Category Archives: Socialist Health Association

 

SHA Scotland Meeting

Further to the notice of the AGM to be held on 23 January, I am writing to notify members of an additional agenda item.

·         Scottish Labour Deputy Leader nomination – There are two validly nominated candidates after the first stage – Jackie Baillie and Matt Kerr. The next stage is CLP/Affiliate nominations and SHA Scotland is entitled to make one nomination.

The UK Party Leader and Deputy Leader nominations are the responsibility of UK SHA and all paid up members should have received a communication from them on this issue.

I look forward to seeing you on Thursday.

Yours fraternally

Dave Watson
Secretary

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2 informative and extremely worrying videos from our Vice Chair, Dr Brian Fisher on the dire state of social care in England.

Video 1: the current state of social care.

This brief video, made for Reclaim Social Care, outlines what social care is and how it operates at the moment in England.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/6kqUa7nbCjg2CEjt9

Video 2: the impact of the cuts to social care:

This brief video, made for Reclaim Social Care, outlines the impact of the cuts to social care. It ends with a plea to avoid voting Tory – sadly, that aspect is redundant now. The Tories have pledged more money for social care and that is likely to make a difference. But not enough to change things significantly on its own. And as the IFS says, austerity is “baked in” to a swathe of Tory plans.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/W2cZz5h7WRbW9v2S8

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David Taylor-Gooby, Secretary of the North East Branch, has asked us to put this information on the website.

Dr Williams is a respected as a hard working MP, with a reputation for honesty and integrity.  He is an SHA member, in fact the only NE MP in the SHA.  He still practices as a GP.  He is a formidable SHA campaigner, but only has a majority of 888.  David would like to enlist our support for Dr Williams where we can.

 

Jean

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Report back from the Labour Party Conference, Brighton September 2019

SHA Central Council members spoke to two Composite motions at conference and to a Reference Back.

Saturday 21 September. For the Many Not the Few.

As some of you may know our delegate Andy Thompson was taken seriously ill on the Friday before the Conference.  He spent the whole time in hospital, and I would like to thank the people who supported him – especially Miro Hussain, Ken Smith, and the West Midlands delegates.  He scared me when I saw him, but I am pleased to report all is good now. Thanks to Brian Fisher and Ken and Miro too for their support to me.

 

We arrived early at Conference and set up our part of the Socialist Societies stall.

Conference began at 2.30pm and closed with the Priorities Ballot and votes sometime after 6.30pm. We struggled with what seemed like endless card votes, then some being withdrawn, others changed. As I was chairing and speaking at our Fringe, I had to leave at 5pm to get to our venue and set things up, however we spoke to the appropriate people to explain our position and ensure that I was present at Compositing should our motion go forward.  I explained to the Fringe meeting I needed to prioritise the compositing and checked my phone for all forms of communication minute by minute.  I was not called, and it seems we were overlooked. I intend to complain as this was not acceptable.

Further clarification of the following report.

Brian Fisher and myself were present almost continously during the main conference proceedings and our voting record was 100% – not just on health.

I am awaiting hand surgery and when Pat Merrick, my friend and local Ellesmere Port and Neston CLP delegate’s report came through, she generously said this could be used.

I would like to formally record my grateful thanks for sparing me this section of the report.

 

Sunday 22 September PEOPLE BEFORE PRIVILEGE

10am

Mark Drakeford, Welsh Labour Leader, addresses Conference, on new policies on NHS free prescriptions and free school meals as in Wales, then Brexit: strongly on For Remain

Followed by Angela Raynor. Each of the last Tory Governments has achieved the impossible, been worse than the last. We will upgrade social mobility to social justice and close the class loop holes of the elite public schools. Taxing privilege and improve education for all. We will deliver a new Sure Start programme, free early education for all 2,3&4-year-olds. We will end Tuition Fees.  There will be lifelong learning for all.

Every child growing up today will receive life & health education from primary onwards. We will scrap Ofsted. Ending the spiralling cost of school uniform. Fifty years ago, Jennie Lee founded the OU. A comprehensive and open university for academic and non-academic education. We will not just spend we will INVEST. (standing ovation)

SHA Chair Dr Alex Scott-Samuel spoke passionately while seconding ‘this brilliant motion’ – Composite 2 on the NHS
(Go to 2.25.18 where Alex started speaking) 
“if you unanimously support this motion and make it the centre of Labour’s Manifesto we will win the next General Election”
The Motion was carried – well done Alex and of course Bonnie Craven, who proposed it on behalf of Sutton and Cheam CLP.
Central Council member Punita Goodfellow gives a powerful speech in seconding Composite 1 resolution on Social Care
(Go to  2.12.22 where Punita starts speaking)
“Social Care is one of the most pressing and urgent injustices suffered by invisible millions who are the many and not the few. They deserve so much more.”
The motion was carried, well done Punita, and Aylesbury CLP which proposed it.
Then it was Referencing Back.

Sex & relationships from Bristol, LGBT.

P.33 Beaconsfield CLP ending the process of selection at 11plus where it still exists

Tottenham CLP neither sex nor gender realignment etc has been left off.

Labour International CLP. Section in Ed & Skills, despite youth services , fostering, social services privatised & outsourced. Need to bring back into public ownership.

