Meeting 10th January 2015

  1. Apologies: Accepted as printed. No additional apologies recorded
  2. Present:  Chris Bain, Richard Bourne, Barrie Brown, Robert Buckley, Hannah Cooke, David Davies, Brian Fisher, David Mattocks, Peter Mayer, Doug Naysmith,  David Pickersgill, Jane Roberts, Mike Roberts, Gavin Ross, Rosemary Ross, Alison Scouller, Judith Varley
  3. Resignation of Stephen Adshead: Members accepted the resignation of Stephen Adshead with regret and recorded their appreciation of his work on the Central Council. It was hoped that Stephen would continue to work closely with the SHA
  1. Minutes of the CC meeting on 1st November 2014: Accepted as a true and accurate record
  1. Matters arising: No matters arising
  1. Chair’s Report

The Chair reported that there had been a teleconference about the proposed mediation. The Teleconference concluded that the difficulties around the control and conduct of meetings had largely been resolved and that the time for mediation had passed. The CC agreed that we should not pursue the proposals about mediation any further at this stage.

  1. Richard Bourne’s paper

Three items arising from Richard Bourne’s paper had not been considered at the last meeting. The CC raised a number of issues under each heading

i         On the responsibility of the Secretary of State for procurement and Asset Management

  • Should we say “fair” instead of “reasonable” in relation to internal charges?
  • Is the statement as it stands too brief and open to misinterpretation?
  • Assets belonging to the NHS and not to FT’s? This was seen as an important point of principle
  • Does this include renegotiations of contracts?
  • Where would accountability lie?
  • Would it change the central/local balance of power?
  • The CC acknowledged that the NHS did not properly maintain it’s assets prior to PFI
  • The NHS is an organisation and not simply a brand

ii         On the phasing out of oversight by regulatory bodies

  • There were concerns about whether local governance arrangements would be enough to ensure safety and quality on their own
  • Members highlighted many examples where regulation had been essential
  • There are doubts whether local governance and management would yet be robust enough
  • Members pointed out that arrangements are different in Scotland and Wales. For example in Wales there is a single integrated body looking at health and social care, and there are still audit arrangements
  • The CQC has been ineffective, but does that mean we don’t need oversight?
  • Does oversight and regulation need to be simplified and reformed?
  • In the absence of regulators will there still be accountability to Parliament?
  • Is there a role for stronger local arrangements and accountability?
  • Is there a role for the Colleges?
  • The approach to regulation is important eg is it supportive?

iii        On the routing of PPI through existing democratic structures and scrutiny arrangements

  • Members acknowledged the importance of democratic structures
  • There were concerns about whether the existing structures were sufficiently effective
  • Could a community development approach be part of the solution?
  • There were variations in structures such as Health and Wellbeing Boards and Overview and Scrutiny Committees
  • CC Members that there was a need for representative and participative democracy
  • In principle members supported the inclusion of existing structures, perhaps supported by other methodologies?

Members agreed that a summary document, incorporating the full range of discussions, should be put to the AGM.

Once agreed at the AGM members could use it to inform and persuade local candidates

  1. Amendment to clause 7 of Financial Standing Orders

Agreed by the members

  1. Proposed amendment to clause 4 of the Constitution

Agreed that it should be put to the AGM

  1. Position of vice chairs

Members considered there may be equalities issues and agreed the matter should be discussed further at the AGM

11      Report on campaigning

The approach should be a mass approach across as many constituencies as possible given the difficulties in identifying genuine marginals.

We should field as many doctors and nurses as possible to help get our key messages out there.

It was suggested that members might want to look at a short film called “Sell off” which can be found on youtube

  1. The Forward View
  • Do we need a small comms group to refine and simplify our key messages? Martin R and Brian F volunteered to meet to do that and circulate the results for comment to all members.
  • Is there a real issue about the convergence in policy between the major parties?
  • We must say clearly that the involvement of private providers is still growing despite Hinchingbrooke. Two thirds of contracts are still being let to the private sector
  • Should we be advocating NHS solutions rather than whole systems approaches?
  • We need to say clearly that the combination of austerity and welfare reforms will kill people
  • There are simply not enough Mental Health crisis beds to meet the need. This can put carers at risk.
  • We need to set a standard about how staff are employed, for example in domiciliary care
  • There is a real gap in the pay and working conditions of NHS and social care staff that must be addressed
  1. The next meeting is the AGM on 14th March
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