Page last updated at 15:28 GMT, Wednesday, 20 June 2012 16:28 UK

Health Committee

MLAs on the health committee voted to invite the Health Minister to explain his decision to maintain a ban on gay people donating blood, on June 20 2012.

The proposal was made by committee chairwoman Sue Ramsey who said the minister should have informed the committee directly of his decision.

She was also concerned that the committee had not seen the results of two new pieces of research Mr Poots said he had based his decision upon.

The DUP's Jim Wells said he thought the minister had made "the right decision on solid evidence".

Conall McDevitt of the SDLP wanted clarification from the minister about a comment he had made regarding persons who had sex with someone in Africa.

The committee had an evidence session with health officials on the Accident and Emergency Improvement Action Group.

Catherine Daly from the department of health explained that the action group had been established by the minister to address issues around the performance of A+E departments, and to cut the number of patients waiting over 12 hours for treatment.

The minister wanted to see "considerable improvement" and "would not have poor, or substandard, performance", Ms Daly commented.

She said all health trusts were involved but there was a particular focus on the Belfast, Northern and South Eastern trusts.

Mary Hinds of the Health and Social Care Board said all of the trusts were making progress, and there was significant progress on the 12-hour waiting target.

Conall McDevitt raised the matter of emergency care policies.

He said the department had told him that three trusts had policies.

Sue Ramsey asked Mary Hinds if anyone at Antrim Hospital had shown her a handbook.

Ms Hinds said no, but she had not asked to see one.

Ms Ramsey said the fact that committee members had received information about emergency care policies from the department but Ms Hinds was not aware of them was "alarming".

Health committee membership


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