Brighton pavilion CLP ESOL is the only explicit mention of provision for BAME education.

Chungford&Woodford, remove the ref to Grammar schools and abolish them. Take academies and free schools back into Council control.

Mark Serwotka addressed conference, 1000 days following his heart transplant. He was excellent and had us all standing as he talked about working towards a true socialist government led by JC , and not having our NHS stripped away by Trump and other businesses.

More referencing back.

Various speakers.

Alex Scott-Samuel  ‘referenced back’ part of the Health and Care Commission element in the NPF Report – since the report fails to include some very significant parts of existing Labour Party Health Policy. Alex starts speaking at 1hr 59 minutes https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0008vh8/labour-party-conference-2019-22092019-morning-session
Unfortunately this reference back was narrowly defeated –  51% /49%

 

UNISON leader Dave Prentice spoke on NHS workers. He was diagnosed with cancer 20 years ago given months to live and will fight to save the NHS , only one option Labour has to win power and be united.

Jonathon Ashworth, began by praising Jenny for her speech yesterday on her experience with the NHS. Then about the father of the 7-day old baby girl and was confronted by BJ on a photo op… Omar Salem spoke for a nation, it matters that 4.4m people are on the waiting list, we are bottom of the league for cancer treatment. Omar’s daughter is now doing well, but only a Labour Government can save our NHS, end austerity…we will rebuild the mental health service. 3k people lose their life to drug and alcohol problems. His dad was an alcoholic. Addiction recovery must be properly funded. We have lost 14k beds, and have some of the lowest numbers of MRI scans in Europe. Patients deserve better. We will invest and not by PFI to rebuild our health services. We need more capacity not less, and the cuts under Tories will end. He was inspired by Greta Thunberg. He will declare a climate emergency under a Labour NHS, to become the greenest health service in the world. We will guarantee better conditions for our NHS staff and bring back the nursing bursary. Workers from across the world will always be welcome and pay conditions will be improved. The Tories have cut 1600 GPs, more Drs, more nurses, more support staff…he will call time on the markets and competition, an NHS rebuilt and out of private business hands. Infant mortality has risen 4 years in a row unknown since WW1. Healthier, happier longer lives. Prescriptions will be free for all.

Chaos broke out when the reference back motions were impossible to remember and yet delegates were expected to vote. Conference had already overrun and several of us attempted to make points of order and suggestions. It remains to be seen if this will be resolved by the afternoon session as all the CAC has done so far is to resend the same report they sent us earlier this morning.

Diane Abbott opened the afternoon session and was given a rousing greeting. JC was on the stage again and an OH JC struck up three times.

She said that she owed all her life chances to the Labour Party which led to her becoming the first ever black woman MP. She told BJ that we had nothing to fear from him and to Bring It On!

Then we returned to more referencing back which is showing every chance of becoming as confused as this morning.

Monday, 23 September.

The morning began with an emergency motion on Rape and supporting survivors, which was debated later in the afternoon when many rape survivors shared their experiences. The Scottish Leader, Richard Leonard, gave a rebel rousing speech and declared he was 100% behind J.C. We then had interminable references back that plagued this conference and the CAC will look again at the issues before Liverpool next year.

Finally, we moved on to the New Economy which led us to the speech by the next Chancellor, the brilliant John McDonnell. He was uplifting, thorough and humorous as befits a lad born across the Mersey to Scouse parents even if he did leave his Liverpool home for the South aged 8! He received a thunderous ovation from the whole hall.

The afternoon plenary session was on New Internationalism and Emily Thornbury opened this session.

Again, there were many reference backs about the Indian Army’s inhumane acts in Kashmir and the situation in Yemen.

We finished much later than the timetable suggests.

It must be said that the referencing back does create some difficulties for the people chairing, usually women and there is a need to bring the Conference into the 21st century.

The Brexit debate and voting seemed to involve an inter Union struggle and arguably should have been by card ballot. I was told that would have exposed the position of the two Unions, but I very much doubt it would have changed much.  The debacle and whispering on the platform led to us looking very chaotic and unprofessional.

Tuesday 24 September, the Supreme Court Decision!!!

The day began quietly enough and Becky Long-Bailey was giving her speech on the new Green Revolution and the “luxury” this would deliver to us all in our daily lives. Jeremy seemed somewhat distracted and there were whispered messages passing along the top table. Becky finished her speech to rapturous applause and hugs from Jeremy and John, then the Leader addressed the Conference and comrades you know the rest. Jeremy’s speech was moved to late afternoon that day so that he and the Cabinet could return to Westminster. It ended with a hear warming and comradely show of solidarity from the front bench.

Wednesday 25 September.

Well of course it was an anticlimactic end to Conference. Most delegates turned up and we concluded the unfinished business of the previous day.

It closed at 12, when we would have been packing out the hall for the Leaders speech. It was one of the most memorable conferences of the last decade or so and we all went home tired and relieved, very happy to have been part of history and looking forward to doing our damnedest to get Labour into Government under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn at the earliest opportunity.

I found that as a woman in a wheelchair it was almost impossible to attract the attention of a support steward. Just as the platform couldn’t see us, neither could the stewards.  I spoke to the Labour desk and have been asked to report this.

