Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: 23 January 2013

Venue: Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings

The meeting commenced at 2.04 p.m. in public session.

1. Apologies

Apologies as above.

2. Chair’s Business

The Committee agreed a motion regarding its report on Health Inequalities.

The Committee agreed to hold informal meetings with health related groups on Wednesday 27 February.

The Committee noted that the Department had received £10 million in the Minister for Finance & Personnel’s statement on the outcome of January monitoring, and agreed to write to the Department for further information.

The Committee agreed to write to the Department regarding differences in waiting times for Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery between Health & Social Care Trusts.

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

The Committee agreed to invite officials to brief it on the Tobacco Retailers Bill at its next meeting.

The Committee agreed to write to the Department regarding staff car parking charges at Antrim Area Hospital.

The Committee agreed to write to the Department regarding the All-island Young Men and Suicide report by the Men's Health Forum Ireland.

The Committee agreed to write to the Department regarding the diagnosis and treatment of ovarian cancer.

3. Draft minutes of the meeting on Wednesday 16th January 2013.

The minutes of the Committee meeting on Wednesday 16th January 2013 were agreed.

4. Evidence session with the Food Standards Agency on proposed Food Hygiene Rating Scheme Legislation.

The Committee took evidence from:

Ms Maria Jennings Head of Dietary Health, Standards and Incidents

Ms Kathryn Baker Policy Lead for Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

The Committee was also briefed by the officials on the recent contamination of beef burgers with horse meat.

A question and answer session ensued.

2.52 p.m. Mr Gordon Dunne left the meeting.

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

The Chairperson thanked the witness for attending.

3.15 p.m. meeting adjourned.

3.25 p.m. meeting resumed.

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

5. Evidence session with Ms Linda Ford on the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service

The Committee took evidence from:

Ms Linda Ford Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service

Ms Antoinette McMillen NIPSA

A question and answer session ensued.

3.42 p.m. Mr Gordon Dunne rejoined the meeting.

4.00 p.m. Ms Pam Brown left the meeting.

The witness agreed to provide the Committee with additional information. The Chairperson thanked the witness for attending. The Committee agreed to write to the Department for further information and to discuss the matter further at its next meeting.

4.37 p.m. Mr Mickey Brady left the meeting.

6. Proposed Statutory Rule. The Health and Personal Social Services (General Medical Services Contracts) (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2013

The Committee considered the Health and Personal Social Services (General Medical Services Contracts) (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2013 and agreed to write to the Department for further information.

7. Options for scrutiny of proposed Mental Capacity Bill

The Committee noted a briefing paper from the Committee Clerk setting out options for scrutiny of the Mental Capacity Bill and agreed that it was content to establish an ad hoc committee consisting of members from the Health and Justice Committees, once the results of the consultation on the draft Bill to be undertaken by the two Departments are available.

8. Forward Work Programme

The Committee noted its forward Work Programme.

9. Matters rising

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding the investigation into the E.coli outbreak linked to Flicks Restaurant.

The Committee noted a response from the Department of Justice regarding the Committee review on Health Inequalities.

10. Correspondence

The Committee noted correspondence from the Committee for the Office of the First Minister & deputy First Minister regarding priorities in the European Commission Work Programme relating to the area covered by the Department.

The Committee noted correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personnel regarding its inquiry into flexible working and agreed to forward a letter to the Public Health Agency.

The Committee noted correspondence from the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure regarding holding Committee meetings in Derry/Londonderry to support its position as City of Culture. The Committee agreed to liaise with other committees regarding this.

The Committee noted correspondence from NIPSA regarding Transforming Your Care.

The Committee noted a copy of correspondence from Mrs Thompson regarding Transforming Your Care.

The Committee noted a report from the BMA NI on Drugs of Dependence.

The Committee noted correspondence from the British Red Cross regarding a conference on putting resilience into practice.

The Committee noted correspondence from Ramsey Young and a briefing paper on Changing Scotland’s Relationship with Alcohol.

The Committee noted Imtac’s Forward Work Programme.

The Committee noted a letter from the Irish Congress of Trade Unions seeking a meeting with the Committee and agreed a response.

The Committee noted a letter from Mr Andrew Kennedy regarding bariatric Surgery.

11. Any other Business.

The Committee agreed to write to the Department for information on a new technique for detecting lung cancer being developed at the South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen.

12. Date, time and place of next meeting.

The next Committee meeting will be on Wednesday 30th January 2013 at 2 pm in the Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 4.43 p.m.

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