Category Archives: Internal governance

NB it has not been possible to audit the accounts in time for the AGM. An audit report will be produced for the Central Council.

Income £33,005.05
Expenditure £30,311.98
unattributed income £0.00
Surplus £2,693.07

 

31.12.2016 31.12.2017
Cash at Bank
14 Day £23,910.26 £27922.28
Instant £0.00 £0.00
Paypal £1,488.27 £181.96
Current £1,137.54 £996.44
Total £26,536.07 £29,100.68
Increase in funds at bank £2,583.56
Credited late £0.00 £0.00
Cashed late £18.95 £0
overpayment £0.00 £0.00
Surplus £0.00 £0.00
Discrepancy £67.63 -£128.46
Balance at bank £26,517.12 £29,081.73
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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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Sheffield Quaker Meeting House 13 January 2018

Present: Mike Roberts. Tony Beddow, Peter Mayer, Vivien Walsh, Rene Smit, Lawrence Cotter, Steve Bedser, Brian Fisher, Irene leonard, Gurinder S Josan, Alison Scouller, Alex Scott-Samuel

In attendance:  Martin Rathfelder, John Carlisle, Deborah Cobbett, Dave Shields, Simon Duffy, Jim Steinke

Apologies for absence: Caroline Walsh, Jean Hardiman Smith, Helen Cranage, David Mattocks, Katrina Murray, Jos Bell, Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe, Andy Thompson, James Gill, Mike Grady, Judith Varley, Tom Fitzgerald, Neil Nerva, Vivien Giladi, Brian Gibbons, David Davies, John Lipetz

1.Minutes of the meeting in Chester  were agreed as accurate

2. Matters arising

  1. SHA policy on maternity services: Alison and others are interested in developing our maternity policy. She has a draft in preparation. She was encouraged to keep a wide perspective, including for instance, mental health. Alison will circulate as it develops and link in Brian.
  2. Young Labour/recruitment: We had a delegate, James Gill, to the Young Labour conference. A resolution was passed on Mental Health. More thoughts from the young members to be collected to discuss recruiting. Martin is trying to get a list of secretaries of Labour Students. MedSin could be a useful organisation for recruitment.
  3. NHS 70th anniversary materials: Martin had a meeting with design expert and is expecting some ideas shortly. Plans to reprint  “In Place of Fear” Designer was interested in  Socialist Health socks? Note to Jon Ashworth – what plans for 70th anniversary? A joint letter from Jon and SHA to all LP members? A note for many of us to write on the NPF website about this issue.

3. Director’s report – Martin had produced a written report which will go to the AGM.

Discussion re West Midlands and branch catchment areas generally. Tony says we don’t know which of our members are also members of the Labour Party. SHA already has delegates to all the CLPs in Wales. If we write to all members, we could ask whether they are party members? Martin creates categories of people in the database, selecting for skills. People could be filed under many categories if they have many skills. Martin will investigate the General Data Protection Regulation  rules as they apply to SHA.

At the moment, any SHA member who is a Party member can become a CLP delegate. MR will consult officers if there are more than 5 members wanting to be delegates to a CLP if they are not in a branch. Tony: Should they be mandated? He will write a discussion document for officers.

4. Labour Party matters:

  1. Follow up of Conference resolution
    Alex: composite 8 effectively proposed renationalising the NHS. Some aspects of the policy appear not to have been followed through properly. There are, for instance, no new campaign materials reflecting the new Labour Party policy as result of it. Tony: the NPF has been struck by the Composite and will be discussing it specifically in early Feb. Mike: silence is deafening from LP re Comp8. Tony: renationalizing the NHS will be expensive, eg buying out care homes to nationalise social care. Labour is in power in some areas– advice is needed for those who want and need to make decisions about local planning beyond saying no to ACOs. Local discussions may be best. A meeting will be set up to address this in Sheffield
  2. Socialist Societies
    The Democracy Review may result in better participation for SocSocs. One suggestion is for SocSocs to share administration. Alex had meeting with the Review team and he circulated the list of questions that had been raised:

These are questions which arose during an initial discussion with members of the Democracy Review.