This will be the fight of our lives comrades and the last chance to achieve a true Socialist Government and get rid of that obnoxious egotist who claims to be the PM of our UK. Come on let’s do it, for our children, their children and ourselves,

We beg you.

 

Fringe meetings at Conference.

The SHA held two successful fringe meetings at Conference this year. The first had two contributions

One was from Jean Hardiman Smith on the potential impacts of future trade deals on the NHS and the wider welfare state.

The next contribution was on Social Care, by Brian Fisher. This explained the current state of social care and went on outline policy development that could transform and improve the lives of millions.

The slides can be found here. SOCIAL CARE- LP CONFERENCE 2019

They are based on data, ideas and slides from Lewisham Social Care Action Group, Reclaim Social Care and the SHA motion on social care.

We are pleased that a composited motion from Reclaim Social Care, similar to the SHA’s motion, was passed at Conference and that Labour’s policy is shifting towards our approach.

We look forward to continuing work in the field.
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Labour will halt Tory deaths rise and save the NHS

 

Sunday 22 September, 7.00pm (for 7.15)- 9.30pm

Friends Meeting House, Ship Street, Brighton, BN1 1AF

Speakers

Professor Danny Dorling, University of Oxford;
Jonathan Ashworth MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Health;
Sussex Defend Our NHS

Chair Dr Alex Scott-Samuel, Socialist Health Association

Programme

Professor Danny Dorling – What Labour must do to halt the Tory rise in baby and early adult deaths in England and Wales

Jonathan Ashworth MP – How Labour will revive the NHS and our health

Sussex Defend Our NHS – Our fight for a healthy Sussex

 

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The Socialist Health Association (SHA) notes the public health green paper – Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s, which was published on the 22nd July by the Cabinet Office.

 

We believe that this is a missed opportunity, which ignores much of the evidence on what works best to improve people’s health and wellbeing. Doing something at the level of communities, such as changing an ‘obesogenic’ environment, is more effective and much better value for money, than doing something one by one for individuals..  The paper also largely ignores the impact of poverty and the gross and worsening inequalities in health. At a time when the Government wishes to unite the country, this again betrays its inability to put first the health and wellbeing of all communities.

We support the recognition that health is an asset and a composite health index should be used at Cabinet and across government departments in their planning and investment decisions. We also strongly support the goal of a smoke free country by 2030 but believe that this will need strong regulation and taxation policies. We also support the removal of barriers put in place of water fluoridation, which is an effective way of promoting oral health in children and thus their dentition for life. Finally we support the strengthening of food and drink regulations in respect of salt, sugar and fat content but look to committing to specific measures such as the sugar tax for milky drinks and beverages.

40 years after the Black report on ‘Health Inequalities’ (1980), there is still too little commitment to address poverty. Poverty exacerbated by years of austerity, has resulted in reducing life expectancy and increasing infant mortality. There is no shortage of expert evidence and advice such as the Marmot reports which point to investment in the first 1000 days of life, early years education, the need to have a living wage and a society which enables ageing well. We need to see a strategic commitment by government to abolish child poverty, support parents in the early years and ensure that people have access to jobs that provide a living wage for families.

The Green Paper disappoints too in drawing back from a purposeful commitment to regulate and use taxation to shape the powerful commercial determinants of our health, such as the food and drink market.  We do not see the evidence for change unless linked with regulation (salt), taxation (sugar) and pricing (alcohol unit price). Similarly the rapid growth in gambling driven by advertising on television and social media and enabled by the digital world will require urgent legislation to prevent the growth in harm caused by addiction and consequential debt.

The SHA has recently published our own ‘Prevention and Public Health policy’ endorsed by the Central Council (available at www.sochealth.co.uk), which unlike the government’s Green Paper gives priority to the Climate Emergency and Planetary Health as well as prioritising addressing the social determinants of health.

The Green Paper makes individuals responsible for their own health in a way which will exacerbate the health outcome gap between the rich and poor. There is strong evidence for achieving better health outcomes through implementing interventions on the social, economic and environmental determinants of health and wellbeing. The emphasis on genomics, big data and artificial intelligence (AI) is misplaced in population level prevention policies, although we agree that these areas are exciting and need further research and evaluation

More recent evidence over the past 20 years of the Climate Emergency – the 21st century public health challenge – also needs to be a high priority for prevention and public health.

SHA 26th July 2019.

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SHA Central Council unanimously passed this motion at its last meeting. Please circulate and discuss at your CLPs and wards and consider whether you want to choose this as a motion to go to conference. It is an opportunity to shift Labour policy forward. The beginning of the motion succinctly describes the current disastrous situation, deepened by this government:

 

England’s Social Care system is broken. LAs faced £700m cuts in 2018-9 with £7 billion slashed since 2010. 26% fewer elderly receive support, demand grows.

People face isolation, indignity, maltreatment, neglect, barriers to inclusion and independent living.

Most care is privatised, not reflecting user needs/wishes. Public money goes to shareholders and hedge funds as profits.  Service users and families face instability as companies go bust.

Staff wages, training and conditions are slashed.  Staff turnover is 30+%.

