Make sure you’re registered to vote and be able to really “Give Poots the Boot!”

With over 7,500 signatures on the petition calling on NI Health Minister Edwin Poots to resign or be removed, it is worth reminding everyone of another way to kick him out – of the Assembly – by registering to vote and then voting for other parties than the DUP. Continue reading Make sure you’re registered to vote and be able to really “Give Poots the Boot!”

First Minister wants to ‘move Northern Ireland forward’ – pity his colleague in Health department is set to take us backwards

In October 2012 the High Court in Northern Ireland ruled that the ban on same-sex couples here adopting children is unlawful. The Court of Appeal upheld this decision in June of this year when the Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety’s appeal was dismissed. Today we hear that the DUP Minister of Health, Edwin Poots MLA is appealing this decision to the Supreme Court.

Earlier this week the Rt Hon Peter Robinson MP MLA, First Minister of Northern Ireland wrote an opinion piece for the Belfast Telegraph, it is reproduced helpfully on the DUP website. At the top of that page on their site the DUP say that the First Minister

argues that a peaceful future can only be built on mutual respect, tolerance and an unwavering commitment to the rule of law and the democratic process.”

Well I have news for him, the actions of his Executive colleague suggest that the DUP does not like it when the law says one thing and they want to do the opposite. As John O’Doherty from The Rainbow Project says,

It is not the place of the courts to implement the personal prejudices of Ministers.”

Like the President of NUS–USI, Rebecca Hall, I think that this is disgraceful that the Minister is using public money to fund this action.

Does the Minister not accept the ruling of the High Court as well as that of the Court of Appeal? Does he believe that the Northern Ireland government is above the law? Continue reading “First Minister wants to ‘move Northern Ireland forward’ – pity his colleague in Health department is set to take us backwards”

HIV healthcare workers – response from NI Department

Hearing the news that the UK Department of Health is relaxing the current restrictions on healthcare workers living with HIV working in the NHS, I contacted the Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, the DUP’s Edwin Poots MLA, asking what plans he had for introducing this here in Northern Ireland. Whilst I was having my complementary therapy at Positive Life, a response arrived in my inbox. I was informed of the statement made by a DHSSSPS spokesman earlier today, The Department is aware of the position taken by the Department of Health in England in relation to HIV … Continue reading HIV healthcare workers – response from NI Department

Perhaps the Electronic Care Record can help us stop brushing HIV under the carpet in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is not that large, yet we have had many, many different systems for record-keeping within the Health & Social Care system. Historically, each hospital had slightly differing forms, and of course each hospital had its own number for you as well as a record of your health while there. To me, in a country the size of Northern Ireland this is sheer madness. It could be that one consultant in one hospital did not know what another consultant in another hospital was prescribing, or even what he thought was wrong with you. All this seems set to change, … Continue reading Perhaps the Electronic Care Record can help us stop brushing HIV under the carpet in Northern Ireland

New Standards of Care for People Living with HIV must apply in Northern Ireland as much as England

With the news that the British HIV Association has published its new Standards of Care for People Living with HIV 2013, which set out to secure high quality care for people with HIV in the UK, at a time when patient numbers are rising and the NHS changes the way HIV treatment and prevention services will be commissioned and provided. I am hoping that this will assist all interested in our care here in Northern Ireland to work for improvement of the service. I notice that The Rainbow Project – I hope that it is TRP in Northern Ireland – replied to the consultation … Continue reading New Standards of Care for People Living with HIV must apply in Northern Ireland as much as England