  1. Should membership of SHA and other socialist societies be open to Labour party members only?
  2. Should block voting continue in Labour Party elections?
  3. Should socialist societies be funded by subscriptions or by the Labour Party?
  4. Can socialist societies’ representation on the NEC be justified?
  5. Should there be a Socialist Societies Forum?
  6. Should there be defined eligibility criteria for the recognition of socialist societies?
  7. How should the existence of several societies focusing on a single issue be dealt with (eg JLM, JVL; Fabians, Momentum)?
  8. Can joining socialist societies be seen as buying power?
  9. Should conference policy carry executive authority with Labour councils and councillors?
  10. How should the London-centric nature of the socialist societies executive be dealt with?
  11. How can Labour Party policy be ‘gender proofed’?
  12. How can Labour be engendered?

A long discussion suggested overall that:

  • we need to allow non-party members to be members of SHA, because they have enormous skills. But we need to find a mechanism to keep party issues only to party members. And non-LP members should not oppose LP policies.
  • The party cannot insist that there is only one SocSoc per topic or group.
  • There should be criteria that define what constitutes a SocSoc but there are many practical issues in enforcing any fixed criteria.
  1. Policy development process from here: The SHA is in conversation with the Shadow Team on policy development. The topics are confidential. Brian outlined an approach to getting the best people to discuss with the Shadow Team and this was agreed: we shall request a 100 word document from all members and the policy team will shortlist. If needed, we shall ensure that we add to that list specific skills needed. Despite concern, the need for confidentiality was agreed. A key issue is the financing streams the whole manifesto can draw on and the demands coming from the different spending departments.

6. AGM and elections Notice to go out shortly

  1. AOB
    MR asked us all to sign up to be governors of the Manchester Trust

Dave: contact LP governors and ask to them to become members of SHA
Alison: A Welsh BBC programme is looking for women with experience or information on back-street abortions.
Brian: There will be a Demo 3rd Feb responding to the Winter NHS crisis.

  1. Next meeting:  Annual General Meeting

 

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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. 

We have managed to re-establish working branches of the Association in Liverpool, Cheshire, and, hopefully, Manchester. We need to do more to get to know our new members and involve them in our activities.  We have been doing our best to support Labour parties in the places where it matters – marginal constituencies.  That isn’t easy, because our members, unsurprisingly, are mostly in places where Labour is in a majority.  But we have been doing what we can in Southport, North Wales, Cornwall and the marginal seats in London.  And we need to do more to get our new members involved.

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.

It’s not clear yet what the outcome of the Labour Party’s democracy review will be, but it has already had the beneficial effect of bringing the Socialist Societies closer together.  We hope to work more closely with them next year.  Too often we find people in the Labour Party with a keen professional interest in health who didn’t know we existed, and the other societies have similar problems.

This year we are looking forward to the NHS 70th birthday celebrations in July.

Year201220132014201520162017
Current members651677654672683792
Website Pages 915974101910431163
Website Posts530436112415011853
Website Comments (culmulative)22722501225728633370
Website Page Views338,415375,511410,000382,045408,288347,000
Unique Visitors131,303158,180181,281171,000204,596171,062
Followers of the blog360418
Twitter Followers (culmulative)136528454178483956876104
Tweets (culmulative)16,57812,52238,10047,70055,200
Facebook likes (culmulative)148817571975206721292349
Tweet impressions137,1800204,700322,400
Contacts database40,88842,31039,03936,29236,24235,993
Website Google Page Rank544444
Domain Authority4144
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You can review the presentations from our recent conference on public health:

We asked each speaker to propose no more than five priorities. Some of them, happily, coincided and I’ve only chosen one where their seemed to be a substantial overlap.  Prof Nazroo didn’t feel able to produce five simple proposals and Tim Lang is not yet ready to release his priorities to public scrutiny.   But we still have a lot more than five.  So you are invited to decide which are  your top five priorities.  I’m afraid I have mangled some of these ideas to get them short enough.  So these words are mostly mine, rather than those of our distinguished contributors. I apologise but that is what happens when you try and produce evidence based policies and get involved in the messy business of politics.  The subtleties get lost.