8 million unpaid, overworked family carers, including children and the elderly, provide vital support.

 

The second part of the motion offers a set of solutions that go beyond more funding – we are exploring routes to a socialist approach to social care and support:

 

Conference demands Labour legislates a duty on the SoS to provide a universal system of social care and support acknowledging a right to independent living wherever possible:

  • Based on need and offering choice.
  • Meeting the needs of all disabled, frail and sick throughout life with robust safeguarding procedures.
  • Free at the point of use, universally provided, fully funded through progressive taxation
  • Subject to national standards based on Human Rights, choice, dignity and respect for all, complying with the UN Rights of persons with disabilities, including Articles on Independent Living (19) Highest Attainable Health (25) and Education (24).
  • Democratically run services, delivered through local public bodies working co-productively together with users and carers.
  • Training to nationally agreed qualifications, career structure, pay and conditions.
  • Gives informal carers strong rights and support, including finances and mental health.

 

Labour to establish a taskforce involving users and carers/Trade Unions/relevant organisations to deliver the above, including an independent advocate system, and national independent living support service.

Do contact us if you need any information or advice about submitting or debating this motion. “

Thanks

Brian

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Introduction

 

The  SHA Council agreed to pull together some of the existing policies on prevention and public health, introduce new proposals that have been identified and put them into a policy framework to influence socialist thinking, Labour Party (LP) manifestoes and future policy commitments. The SHA is not funded by the industry, charitable foundations or by governments. We are a socialist society which is affiliated to the Labour Party (LP) and we participate in the LP policy process and promote policies which will help build a healthier and fairer society within the UK and globally. An SHA working group was established to draft papers for the Central Council to consider (Annex 1).

The group were asked to provide short statements on the rationale for specific policies (the Why?), reference the evidence base and prioritise specific policies (the What?). Prevention and Public Health are wide areas for cross government policy development so we have tried to selectively choose policies that would build a healthier population with greater equity between social groups especially by social class, ethnicity, gender and geographical localities. We have taken health and wellbeing to be a broad concept with acknowledgement that this must include mental wellbeing, reduce health inequalities as well as being in line with the principles of sustainable health for future generations locally and globally.

The sections

These documents are divided into five sections to allow focus on specific policy areas as follows:

  1. Planetary health, global inequalities and sustainable development
  2. Social and the wider determinants of health
  3. Promoting people’s health and wellbeing
  4. Protecting people’s health
  5. Prevention in health and social care

The working group have been succinct and not reiterated what is a given in public health policies and current LP policy. So for example we accept that smoking kills and what we will propose are specific policies that we should advocate to further tackle Big Tobacco globally, prevent the recruitment of children to become new young smokers, protect people from environmental smoke and enable smokers to quit. We look to a tobacco free society in the relatively near future. Whether tobacco, the food and drink industry, car manufacturers or the gambling sector we will emphasise the need to regulate advertising, protecting children and young people especially and make healthy choices easier and cheaper through regulations and taxation policies.

Wherever appropriate we take a lifecourse approach looking at planned parenthood, maternity and early years all the way through to ageing well. We recognise the importance of place such as the home environment, schools, communities and workplaces and include occupational health and spatial planning in our deliberations.

We discuss the NHS and social care sector and draw out specific priorities for prevention and public health delivery within these services. The vast number and repeated contact that people have with these servces provides opportunities to work with populations across the age groups, deliver specific prevention programmes and use the opportunities for contacts by users as well as carers and friends and relatives to cascade health messages and actions.

The priorities and next steps

In each section we have identified up to ten priorities in that policy area. In order to provide a holistic selection of the overall top ten priorities we have created  a summary box of ten priorities which identify the goals, the means of achieving them and some success measures.

This work takes a broad view of prevention and public health. It starts with considering Planetary Health and the climate emergency, global inequalities and the fact that we and future generations live in One World. A central concern for socialists is building a fairer world and societies with greater equity between different social classes, ethnic groups, gender and locality. We appreciate that the determnants of such inequalities lie principally in social conditions, cultural and economic influences. These so called ‘wider determinants and social influences’ need to be addressed if we are to make progress. The sections on the different domains of public health policy and practice sets out a holistic, ecological and socialist approach to promoting health, preventing disease and injury and providing evidence based quality health and social care services for the population.

The work focuses on the Why and What but we recognise the need for further work to support the implementation of these priorities once agreed by the SHA Council. Some will be relatively straightforward but others will be innovative and we need to test them for ease of implementation. A new Public Health Act, as has been established in Wales, but for UK wide policies would make future public health legislation and regulation easier.

The SHA now needs to advocate for the strategic approach set out here and the specific priorities identified by us within the LP policy process so they become part of the LP manifesto commitments.

 

Dr Tony Jewell (Convener/Editor)

Central Council

July 2019

The complete policy document is available below for downloading.

Public health and Prevention in Health and Social carefinaljuly2019

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You may have seen the Panorama programmes about the shocking crisis in social care. If not, please see links to iPlayer at the end of this post.

Below is a motion that I’ll present at my local Labour Party branch meeting on 9 July next week.

The motion has been agreed by the Reclaim Social Care Group (RSCG) with the aim of getting it discussed and accepted as union policy at Labour Party Conference this year.  Although I’m not ‘registered’ disabled, I’m a member of Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC).

