Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: 28 November 2012

Venue: Room 29

The meeting commenced at 10.32 a.m. in public session.

1. Apologies

Apologies as above.

2. Chair’s Business

The Committee noted that the Chairperson and the Deputy Chairperson would take part in a study visit to Cuba between 1st December 2012 and 7th December 2012.

The Committee agreed that Mr Conall McDevitt would chair an informal meeting with healthcare related groups on Wednesday 5th December 2012.

3. Draft minutes of the meeting on Wednesday 21st November 2012

The minutes of the Committee meeting on Wednesday 21st November 2012 were agreed.

4. Review on Health Inequalities

The Committee noted responses from the Department for Social Development, the Department for Regional Development, the Department for Agriculture & Rural Development and the Department of Education regarding programmes to tackle inequalities in early years.

Evidence session with the Scottish Centre for Social Research

The Committee took evidence from:

Mr Paul Bradshaw, Research Director, Scottish Centre for Social Research

A question and answer session ensued.

10.49 a.m. Mr Conall McDevitt left the meeting.

Mr Roy Beggs made a declaration of interest that he is a member of Horizon Surestart.

11.02 a.m. Mr Mickey Brady left the meeting.

11.05 a.m. Mr Gordon Dunne joined the meeting.

11.16 a.m. Ms Pam Brown left the meeting.

The Chairperson thanked the witness for attending.

5. Matters rising

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding proposals for new builds.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding the status of St John Ambulance Volunteers and agreed to copy the response to Mr Robinson who raised the matter with it.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding the dental school at Queens University and agreed to write to Queens University for information regarding recent appointments. The Committee also agreed to copy the letter to the Committee for Employment & Learning.  

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding the implementation of the report on the Pseudomonas outbreak.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding the proposed Tobacco Retailers Bill and agreed to write to the Department for further information.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister regarding the E Coli outbreak.

The Committee agreed to forward a response from the Southern Trust to the Committee for Regional Development.

6. Correspondence

The Committee noted a letter from the Minister regarding the Cross Departmental Autism Strategy.

The Committee noted the Investment Strategy for Northern Ireland, Investing Strategy report for November 2012.

The Committee agreed to forward a letter from the Public Accounts Committee regarding the Memorandum of Reply on Arrangements for Improving Quality of Care in Homes for Older People to the Minister.

The Committee noted correspondence from Children’s Heartbeat Trust, Mr Irwin McKibben and Ms Alana McCombes regarding children’s heart surgery at the Royal Hospital and agreed to write to the Department for further information on this matter.

The Committee noted correspondence from Allergy NI regarding how children with allergies are treated at school and agreed to forward the letter to the Minister for Education.

The Committee noted a copy of a letter to the Belfast Health & Social Care Trust regarding dental services.

The Committee noted a letter regarding outsourcing of services in the Belfast Health & Social Care Trust and agreed to forward this to the Trust for comment.

The Committee noted a letter from the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry seeking a meeting with the Committee and agreed to ask the organisation to provide a written brief.

11.42 a.m. Mr Jim Wells left the meeting.

The Committee noted a letter from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents seeking a meeting with the Committee and agreed to ask the organisation to provide a written brief.

The Committee noted a letter from the Society of Parents and Friends of Muckamore Abbey and agreed to invite the group to an informal meeting.

The Committee noted a letter from the Urology Trade Association seeking a meeting with the Committee and agreed to ask the organisation to provide a written brief.

The Committee noted an invitation from the Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Investment to the launch of a stakeholder event on the Financial Capability Strategy on Monday 3 December 2012.

7. Statutory Rule. SR 2012/401. The Mental Health (Private Hospitals) (Fees) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012

The Committee considered 2012/401. The Mental Health (Private Hospitals) (Fees) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 and had no objection to the Rule subject to the report of the Examiner of Statutory Rules.

8. Forward Work Programme.

The Committee noted its Forward Work Programme.

11.44 a.m. Meeting adjourned.

2.00 p.m. Meeting resumed in closed session.

2.00 p.m. Mr Conall McDevitt rejoined the meeting.

9. Consideration of Legal Advice on the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service

The Committee were briefed on legal advice regarding the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service.

2.19 p.m. Mr Jim Wells rejoined the meeting.

2.32 p.m. Mr Mickey Brady rejoined the meeting.

2.33 p.m. Ms Pam Brown rejoined the meeting.

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

The Committee agreed to invite Mrs Linda Ford to give evidence to the Committee.

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

The Committee agreed to invite former Chief Fire Officers and a former Chairperson of the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service Board to give evidence to the Committee.

The Committee agreed to write to the Department for further information regarding the redaction of the report.

The Committee agreed to issue a press release on this matter.

2.58 p.m. Meeting adjourned.

3.08 p.m. Meeting resumed in Public session.

10. Evidence session with the Minister for Health, Social Services & Public Safety on the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service

The Committee took evidence from:

Mr Edwin Poots MLA, Minister for Health, Social Services & Public Safety

Dr Andrew McCormick, Permanent Secretary, DHSSPS

Ms Julie Thompson, Deputy Secretary, Resources & Performance Management Group

A question and answer session ensued. The Chairperson thanked the witness for attending. The officials agreed to provide further information.

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

11. Any other Business

The Committee agreed to write to the Department regarding the NI Ambulance Service First Responder Scheme.

12. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next Committee meeting will be on Wednesday 12th December 2012 at 2 pm in the Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 4.33 p.m.

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