Public health priorities

  • Develop universal, comprehensive, high-quality early Childhood care and Education. (10%, 8 Votes)
  • Invest in our public health workforce (10%, 8 Votes)
  • Ensure resources for health are distributed to reduce inequalities in life chances between places. (10%, 8 Votes)
  • Move from Financial Reporting to Financial, social and environmental reporting (9%, 7 Votes)
  • Invest in local public health services (8%, 6 Votes)
  • A new public health bill to give more state power against threats to health (8%, 6 Votes)
  • Implement existing laws that protect conditions that create and protect health and fairness (6%, 5 Votes)
  • Increase the public health benefits of the social security system. (6%, 5 Votes)
  • Measure value and benefit, not just cost of sustainable interventions (5%, 4 Votes)
  • Radical overhaul of gambling regulation (4%, 3 Votes)
  • Minimum unit pricing for alcohol (4%, 3 Votes)
  • Levys on the unhealthy commodity industries (4%, 3 Votes)
  • Build an energy economy based on renewables. (4%, 3 Votes)
  • Review of the marketing of unhealthy commodities and services to children, young people and the vulnerable (4%, 3 Votes)
  • New trade agreements to protect and promote the publics health (3%, 2 Votes)
  • Devolve power – increasing the influence that the public has over how resources are used. (3%, 2 Votes)
  • Redefine community health and prosperity beyond materialism (3%, 2 Votes)
  • Invest in public transport (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Take cycling seriously. Invest in infrastructure (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Default 20mph speed limit nationally for residential streets (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Stop blaming do something about our environment so that it’s easier for us to live healthier and longer. (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Better road crossing facilities – more crossings, more time (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 17

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1 – 4 pm  at Chester Friends Meeting House

Present:  Alex Scott-Samuel (ASS), Alison Scouller (AS), Brian Gibbons (BG),  Irene Leonard (IL), John Lipetz (JL), Mike Roberts (MRo), Vivien Walsh (VW), Helen Cranage (HC),Vivien Giladi (VG) Tony Beddow (TB), David Davies (DD), Judith Varley(JV), Martin Rathfelder (MRa)  + Lesley Mahmoud, Corrie Lowry, Shaun McBride, Kathrin Thomas, Piyush Pushkar and Pauline Cutress

Apologies:  Jean Hardiman-Smith (JHS), Brian Fisher, Pater Mayer, Jos Bell, Andy Thompson, Mike Grady, Lawrence Cotter, Fiona Twycross and Caroline Walsh, David Mattocks, Rene Smit

Liverpool Women’s Hospital

Lesley Mamoud opened the meeting with a brief comprehensive overview of the current situation of the hospital and campaign and answered the questions and comments raised.  This took place first as Lesley had to leave immediately afterwards.  She left campaign literature   Further details: https://saveliverpoolwomenshospital.com   www.facebook.com/SAVELWH/ and the Campaign’s Response to the CCG’s review of Women’s and neo-natal services, available at http://www.labournet/other/1612/clinical(1.pdf)

In summary, comments and questions mentioned financial, delays and construction problems with the developers of the new Royal Hospital, Carillion, where some provision for maternity care would be available (although the official approach is for home births ignoring the poor CQC Report on the alternative private 1:1 home maternity service in Wirral), huge cuts at Alder Hey because of PFI debts, the national critical state of peri-natal physical and mental health, including the needs of pregnant women with more complex conditions (including women of older age).  There is talk of ‘pop-up’ maternity units – no-one knew what these might be.  Ambulance crews were not to receive extra maternity training and this would be particularly crucial in rural areas with miles of narrow winding roads to the nearest maternity units in rural areas like Cumbria and Devon /Cornwall.  Liverpool’s lord mayor, Joe Anderson and the Liverpool City Region elected mayor, Steve Rotheram, had both ignored the very successful campaign to save the Women’s Hospital.