The RSCG is co-ordinated through the umbrella group, Health Campaigns Together (HCT). It includes representation from Socialist Health Association (SHA), and KONP (Keep Our NHS Public).  Also included in RSCG are the National Pensioners’ Convention (NPC), several unions including Unite and Unison branches, and a wide range of disabled people’s user-led groups, and writers and academics.

Motion: Reclaim Social Care

England’s social care system is broken. Local Authorities face £700m cuts in 2018-19. With £7 billion slashed since 2010, 26% fewer older people receive support, while demand grows.

Most care is privatised, doesn’t reflect users’ needs and wishes; charges are high. Consequences include isolation, indignity, maltreatment. Disabled and elderly people face barriers to inclusion and independent living, thousands feel neglected.

8 million unpaid, overworked family carers, including children and elderly relatives, provide vital support.

Public money goes to shareholders and hedge funds as profits. Service users and families face instability as companies go bust.

Staff wages, training and conditions are slashed. Staff turnover over 30%.

This branch demands Labour legislates a duty on the SoS to provide a universal social care and support system based on a universal right to independent living: 

 

  • Free at point of use

 

  • Fully funded through progressive taxation

 

  • Subject to national standards based on article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities addressing people’s aspirations and choices and with robust safeguarding procedures.

 

  • Publicly, democratically run services, designed and delivered locally, co-productively involving local authorities, the NHS and service users, disabled people and carers

 

  • Nationally agreed training, qualifications, career structure, pay and conditions.

 

  • Giving informal carers the rights and support they need.

 

Labour to establish a taskforce involving user and carers organisations, trade unions, pensioners and disabled people’s organisations to develop proposals for a national independent living support service, free to all on the basis of need.

 

(250 words)

Notes for members

SoS – Secretary of state

Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance (ROFA).

This is an alliance of Disabled People and their organisations in England who have joined together to defend disabled people’s rights and campaign for an inclusive society. ROFA fights for equality for disabled people in England and works with sister organisations across the UK in the tradition of the international disability movement. We base our work on the social model of disability, human and civil rights in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

We oppose the discriminatory and disproportionate attacks on our rights by past and current Governments. Alliance member organisations have been at the forefront of campaigning against austerity and welfare reform and inequality.

National independent living service

The social care element of Disabled people’s right to independent living will be administered through a new national independent living service managed by central government, but delivered locally in co-production with Disabled people. It will be provided on the basis of need, not profit, and will not be means tested. It will be independent of, but sit alongside, the NHS and will be funded from direct taxation.

The national independent living service will be responsible for supporting disabled people through the self-assessment/assessment process, reviews and administering payments to individual Disabled people. Individuals will not be obliged to manage their support payments themselves if they choose not to.

The national independent living service will be located in a cross-government body which can ensure awareness of and take responsibility for implementation plans in all areas covered by the UNCRPD’s General Comment on Article 19 and by the twelve pillars of independent living, whether it be in transport, education, employment, housing, or social security. The cross-government body will also be responsible for ensuring that intersectional issues are adequately addressed.

BBC Panorama – Social care 

Part 1:  https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0005jpf/panorama-crisis-in-care-part-1-who-cares

Part 2 – https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0005qqr/panorama-crisis-in-care-part-2-who-pays

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The life long member of the Socialist Health Association, Dr Julian Tudor Hart died on July 1st 2018. The following is the funeral tribute paid to him by Dr Brian Gibbons who worked with Julian in the Upper Afan Valley Group Practice  in south Wales.

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There is no great forest that is made up of a single tree, no great river made from a single tributary or no great mountain range with single peak.

And as we come here to remember and commemorate the life of Julian Tudor Hart—we realise what a multi-faceted individual he was.

He embraced and embodies such a broad range and depth of
subjects, knowledge and skills, accomplishments and life experiences

 

To say that Julian was interested in politics and the life of the community that he served for almost three decades would be like saying that Gareth Bale was known to be able to kick a football.

Julian’s politics were principled, passionate and undiminishing right up to the final months and weeks of his life.

Even then he was involved in the Labour Party, Swansea Labour Left and in the affairs of the Upper Afan Valley — in campaigns to keep the key community facilities open such as Cymer Swimming Pool open.

And he was revived and renewed with Jeremy Corbyn’s victory in the Labour leadership election and the outcome of the last year’s general elections which showed that British elections no longer had to be won from the middle ground of politics.  And that it was possible to offer people, and particularly the young, a radical alternative for change

And, I’m sure, Julian was not only pleased to see a leader from the left at the helm of the Labour Party.
But he would have also been pleased that that leader shared another of Julian’s great passions — gardening.

If Julian had a chance to speak to Jeremy Corbyn he would have talked not only about politics but also runner beans, carrots, radishes and lettuce.

And those discussions would have given a new meaning to the idea of “organising a left wing plot “ !!!!

 

Julian’s politics came from the heart

But it found expression in the head and in the hand.

He investigated and analysed and applied the scientific method to his political beliefs.

And Julian respected all those who did the same even those who took a diametrically different point of view from him.

