewis left the meeting.
4.02 p.m. Mr Kieran McCarthy rejoined the meeting.

The Committee agreed to write to the Minister about this matter and to hold a further evidence session with the Department at a date subsequent to the remedies hearing.

4.51 p.m. Mr Mark H Durkan left the meeting.

8. Statutory Rule: The Sunbeds (Fixed Penalty) (Amount) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012

The Committee considered the Sunbeds (Fixed Penalty) (Amount) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 and recommended that the Statutory Rule is affirmed by the Assembly.

9. Statutory Rule: The Pharmacy (1976 Order) (Amendment) Order (NI) 2012

The Committee considered the Pharmacy (1976 Order) (Amendment) Order (NI) 2012 and recommended that the Statutory Rule is affirmed by the Assembly.

10. Forward Work Programme

The Committee agreed its Forward Work Programme.

The Committee noted a briefing paper prepared by Assembly Research on the effectiveness of the flu vaccine.

11. Correspondence

The Committee noted a letter from the Minister regarding a ten-year Tobacco Control Strategy.

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

The Committee noted a letter from the Minister regarding the consultation on a draft Maternity Strategy.

The Committee noted a letter from the Minister regarding proposals to bring together existing UK medicines legislation into one set of regulations.

The Committee noted a letter from the Minister regarding new minimum care standards for day care settings. 

The Committee noted a letter from the Department regarding a consultation on the Learning Disability Service Framework and agreed to ask the Department to provide it with a summary of the responses to the consultation.

The Committee noted the DHSSPS Investment Strategy for Northern Ireland Investing Activity Report.

The Committee noted a letter from the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust regarding its draft Personal & Public Involvement Strategy for 2012-15.

The Committee noted a letter from the Western Health and Social Care Trust regarding its Equality Screening Report for 1st April – 30th September 2011.

The Committee noted correspondence from the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment seeking the Committee’s views on the Draft Economic Strategy Action Plan and agreed to consider this at its next meeting.

The Committee noted correspondence from the Royal College of Psychiatrists regarding the Health and Social Care Review.

The Committee noted correspondence from the Big Lottery Fund.

The Committee noted a copy of a complaint sent to the Minister and agreed to refer the correspondent to his constituency representatives.

The Committee noted briefing paper from the Workers' Educational Association regarding the Wider Benefits of Learning.

The Committee noted a letter from Age NI seeking a meeting with it regarding adult social care and agreed to defer consideration of this until the Department publishes a consultation paper on this matter. 

The Committee noted a letter from the Northern Ireland Centre for Trauma and Transformation regarding its report ‘The Economic Impact of PTSD in Northern Ireland’.

12. Any Other Business

No other business was discussed.

13. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next Committee meeting will be on Wednesday 18th January 2012 at 2.00pm in the Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 5.06 p.m.

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