Action 1   VG suggested Lesley wrote an article for Health Campaigns Together – about 800 words to broaden cover more widely across the country

Action 2  VG and IL proposed SHA should not just support and adopt the campaign but develop a proper SHA policy which would be relevant to maternity services in relation to STPs everywhere.  ASS, AS and JHS to develop this and report at the next SHA Council meeting

MRa said there was an SHA blog on maternity policy

*

Apologies:  as listed above. There were 4 SHA members present as observers: Corrie Lowry, Kathrin Thomas, Pauline Cutress  and Shaun McBride.  Members are allowed to contribute to the discussion with the permission of the Chair.

Minutes of last meeting accepted.  No amendments.  No matters arising

Labour Party matters.  Brighton Conference reports. 

Women’s Conference:   There were no official delegates from SHA as places had all been allocated before members applied.  AS reported it was the largest ever, very lively, transitional to making LP policy.  Dawn Lodge had spoken on ending poverty, sanitary products to be included at food banks, and statements on reproductive rights

Main Conference:  Alex’s (ASS) contribution was very well received.  He gave a resume of the Conference including the evening SHA fringe sessions.  Jon Ashworth had agreed the NHS is a priority issue and the STPs must be halted.  A Labour Briefing piece ‘The NHS at Conference’ is on the website and Conference motion 8 is on the KONP site and on the SHA site.  The re-instatement vote for motion 8 was unanimous and is now LP policy and amounts to a radical complete re-nationalisation.  ASS and Sue Richards contributed substantially to this debate.

Action all members:  All Labour councillors, MPs etc.. should be implementing the re-instatement of the NHS and SHA members, particularly those who are CLP delegates, are urged to remind them.  The manifesto and the NPF report referred to ‘preferred providers’ and profits, suggesting there is NOT a total provision from the public sector.  This was referred back to the Executive by conference.

Comments etc:   JL thanked ASS for his contribution to Conference, for returning SHA to socialist values, and asked that this should be minuted.  VW added her congratulations.

IL spoke of the book ‘The NHS plot’ which highlights the extensive collusion underway with privatisation.  Re-instatement: So far, only 30 English / Welsh MPs but all Scottish MPs had signed up to the online NHS takeback pledge.   VG commented that we must not despair as many employees are forced to implement policies with which they disagree

Young Labour    There had been attempts to recruit medical students.  ASS said it was a matter of raising awareness and this could be best done whilst teaching

Action:   Shaun McBride (SM) suggested seeking SHA recruits amongst nurses, pharmacists, psychologists, podiatrists, lab workers, paramedics, social workers – anyone working in health – and was keen to support local campaigns.  MRo said the Peoples’ Assembly had many members and we could liaise with them.  DD said the videos from the Labour Party Conference had been seen by millions and we needed to make better use of social media especially through medical and health related students and student unions

Democracy Review   MR referred to Katy Clark’s work on the Democracy Review, particularly to elements concerning Women’s Conference, BAME, Young People and Electing the Leader.  There was an expressed desire to meet with all the societies – but uncertainty whether this meant societies together or separately.  Malcolm Powers had suggested we need to unpick our affiliation to be like the trade unions.  It was agreed that SHA should have position statements on each element of the review.  DD commented on the leadership of the Review and wondered if it might lead to a battle for the ideology of the Labour Party.  AS said that 1 member 1 vote had already been rejected in Wales

Action:  VG suggested a separate meeting on policy review so SHA is properly recognised and this was agreed.   IL had attended the NW Conference in Blackpool and noted SHA was not represented; it too was the largest conference to date.  The NHS briefing was disappointing, with Trades Union delegates seemingly unsure what they were doing there, tho’ they were supposed to feed into the Democracy Review.  She liked Katy Clark who seemed keen to talk with everyone.  There was surprise at our meeting that Trades Unions were not particularly interested and it was suggested it would be useful if national and regional reps could provide some detailed information on the issues

Action MRa:  ASS proposed all members should participate.  MRa was asked to send a newsletter to all members, with dead-lines, a sensible timeframe and with some suggestions to help focus ideas.