It was all the more than painful for him, therefore, to see over recent years to see that ignorance, prejudice and bigotry is too often used as evidence in much of the present political debate.

Karl Marx said, and I am sure that to quote him here this morning at a humanist funeral for Julian Hart is in order.
“The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.”

And this is what exactly what Julian did.

Yes he used the scientific method to interpret the world but not with some sort of detached view of the ivory tower academic or to provide frothy intellectual fodder for the chattering classes.

But to intervene to make a difference, to make society a fairer and more equal place for us all to live, a place where we can all work together for our own mutual benefit and the common good, where we all live a more enriching and enjoyable life.

Where all would contribute according to their ability and receive according to their need.

 

Julian was a man of action.
From campaigning side by side with the people who lived in Glyncorrwg and the Upper Afan Valley, through writing papers, pamphlets and books, giving interviews and partaking in debate, peaking and organising meetings,

He was an active, conscientious and creative member of many organisations as diverse as the Socialist Health Association of which he was the first honorary president and the Royal College of General Practitioners of which he was a council member for many years – where he constantly took the view that high professional and clinical standards, particularly for those with the greatest health care needs, were the natural ally of a thriving NHS.
He advised national political parties and governments in various parts of the world.
And he had a particularly important role in the development of health policies in the run up to and in the early years of Welsh devolution.

In short he walked the streets with the people of Glyncorrwg in their campaigns and he also walked on an international stage.

And in mentioning all of this, we do need to remember the support he received from his wife Mary and his children whose home was often a cross between a Heathrow terminal and Piccadilly Circus as people dropped in from far and near from the Afan Valley to the Appalachian Mountains and even further afield.

He also brought his activism and creative thinking to many local campaigns.And we can see the physical legacy of that in the Upper Afan Valley – the South Wales Miners Museum, Glyncorrwg Ponds and Glyncorrwg Mountain Biking Centre.

Of course Julian would agree that none of this would have been achieved without the co-operation in local community efforts and a massive amount of hard work and effort by many local people.
But equally I am sure that there are few who would disagree that none of these projects would have achieved what they did without Julian Hart.

 

Julian Hart was an unrepentant socialist …but he was most particularly committed to promoting and protecting the NHS.

He saw the NHS as being the embodiment of the values of a socialist society, where people contribute, through their taxes, according to their ability to pay – unless you are Google or Amazon, of course — and you receive according to your need.

Nye Bevan was, apparently, once asked how long he thought the National Health Service would last and he is reported as saying “ The NHS will last as long as there’s folk with faith left to fight for it.”

But one of our most resolute fighters for the NHS has left us.

Already many people have started to consider what sort of monument or memorial would be fitting to commemorate Julian Hart’s life work.

But I am sure that Julian would be first to say – the greatest of all memorials would be the continuing campaign to protect the NHS and the work to allow it to innovate and expand, to develop and to flourish as an even greater public service than it is now.

One of Julian’s favourite singers was Paul Robson, who was once one of his patients, and one of Paul Robson’s most popular songs was Joe Hill which you will hear later.

Joe Hill was a Swedish immigrant and trade union organiser in the USA who was framed for murder and executed in Salt Lake City.

The song reminds us that even though Joe Hill did die, his spirit lived on wherever there was a the struggle for trade union rights and a campaign for social justice

And Julian’s spirit will live on to be a similar source of
inspiration though he is no longer with us.

Joe Hill said is his last letter – “Don’t mourn, organise!”

Julian would have repeated that message

Organise to protect and build the NHS.
Organise to build a better, more caring and equal society.

That must the first and enduring monument and then we can get on with the rest.

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Present: Alex Scott-Samuel (ASS), Tom Fitzgerald (TF) Diane Jones(DJ), Nicholas Csergo(NC), Vivien Walsh(VWa), David Wrigley(DWr), Steve Bedser(SB), Gurinder Josan(G J), Jane Roberts(JR), Guy Baily(GB), Brian Fisher(BF), Brian Gibbons(BG), Tony Jewell(TJ), John Lipetz(JL), Mike Roberts(MR), Eileen O’Keefe(EO’K), Vivien Gilardi(VG), Stephen Warren(SW), Carol Ackroyd(CA), Norma Dudley(ND), Coral Jones(CJ), Caroline Bedale(CB), Allison Gardner(AG), Shaun McBride(SMcB), Laurence Cotter(LC), Jon Shaffer(JS), Kathrin Thomas(KT), Mark Ladbrooke(ML), Paul Leake(PL), Jos Bell(JB), Helen Cranage(HC), Irene Leonard(IL), Alan Hall(AH),

Judith Varley(JV)     Tom Fitzgerald (TF) came later

Observers:   None

1    Apologies:  Jean Hardiman Smith, Jacky Davis, Allison Scoular, Catharine Grundy-Glew, Corrie Lowry, Katrina Murray, Tony Beddow, Caroline Walsh, Andy Thompson, Peter Mayer, James Williamson

Alex Scott Samuel welcomed delegates and everyone sent greetings and good wishes to Jean Hardiman Smith, Tony Beddow and Andy Thompson that current health problems will be speedily resolved

2   Minutes of the September 1 Leeds Central Council meeting and Matters Arising   Many amendments had been proposed following the Leeds meeting.  JV pointed out that the Minutes were not supposed to be verbatim of all comments made but a brief summary to convey the essence and conclusion of debates.  She noted debate in as unbiased a way as possible.  Anyone with specific detailed, technical information should send her an e-mail note of it to ensure its accuracy.  JV can only record delegates who sign the attendance sheet as present

Jane Roberts was present in Leeds and Brian Gibbons had sent apologies.

