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									                    Meeting of Consultative Council on Hepatitis C

Date: 29th June, 2005              Venue: 3rd Floor Conference Room, Department of
                                          Health and Children

Present:              Dr Elizabeth Kenny (Chair), Ms Ann McGrane, Ms Paula Kealy, Mr Michael
                      Madigan, Ms Margaret Scarry, Mr John Murphy, Mr Mark Murphy, Mr John

Apologies:            Ms Ann Broekhoven, Prof Cliona O’Farrelly, Prof Aiden McCormick, Mr Paul
                      O’Donoghue, Ms Siobhan O’Connor , Ms Mary Rowe, Ms Margaret Dunne, Mr
                      Ian Carter

In Attendance:         Ms Olga Conroy, DoHC
1.    Minutes of last meeting
           The minutes of the meeting held on 5th May 05 were agreed.
2.    Matters arising
           The response received from Pat McLoughlin, Director of the National Hospitals’ Office, to
           the Consultative Counsel’s letter was very positive. Mr McLoughlin indicated that he would
           be happy to meet the Council to discuss the findings of the 2 nd Review Report once this is
           completed. A meeting will be arranged, possibly in September.
           Now that Prof. Drumm’s appointment as CEO of the Health Services Executive has been
           confirmed and his commencement date agreed, the Council will write to him regarding
           services for persons with State-acquired Hepatitis C, and will copy this letter to the
           Mark Murphy asked that the position of Council be clarified in relation to the new Health
           Services Executive structures and the Minister. Everyone agreed that they wished the
           present arrangement, whereby Council advises the Minister and reports directly to her, to
           continue. The DoHC assured the meeting that the Council’s role was set out in the
           Statutory Instrument and that this would not change. A letter setting out the Council’s
           position will be sent to the Tánaiste.
3.    Review of Health services
           There is still some work to be done on the format of the Report before it is signed off. The
           DoHC agreed to see what could be done to make the report more visually attractive and
           improve the layout. It was suggested that a couple of Tables, such as the demographic
           profile of patients, could be moved to the Executive Summary to make it self-contained. It
           was also suggested that only the Executive Summary would be printed and distributed, as
         this would contain the data of most interest, and that the body of the Report could be
         placed on the website.
         It was noted that the title of the Report was not the “Second Review....”, but rather the
         “Review of the Implementation of Recommendations in the Review of Health Services…...”
         It was agreed that the methodology for any future review of services would be examined in
         the light of the experience gained on the original Review and the current Implementation
         Report. The availability of the questionnaires used in the current process, together with
         data and analyses from the National Database would mean that it might be possible to
         conduct a review with minimal outside assistance.
4.   Information Group
         A speaker on Men’s Health is to be finalized. A meeting is being organised to discuss the
         Treatment Booklet next Wednesday (6th July) at 2pm in Positive Action’s offices. Everyone
         is welcome.
5.   International Conference
         Next meeting of the Working Group is on 14th July. A difficulty has arisen regarding opening
         a separate bank account for the Conference - the DoHC will investigate whether there is
         any way around this.
         Council agreed with a suggestion from the IKA that each person should be presented with
         a copy of the abstracts on CD at the conclusion of the conference, rather than sending a
         printed document on later. DoHC will put this on the agenda for the next meeting of the
         Conference Working Group.
         Dr Kenny advised that the line-up of speakers invited to talk at the Conference should be
         different to the speakers at the first International Conference, so as to maintain the
         international reputation of the Conference, and to allow an Irish audience exposure to as
         many of international experts as possible.
6.   National Database Steering Committee
         A progress report by Dr Thornton was circulated. Data collection has been completed in
         University College Hospital, Galway, Our Lady’s Hospital, Crumlin and St Luke’s Hospital,
         Kilkenny. St James’s Hospital is almost complete (95%). Some data extraction has been
         carried out in St Vincent’s Hospital (20%) and Beaumont Hospital (10%) – both of these will
         continue into July. Data collection in the remaining 2 units (Cork and Mater Hospitals) will
         then proceed in late July/early August.
         Ms Aileen Brennan, who has worked on the development of the database since its
         inception, is leaving the HSPC soon to move to another post with the HSE in Cork. Council
         expressed their appreciation of Aileen’s contribution to the database and wished her well
         for the future.
7.   National Consultants Group
            The National Consultants Committee met earlier this year on the occasion of a meeting of
            the Irish Society of Gastroenterologists (ISG) and propose to have a second meeting in
            conjunction with the ISG meeting in September. Hepatology nurses, who also attend ISG
            meetings, will also meet on the same occasion, and it may be feasible in the future to have
            joint meetings of both groups.
8.       Management of Death Group
            Dr Kenny will contact individual Infectious Diseases Units and ask them to review their
            practices regarding the use of bodybags, similar to the changes which had occurred in the
            Southern region and which are planned for St. James’s Hospital. She will also contact Dr
            Thornton, HPSC, who will lead the national working group on the management of death
            from all conditions. Dr. Kenny expressed concern that the wider mandate of the HPSC
            working group would mean that it could not make changes quickly enough in relation to
            Hepatitis C and that a parallel focus group might be more effective. DoHC were of the view
            that the existence of two groups developing guidelines in broadly similar areas might cause
            practical difficulties for hospitals in changing current practice. Dr. Kenny undertook to
            discuss matters with Dr. Thornton.
      9. Renal Issues
            The HPSC is to bring out guidelines in relation to both Hepatitis B and C in renal units.
      10. Home Support Services
            Positive Action is to send a submission to the Department within the next few days. The
            other support groups were encouraged to do likewise.
      11. Home nursing
            It was reported that the permanent home nursing liaison post is being advertised soon.
12.      Insurance
            The Tánaiste’s recent letter, which was circulated to Council, was noted, and Dr Kenny
            reported that the support groups have accepted the final parameters of the scheme. Dr
            Kenny is meeting the support groups this evening to finalise matters, and indicated that
            insurance issues could now be taken off the Council’s agenda as a separate work item.
13.      Next Meeting
            The next Council meeting will take place on 8 th September.

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