Visit to NHS England  Brian Fisher and ASS (representing SHA) had been invited to Skipton House to meet NHS-England – the particular individual they met was Simon Stevens’ Director of Communications.  Simon Stevens had until 2005 been a member of SHA and was previously a Labour Councillor in Brixton.  Alex left some SHA application forms there.  Generally it was thought this was probably a fishing expedition for NHSE.  Alex and Brian are due to meet Jon Ashworth and JL urged Alex to be firm with him about dumping the STPs, and to have proper funding for health so England met N European standards.

Director’s Report   MRa reported 68 new members since June.  Up to 5 SHA delegates could be appointed to each CLP and to attempt balance re gender, ethnicity etc.. if more than 5 were keen to be delegates.  MRa said marches were less effective than local campaigns to save particular hospitals /services.

Next year’s public demos, the 70th birthday of the NHS.  A big march in London in March was less popular  than a July event since it demanded time and energy and perhaps used resources which would be better spent in July.  MRa suggested reprinting Nye Bevan’s essay on the NHS, and that was approved.  The newspaper Health Campaigns Together (HCT) was supporting another Spring demo in central London and an event to celebrate the 70th birthday of the NHS.  Both KONP (non-political) and HCT (political) produced some excellent campaign materials, all freely available to us.   MRa spoke on campaigning in marginal constituencies.  His lodger (a professional campaign manager) had suggested adopting 2 themes and targeting marginals in the Midlands.

Action  MRa to explore further and circulate some more developed concepts.

Health Policy Recommendations – Summary

  • End privatisation. JL asked if ‘planning’ could replace ‘commissioning’ throughout the document as it was essential for democratic and accountable planning in all aspects of health, and it was necessary to re-build socially cohesive communities.  ASS reminded us that discussion should be in a comradely fashion even when it inevitably becomes heated.   Brian Fisher, Tony Jewell and everyone who had contributed to the Report were thanked for their considerable work.
  • Primary and Community Care. JL stated public dental provision needs to be increased; it was becoming ever more difficult to access as privatisation progressed.  There was concern that Boots and SuperDrug were destroying small pharmacies too and that the independent contractor status of GPs was also threatened.  BG registered his concerns about growing inequalities in all aspects of health.  He asked for the Inverse Care Law to be acknowledged.
  • Mental Health needs attention particularly. The 5YFV has a section which no-one at the meeting had read.

Action  JV and all to read and comment next meeting

Local Branch Reports.  ASS asked for agreement on the notice required – 4 weeks for an AGM and 2 weeks for normal meetings.  JV gave a brief report of the successful meeting of the Liverpool City Region group in October.  Justin Madders, MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston gave us an excellent summary of the most recent political developments and a lively Q and A followed.  The meeting had been widely advertised and attracted about 40 attendees including Councillors from North and South of the Mersey.  It was our first public meeting.

There was a brief discussion on marketing promotional products to supplement the tee-shirts

There was no other business

Next meeting will be 13 Jan in Sheffield

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PresentHelen Cranage, David Davies, Brian Fisher, Tom Fitzgerald, Vivien Giladi, James Gill, Tony Jewell, Sina Lari, Irene Leonard, John Lipetz,  Mike Roberts,  Alex Scott-Samuel, Alison Scouller, Rene Smit, Judith Varley, Vivien Walsh, Neil Nerva, Doug Naysmith, Jean Hardiman Smith

In attendance: Martin Rathfelder,  Adrian Heald

Apologies: Steve Bedser, Dr Peter Mayer, Dr Brian Gibbons, David Mattocks, Fiona Twycross, Guy Collis, Tony Beddow, Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe, David Taylor-Gooby, Mike Grady, Lawrence Cotter, Brian Fisher

  1. Minutes of the meeting 17th June 2017 were agreed
  2. Matters arising:

Campaigns in marginal constituencies: There was a general consensus around acquiring a list of marginals to examine setting up campaigns/supporting organisations like HCT and KONP in these areas. They had been very successful campaigning for the NHS in marginal seats.