Item 3   Disciplinary Appeal   Guidelines were ACAS not NHS  GJ had asked that subgroup personnel and numbers should be recorded.   Bf commented that there had been criticism of the disciplinary process.  One of the recommendations following the criticism was that the CC has ultimate responsibility for the process.  In order that Martin’s treatment be fair and the reputation of the SHA be maintained, he had suggested the criticism be taken seriously and that CC respond in a positive style.  He added that though the process had been criticised, Andy Thompson’s recommendations should be taken seriously and need to be seen as fair.

Item 5  CB said Manchester branch did not have funds so Martin Rathfelder had suggested a Treasurer was un-necessary.

3 Chair’s Review      Review of Governance 2014  (Clarke Review) – available on the SHA website

GJ asked whether the Clarke Review is for discussion today or approval.  ASS said the 2014 review should be examined rapidly by an appropriate voluntary group convened by Andy Thompson to bring it up to date.  JL suggested a group of 5 could be organised urgently to report back.  MR (one of the Clarke review commissioners) said it was obvious by 2014 that SHA governance was inadequate, and the legacy of this recognition is that as an organisation, SHA has indeed proved unfit.  Proper governance should be set up in time for the AGM so a report should be available and agreed by the January meeting, otherwise SHA will be open to criticism.  JB added that it was essential we became incorporated to become a limited liability company.  PL reminded us that governance also applied to local Constituency Labour Party and branch associations.  BG said  SHA was dysfunctional, and a review of Clarke, incorporation and standing orders was essential.  VG said there was a serious lack in respect of standing orders, and she’d like to have new people reviewing Clarke.  Could volunteers from this meeting be forwarded to Andy for his immediate attention as soon as he’s better?  SW said there’s a history about why Clarke was left aside; it stated everything that was needed for an organisation and it now needs urgent attention and rapid implementation.  Should some elements be prioritised for upgrading?  JR asked that short Terms of Reference be circulated to Central Council.  GJ asked if members from branches could be included in the review panel.  BG suggested priorities should include finance (with Officers getting full access to all SHA accounts, and was assured by TF that this had now happened), membership, and constitutional matters – including that any delegate missing 2 consecutive meetings of Central Council without explanation /apology, would be deemed to have resigned.

CB requested a full financial report at the next meeting

4     Officers’ Reports

Secretary’s report     Labour Party  Conference:  The SHA proposal as a contemporary Motion on social care was not successful and BF would like advice on how we can ensure social care is included in next year’s conference.  There were 2 very successful SHA fringe meetings, one on maternity policy and the other on social care and reinstatement of the NHS with Emma Dent Coad MP and Eleanor Smith MP contributing.  CJ had spoken on the decriminalisation of abortion in N Ireland at the Women’s Conference.  SHA members had also taken part in a health discussion organised by Health Campaigns Together in the World Transformed fringe conference

NW Regional LP Conference    Jean Hardiman Smith proposed a Motion on the Mental Capacity Assessment Bill  and wants this discussed at CC

ASS commented that the shadow health team is keen to continue discussion with SHA, particularly on health inequalities and digital systems

Treasurer’s Report    TF reported that all accounts have now been recovered and a written report would be  provided at the next meeting

5   Report on the Disciplinary Appeal.  David Wrigley (DW) as Chair reported.  He thanked Jean Hardiman Smith for her help despite her on-going health problems.  Two of the 4 CC delegates who had volunteered for the October hearing were randomly chosen with 1 reserve.  Martin’s grounds for appeal were that sanction of dismissal was too severe.  Alongside legal support and meeting all ACAS requirements, allegations and counter-allegations were examined and all issues addressed over a period of 5 hours.  Questions were asked and answered, and the decision was left over to the following day to allow time for careful consideration of all aspects of the information heard.   The original decision was upheld.   DW then took questions from CC.

JR asked for details of the legal advice and DW confirmed ACAS advice had been taken, the panel were fresh and independent of previous proceedings or information. SHA had employed a specialist employment solicitor for this stage of the appeal.  Whilst Andy Thompson had provided legal experience for the primary hearing, he was not present for the secondary appeal but was available should DW or colleagues need support or further help.  DW also thought it inappropriate for further discussion since the next stage of the disciplinary process is now with ACAS.  SB agreed it was inappropriate to continue discussion as the appeal was still underway.  However, he wanted to be confident that the Officers were discharging their duties effectively and asked if there might be any personal liability for costs; specifically, were homes at risk?  He wanted more than anecdotal assurance, and ASS responded that expert advice is that delegates will not incur legal costs and he supported DW’s comment that disclosure of further details might prejudice the outcome of future actions.

SW and JB commented that questions raised now could await answers until it was acceptable in terms of due process.

