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"Working For Patients"

Volume 167: debated on Wednesday 14 February 1990

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement about the future of the Association of District Committees for the health and personal social services in Northern Ireland in the light of "Working for Patients".

The Association of District Committees will cease to exist if district committees are stood down following the prepared replacement by four area councils under the forthcoming Order in Council. The need for a central association of the proposed area councils will be for those bodies to determine.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on arrangements for ensuring a voice for the consumer in the Health Service in Northern Ireland after implementation of the proposals contained in "Working for Patients"; what will be the arrangements for ensuring that the role of monitoring and visiting will be carried out; and how many places on area councils and boards will be set aside for representatives of patients.

The Department of Health and Social Services has consulted on the advisory and consultative arrangements for health and social services boards and is considering the representations received. An announcement will be made soon. Subject to the necessary legislation being made, boards will no longer have places set aside for representatives. All members will have an interest in securing the best possible services for their board's resident population and non-executive members will be appointed solely on the basis of the contribution they can make.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the current categories of membership of each health and social services board, together with a table showing the categories of membership of each proposed board giving their method of appointment under the present system, and that proposed in "Working for Patients".

The chairman and vice-chairman of each board are appointed by the Department of Health and Social Services. Board members are appointed by the Department in proportions as follows:

about 30 per cent. with a minimum of one member per council on the nomination of district councils;
about 30 per cent. after consultation with professional bodies; the balance after consultation with the universities and other interested bodies including the trade unions, employers organisations and voluntary bodies.
Subject to the necessary legislation being made it is proposed that boards will consist of a chairman and non-executive members appointed by the Department, prescribed officers of the board including the general manager, and a number of officers of the board appointed by the chairman, non-executive members and the general manager. The number of officer members will not exceed the number of non-executive members.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the current categories of membership of each district committee in Northern Ireland together with a table showing the categories of membership of the proposed area councils along with the method of appointment under the present system and that under the proposals contained in "Working for Patients".

District committees in Northern Ireland comprise 16 to 24 members and are appointed by the relevant health and social services boards on the basis of nominations drawn from voluntary and community organisations (at least one third of the membership but not more than one half), district councils (at least one quarter with a minimum of one member per council) with the balance drawn from trade unions, employers organisations and Churches.The Department of Health and Social Services has consulted on the membership and method of appointment of the proposed area councils and is considering the representations it has received.