  1. Reports:
  1. Chair  Alex Scott- Samuel reported that our membership is increasing, and that at Conference we are looking forward to health having a higher profile. He was confident the SHA motion on the NHS will be well placed. Alex is presenting the motion to conference, seconded by Professor Sue Richards.
  2. Secretary   Jean Hardiman Smith reported on the success of the SHA Women in submitting statements on policy for the NPF policy commissions. Our statements will be considered as part of their work on future policy documents. We were only allocated 100 words per topic area, and inputted on both Health and Social Care. Our statements can be seen at the back of the Women’s Conference guide. We intend to build on this work to support policies for women’s issues. Next steps: Disabled, BAME and LGBT topic areas and contacts must be built up for the SHA. It was formally proposed and seconded that the SHA support the Save Liverpool Women’s Hospital, to include both services and the site. Martin R to formally convey our decision.
  3. Director Martin Rathfelder

Recruitment material: We have almost exhausted our stock of T-Shirts and they are difficult to carry to events. Should we consider smaller recruitment materials, for example iron on logos, wrist bands, badges, ties, pens etc? Our leaflets need updating and a new strap line considered to market the SHA for a new era. Martin advised that our banner is taken to events including to HCT meetings. We have a banner and 4 flags.

Banking: The banking signatories have been changed and all is proceeding smoothly now.

We were told we could send delegates to the Women’s Conference, and then told there was no room.  We are sending a delegate – James Gill – to the Youth conference.  We thought we could send only one delegate to a CLP, but it would appear the rules say we can send 5, as can all Socialist Societies. A delegate has to be accepted 60 days before they can vote, to include paying, currently £6.00. Alex suggested involving regional office.

The Campaign to Save Labour has disbanded and donated £1,000.00 to us.

4. Reports: 

David Davies reported for Wales on the sharing of patient information. He advised us that if you have given your consent in Wales then records can be widely accessed, and that pharmacists will also be able to see it.

Vivien Giladi reported for Health Campaigns Together that HCT goes from strength to strength, and is a very strong national organisation. She emphasised the national Conference on the 4th November at Hammersmith Town Hall, hoping we will all attend as it will be inspirational. HCT is good at campaigning and strong on policy, and KONP groups are gathering empirical evidence.

5. Policy proposals;

Alex S-S (chair) advised that Brian Fisher (Vice President) has had to give his apologies. All 8 Policy Papers can be seen on the SHA website and Martin R has both 2 and 4-page versions for use during the Conference.

Central Council formally thanked Brian for his contribution.

At present we are at the stage where we have a “Green Paper” summarising the stage of our deliberations. After a long discussion no decisions were reached, though the “Green Paper “seemed an acceptable descriptive umbrella until decisions were made. It was clarified that the AGM could overturn any decision by Central Council.

6: Future events

Summit/meeting on children’s mental health at the House of Commons – a feasibility study by the Secretary to report to CC. (Jean H-Smith (Hon Sec); Judith Varley; Sina Lari; Tom Fitzgerald; (Treasurer); Irene Leonard)

Public Health: Conference 23rd November 2017.  Public Health Priorities for Government. There was a discussion on potential charges, and it was agreed further discussion was needed, and as soon as charges were agreed that we would advertise;

Accountable Care Systems Conference 25th November in Manchester

There was a long discussion on these organisations. It was agreed that the SHA should support councils to object. The Tories version is not what we want.

7: Labour Party matters;

Chair: It is the Labour Party Conference tomorrow, and our motion is going forward for debate. 10 other CLPs submitted, and if high enough in the priorities it will go to the Compositing meeting on Sunday evening. The chair also mentioned a number of marches and rallies, campaigns and our fringes. Our rule change had gone to the NEC, but they recommended remission. Alison Scouller (Vice chair) added that they are looking at a whole package of reforms. There will be a commission/enquiry into Labour Party democracy, and we took this into account in agreeing remission.

Socialist Societies cannot send anyone to regional conferences without paying the usual several hundred pounds fees. We are not like Trade Unions with good funding.  We could raise this issue with the commission.

