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Approval to develop new clinical practice guidelines and undertake fitness to practise (FTP) inquiries has been effectively on hold for several months due to the hiatus.
PHECC’s committees such as its Medical Advisory Committee and Quality and Safety Committee can also not function without a Council in situ.
At a meeting of the PHECC Council in June, Deputy Director/Registrar Mr Barry O’Sullivan reported that “based on legal advice it was agreed to defer proceedings on the five FTP cases pending until the new Council has convened office”.
A Department of Health spokesperson told MI the Council of PHECC has up to 17 members, appointed for a term of four years, and a member can serve no more than two consecutive terms.
“On 29 June 2016, the term of office of 14 of the 17 members of the Council expired (three Council members have appointments until January 2017),” said the spokesperson. “The Minister [Simon Harris] has appointed two new members to the Council and reappointed four members to the vacant positions. The remaining positions will be filled as follows: Four through the Public Appointments Service (PAS) process, one on the nomination of a body recognised by the Minister as representative of paramedics and three on the nomination of SIPTU.”
Minister Harris “hopes to be in a position to proceed with the appointment of the remaining eight positions by the end of the month”.
A spokesperson for the PAS told MI: “We have received 26 applications for the Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council and we expect a decision to be made shortly.”