The association has been affiliated to the Labour Party nationally since at least 1934, when our President, Somerville Hastings, the first doctor to appear at a Labour Party Conference, proposed the resolution which committed the Party to establish a free National Health Service.

We are one of 20 affiliated socialist societies. We are entitled to send two delegates to the Labour Party national conference, and one delegate to the Women’s and Youth conference. Although we do not require all our members to be in the Labour Party any delegates to any party bodies must be party members, and live in the relevant constituency.

For most purposes the party puts the societies in the same category as the affiliated unions. So at conference our card votes are generally counted with theirs – and are therefore negligible.  The societies meet regularly together, and we have 3 delegates elected by societies to the National Policy Forum and a representative, James Asser, on the National Executive Committee.   Because most of the societies are very small we have for many years agreed to jointly nominate people chosen on the basis of one society one vote.  We are entitled to send an observer to the NPF if we are not among the 3 delegates.

We pay a national affiliation fee of £1.25 per member, £945 last year, which covers the whole UK.

We are entitled to affiliate to regional Labour parties, but they expect us to pay affiliation fees to them which vary between £200 and £50 calculated on a formula which often is based on an assumption that we have a minimum of 1000 members in the region.  That entitles us to attend their conference and there is a place on the regional executive for a socialist society representative. Wales and Scotland operate in a manner analogous to the English regions, and we have to pay additionally to affiliate there. They have their own conferences and policy making structures for devolved matters.  The socialist societies have two gender balanced seats on the Welsh Executive.

Local Campaign Forums exist at what were once called county level and at city level. In principle socialist societies could have a place on these forums.  These cover areas which, more or less, map to NHS health economies in England, so are potentially of interest to us, but their composition does not appear to be nationally mandated.

We are entitled to send up to 5 delegates to each Constituency Labour Party, so long as we have that many members in the constituency unless there is a different basis of representation agreed by the NEC in that constituency.  We have to pay an affiliation fee of £6.  This is significant in constituencies which operate on a delegate structure, but less so in those which operate on all member meetings.

The Association does not have any rights in respect of ward branch Labour parties.

These arrangements may be altered as a result of the party’s Democracy Review.

Labour party constituencies, Labour groups or any other organisations can affiliate to the Association.  The affiliation fee for local organisations  is £25 and for small national organisations £125.  Larger organisations pay a larger fee by agreement.  The benefits of membership, in particular, reduced rates for our events, and inclusion on our mailing lists are extended to any member of an affiliated organisation who wants them.  This currently includes Unison, Unite, GMB, and a number of Constituency Labour Parties and union branches.

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5 Comments

  1. Well written article Martin. Health is the wealth of the nation. We need healthy people to create wealth for the nation so that we can spend money on NHS, social care, police and education and so on.

    I am very proud of our NHS, our social care and our great nation. Sadly NHS is in crisis and everyone is busy blaming someone else for the current crisis. Reality is most man made crisis do not happen suddenly and it dates back to many years and many months and because of unintended consequences of many changes introduced over many years. Most of these changes were implemented with good intentions.

    We waste £20 Billion out of £127 Billion we spend on NHS. When I say we, I mean all of us who are in NHS leadership position, Of course, no one comes to work to harm patients or to waste money. But it is simply not acceptable for us to waste so much Public money!

    Devolution Manchester, 5 years plan, Health and social care integration and so on gives us amazing opportunity to transform and create safest the best and most vibrant health and social care. For this you need kind, caring, compassionate leaders with courage, knowledge and skills to do so.

    I am hoping that very soon we will debate this in Manchester Socialist Health Association, I am so proud of what you and many others do. Let us make our NHS our Social care safest the best and the best value for the money and let us transform.

    We need leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr and Barrak Obama who are honest, sincere, created a movement and engaged community and transformed the world or at least tried to transform.

    We must leave our world much better than one we are living for our children, their children and their grand children and if not they will not forgive us.

  2. Lawrie Nerva says:

    I invite Dr Prabhu to inform us where the NHS is wasting £20 billion.

    Lawrie Nerva

  3. Mervyn Hyde says:

    Devo Manc is the last thing the SHA should be recommending, if we are talking about waste, that is particularly the worst possible choice to save waste. Instead we should be calling for the re-integration of Manchester back into the NHS. Fragmentation is the decided policy of the Tories to privatise large chunks of our NHS.

    What was Manchester Labour thinking when they cobbled this together with the Tories, surely they understand that the Tories hold the purse strings, “he who pays the piper calls the tune”.

  4. Gordon Keegan says:

    We shouldn’t be promoting devolved health areas or the 44 STP foot prints , this is all about the fragmentation of the NHS. Once devolved health areas are in place, its easy for the transcontinental health corporations or health insurance corporations from the USA or the EU to acquire our NHS through procurement laws. We also have to be aware of the neo liberal trade deals which push this agenda. ie: TISA which is a services trade deal that our NHS is included in.

  5. Lawrie Nerva says:

    The SHA should oppose any form of fragmentation of the NHS.

    Lawrie Nerva

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