2017 was a good year for the Association.  We saw a big increase in our membership and our new Chair  managed to organise a resolution about the NHS which was carried unanimously by the Labour Party conference to great acclaim.  We finally managed to make some progress on our policy discussions, both internally and in discussion with the Labour health team. Over the past couple of years it has been difficult to organise events because the volatile political situation, and elections, both external and internal, have diverted people’s attention. But now it seems possible. We organised a very high powered conference on public health which gives us some excellent policy building blocks.  We are now in a much better position to help developing Labour health and care policies. 

Membership

We started the year with 683 members and finished with 792.  141 joined during the year.  52 are in arrears. Some may have joined only to vote in the leadership election.  A lot of new members have joined using PayPal. PayPal notifies us if they cancel their annual payment

 

Members by geography based around branches, or potential branches.

area Current members
Greater London 202
West Midlands 96
Manchester 84
Yorkshire 57
Liverpool 52
Tyne-Tees 44
Home Counties 40
Wales 41
Scotland 35
Avon 35
East Midlands 28
Fenland 26
North Midland 25
Oxfordshire 18
Plymouth 16
Brighton 12
Preston 10
Kent 7
Rest of the World 5
Solent/Dorset 7
Ireland 2

Members classified by type.

Most members could be put in several classes, and for many I don’t know enough about them to put them in a category. But this gives some indication of our varied membership

Number TYPE
115 Labour activists
71  Individuals
57 Public health
53 Mental illness
49 GPs
44 Doctors
43 Cllrs – Labour
30 KONP etc
29 Academics
28 Non-execs
27 Secondary care
27 Nurses
23 MPs & peers – Lab
20 TU – health
19 CLP officers
15 Social care
14 CHC/HW Members etc
13 Management Health
12 Dentists
9 Community Health
8 Councillor Health lead lab
8 PPI staff
7 Socialist Societies
7 Elderly people
6 FT governors
6 Students
6 Professions allied to medicine
6 Pharma
5 Babies families, maternity,
5 Clinical science
5 CCG staff
5 Freelancers
5 Disabled people organsations
5 Carers

 


Year
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Current members 651 677 654 672 683 792
Website Pages 915 974 1019 1043 1163
Website Posts 530 436 1124 1501 1853
Website Comments (cumulative) 2272 2501 2257 2863 3370
Website Page Views 338,415 375,511 410,000 382,045 408,288 347,000
Unique Visitors 131,303 158,180 181,281 171,000 204,596 171,062
Followers of the blog 360 418
Twitter Followers  1365 2845 4178 4839 5687 6104
Tweets (cumulative) 16,578 12,522 38,100 47,700 55,200
Facebook likes (cumulative) 1488 1757 1975 2067 2129 2349
Tweet impressions

(cumulative)

137,1800 204,700 322,400
Contacts database 40,888 42,310 39,039 36,292 36,242 35,993
Website Google Page Rank 5 4 4 4 4 4
Domain Authority 41 44

Affiliations

Unite didn’t manage to actually pay their affiliation fee in 2017, but this seems to be administrative confusion rather than a political decision and I hope their cheque is in the post.

We discovered during 2017 that socialist societies are allowed to have up to 5 delegates to each CLP, and this has been a useful recruitment incentive.  We haven’t paid much attention to this process before, but we may need to establish a procedure to enable members in a constituency to decide which of them should be delegates if we have more than 5 volunteers.  I think the only practicable approach to this is that any member who volunteers can be our delegate unless there is some reason to object.  This is a decision for branches, and for the officers in places where there is no active branch.

I put a lot of effort into supporting members in places where we didn’t have functioning branches – Staffordshire, Cornwall, Southport, North Wales, Cheshire, Shropshire, Yorkshire and Sussex and I’m pleased to report that we finished the year with more branches than we started.  But I don’t expect to see functioning branches in all those places any time soon.

This year we finally gave up on the paper version of our magazine, Socialism and Health, published fairly regularly and sent to all our members since 1965.  We weren’t alone. The Health Service Journal also abandoned its print edition this year.

Our website still attracts a lot of traffic, and the historical material gets a lot of appreciation.  But our on-line presence is not as active as I would like. I maintain an active Twitter feed, but our Facebook page is not very active.  I experimented with paid adverts on Facebook but that didn’t seem to be very effective, and we need to think harder about our work in this area.

External relationships

We have done our best to support Health Campaigns Together during the year, both with money and publicity. Salford University, quite uninvited, established a scheme to give SHA members reduced fees for their conferences. I’ve also done my best to help the Labour Campaign for Mental Health and Disability Labour. I’ve been co-opted to the executive of the NHS Active Alliance and the Transport and Health study group. And I’ve been encouraging the establishment of Doctors at the Deep End in Manchester. But close working with the other socialist societies is still more of an aspiration than a reality.

Money

Our income has been fairly buoyant this year, partly because of the increase in subscriptions, and partly because of advertising from the website. We have devised a method of publishing advertisements which makes them invisible, but satisfies the advertisers, who are actually only interested in getting a link which Google recognizes from our site to theirs. But our expenditure was considerably higher than expected. This was partly because of the public health conference – the most expensive event we have ever run, despite a contribution of £2000 from the David Stark Murray Trust, and partly because of a substantial increase in members expenses. We have more disabled members and officers than we used to and their costs are considerably greater than those of able bodied people.

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