Northern Ireland Assembly Flax Flower Logo


12 February 2008
PN: HSSPS 02/08

The Assembly Health Committee is due to question the Chief Executives of all five Health and Social Care Trusts and the Department’s Chief Medical Officer about the current outbreak of Clostridium Difficile (C difficile) this Thursday (14th February).

The Chief Executives – Mr William McKee, Belfast HSC Trust; Mrs Norma Evans, Northern HSC Trust; Mr Colm Donaghy, Southern HSC Trust; Mr John Compton, South Eastern HSC Trust; and Mrs Elaine Way, Western HSC Trust – will be questioned about the number of cases of C difficile in their areas, the number of deaths where C difficile has been a contributing factor and the measures being taken to tackle the issue. The Committee will also question the DHSSPS Chief Medical Officer, Dr Michael McBride, about the action being taken by the Department.

Speaking about the significance of the meeting Chairperson Iris Robinson MP MLA said:

"The Committee has very serious concerns about the current outbreak and has decided that, as a matter of urgency, it should ask the Chief Executives to explain what is happening across Northern Ireland. The Committee want to be assured that robust strategies and measures are in place to deal with the infection and to prevent further outbreaks. It is vital that anyone admitted to hospital should be able to do so without the additional worry that they may be at serious risk of catching infection. "

The Committee will commence its meeting an hour early at 1.30 pm to enable it to hear from the Trusts and the Chief Medical Officer.

At the meeting the Committee will also take evidence from the Health and Social Services Councils and from representatives of local authorities about their role in helping to prevent suicide. This will be part of the Committee Inquiry set up to examine the current approach to the prevention of suicide and self-harm. The Committee hopes to complete the Inquiry by the end of March.

Note to Editor:

Committee Membership:

Mrs Iris Robinson MP (DUP) (Chairperson); Ms Michelle O’Neill (SF) (Deputy Chairperson); Mr Thomas Buchanan (DUP); Rev Dr Robert Coulter (UUP); Dr Kieran Deeny (IHC); Mr Alex Easton (DUP); Mr Tommy Gallagher (SDLP); Mrs Carmel Hanna (SDLP); Mr John McCallister (UUP); Ms Carál Ní Chuilín (SF); Ms Sue Ramsey (SF)

Media Enquiries to:

Sinead Lee, Northern Ireland Assembly Information Office, Room B2, Parliament Buildings, Belfast BT4 3XX.

Tel No: 02890-521137/521396. Fax: 02890 521961.

Website Address –


The Clerk to the Committee is Mr Hugh Farren, Room 412, Parliament Buildings, Stormont, Belfast BT4 3XX.

Tel No: 028 90521360 Fax No: 028 90521667