JR and AG asked why the legal advisor could not be named, GJ asked about the accusation that the panel were making things up, wasn’t there a liability to SHA members, and CC need to be satisfied with due process?   LC stated that a verbal explanation of procedure was insufficient; it had to be written.  ASS assured delegates that a full report will be produced at the end of the process.

Later in the meeting, debate returned to the Disciplinary process and specific questions were asked.  I have inserted it here because of its relevance to the topic.   ASS repeated that the legal ruling was that because verbal debate by CC delegates might prejudice the eventual outcome of any future Tribunal, the matter should not be further discussed.  Once the process is complete, the lawyer would be paid and a written report provided.  Some delegates thought on-going information about the advice sought and given should have been provided to CC and a final report is not the same thing.  ASS said the acceptable process is the report once it’s completed.  Further questions were posed and ASS then curtailed discussion by asking for a vote on a motion that had been proposed, on moving to the next item.  The motion was carried.

6       Policy Report   (Tony Beddow in absentia)     Groups have been set up on Mental Health and Public Health.  Not all CC delegates had been involved in choosing the topics

AH suggested priorities could be as planned, or in response to emergency.  Decisions were needed as health developments were happening so quickly.  BG said Tony’s prescriptive model and might not be possible for every topic.  Kathrin’s paper had been discussed in Leeds and needs to remain on the agenda.  JL said KONP and HCT were keeping us up to date with health events whilst we were driving the immediate agenda.  GJ asked that diversity and inclusivity should be respected especially in mental health

7    Resolutions  JR withdrew her motion.

8 Labour Party

NHS Reinstatement Bill    ML said there was a strong input to the shadow cabinet and ASS confirmed there was a strong team behind the shadow team, with Eleanor Smith, Allyson Pollock and Peter Roderick.  The Bill as it stands at present is on the parliamentary website and had support from Jon Ashworth and the leader’s office

National Policy Forum  JB said that due to the  democracy review the NPF would have only one more meeting before being disbanded. CA said the SHA policy development team needs to push on the NHS Bill as well as in the sub-sections, so we need to be clear what we are doing and asked that these comments be fed back to Tony.  ASS said an NHS Bill may be enacted at the earliest stage of a Labour Government, so we need to know how this can best be achieved.  NC said consultation can be via the NPF Report.  MR reminded us that whilst talk about the NHS is positive, health inequalities, poverty and public health continue to increase.  There’s a ripple effect from the NPF but the shadow team needs to be kept up to date.  The biggest problem with the NHS is the social care team, JB suggested meetings on specific topics on the next few months

9    AOB

Social Care Conference   BF reminded delegates of the Social Care Conference to be held in Birmingham, and the Local Government Conference in Manchester next week and asked if any SHA member could get there.  ML said that now at the end of the living wage week, the UN Special representative Report had highlighted the health collapse in the UK.  Could SHA write to support the living wage campaign?

Women’s Conference  CJ raised the matter of the Women’s Conference in Telford in February. BF asked for a Motion on social care to be included; this was agreed.  Each CLP can send 2 members to this meeting. CJ said motions and delegates for the LP Women’s Conference in February need to be decided by mid January.  Allocation is 2 delegates / CLP, 1 of which was to be disabled or BAME or LGBT.  In answer to her question, only women vote.  SB said Catharine Grundy-Glew (not present) wants to be included.  CB said delegates could be self-selected and asked if named individuals could be changed subsequently.  SB said that for CLP or affiliate delegates, the deadline is the 14 Jan, and that would be rigid.  ASS said he’d ensure delegates would be circulated in time to complete the process.

10 Next meetings

The next SHA meeting has been rescheduled to 19 January, 1.00-5.00pm,  and will be in Oxford.    The AGM will be on 30 March in Cardiff.

 

Judith Varley   Minutes Sec    7.12.18

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Author Tony Beddow 1.11.18

Purpose

This short report gives progress made with our policy development process since the last Central Council meeting.

Members may recall that central Council previously agreed that four possible areas of work could form the focus of policy development in the coming months.

These are:

  1. Mental Health – building upon the (inchoate) policy produced by the Labour’s National Policy Forum
  2. Public Health policy – building upon current SHA policy, identifying gaps and undertaking work to fill them
  3. A National Care Service – exploring the boundaries of this emerging concept, its funding and governance and other aspects deemed relevant.
  4. The needs of carers – exploring the different needs of young and old carers, carers in rural and urban areas, carers with their own care needs, and other characteristics that require a policy response.

Progress to date

Member working groups have been established for b) and c) with co-conveners being Mike Roberts and Dr Tony Jewell for b) and Dr Brian Fisher and Tony Beddow for c).

Members of a) have been identified and two possible co-convenors are, at the time of writing, discussing how they might take this forward.

In all cases, membership has been drawn from different pars of the UK and from different experiences – with a workable group total of 7- 8 members.

The needs of carers did not engender much interest and this group remains to be formed.

Next steps

Co – conveners have been asked to provide a “scoping report” to the next Central Council setting out their proposals for the topics, questions or enquiries that they seek to explore or address, the timescales for doing this, and the target date for bringing a draft policy document to Central Council for debate and either adoption after amendment, or for further revision and work.

Central Council is requested to note this report.

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