Next meeting 18th November  Chester Quaker Meeting House

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SHA Central Council – 17th June 2017, 1.00 – 4.00 pm

Unite HQ, London

Minutes

Present: Tony Beddow, Steve Bedser, Jos Bell, Lawrence Cotter, Helen Cranage, David Davies, Brian Fisher, Tom Fitzgerald, Brian Gibbons, Vivien Giladi, James Gill, Tony Jewell, Sina Lari, Irene Leonard, John Lipetz, Peter Mayer, Katrina Murray, Mike Roberts, Gavin Ross, Rosemary Ross, Onkar Sahota, Alex Scott-Samuel, Alison Scouller, Rene Smit, Andrew Thompson, Roy Trevelyan, Judith Varley, Vivien Walsh, Neil Nerva

In attendance: Martin Rathfelder

Apologies: Catharine Grundy, Gurinder Singh Josan, David Mattocks, Doug Naysmith, Aysha Raza. Jean Hardiman Smith, Fiona Twycross, Caroline Walsh

1 The Chair, Alex Scott-Samuel welcomed everyone to the meeting. In view of Jean’s absence due to ill health, a volunteer minute taker was requested and Jos Bell volunteered.

2 Mike Roberts asked for a minute’s silence to pay respect to Jo Cox, murdered a year ago, and to all those lost or injured in recent tragic events at Manchester Arena, Westminster, London Bridge and Grenfell Tower. Jos Bell requested that we also pay respect to our first response and emergency services colleagues and those involved in the long term care of survivors. Mike and Jos sit on the LAS forum and had also assisted at emergency collection centres. Austerity cuts in police and fire services are now rightly questioned.

Jos also raised the related Public Authority (AccountabilityBill 2016-17 (Hillsborough Law) worked up by Andy Burnham in April which has brought together key campaigns such as Hillsborough, the Contaminated Blood scandal, Orgreave, Truth About Zane, Deepcut, Birmingham 21, Shrewsbury 24, all of which involve demonstrable public sector negligence. Alex asked Jos to write a blog on this.

3 Central Council Minutes, 8.3.17

3.1 Steve Bedser: omission in minutes of his proposal re the need for CC to acknowledge all 8 equality characteristics in vice chair elections.

3.2 Vice Chairs

Alison Scoular and Tony Beddow were welcomed in their newly elected roles. Alison would deputise as Chair in Alex’s absence and due to his patial sightedness, had also agreed to act as ‘Alex’s eyes’ during meetings to indicate those who wish to speak.

3.3 John Lipetz asked for clarification about expenses for the AGM. John also proposed and it was agreed that AGM issues would be addressed at the subsequent CC, rather than wait another 12 months to be actioned.

4 Labour Party Matters

4.1 Election of Conference delegates

Nominated – Alex Scott-Samuel, Jean Hardiman Smith, Jos Bell, Helen Cranage. Elected – Alex Scott-Samuel, Helen Cranage.

4.2 Socialist Societies Exec

Nominated and supported: James Asser – NEC rep; Jos Bell – SHA rep & VC policy; Catherine Atkinson – chair; Heather Staff – secretary; Sina Lari – VC development. The posts will be elected by the Soc Socs exec at its next meeting. When Jos is not able to attend, Vivien Giladi is the named attendee.

4.3 National Policy Forum report

Katrina Murray reported. Due to the fast track election the NPF had to act much more quickly than the usual 2 year policy development timeframe. It was agreed by CC that the speed of the process had produced a much better manifesto than might otherwise have been the case. Katrina said the extra time would allow for additional detailed work, examining what the content would mean in practice. With the possibility of another election looming, all are aware this also needs to be done quickly.

Issues for further discussion: – Has the immediate danger of STPs been addressed? – Need to notify and work with local authorities more closely. – Ensure the breadth of health / public health / social care including links with other areas such as environment and housing is included, as well as ensure Treasury team is on board.

Jos said the Soc Soc Exec had contributed positively to the content of the fast track manifesto. She had been asked to write a brief as to where health linked into other SocSoc priorities.

Katrina and Tony Beddow who are on the NPF, will keep SHA informed of future progress.

Vivien and Mike cited the need to work with Health Campaigns Together – see below.

The Tories’’ Social Care debacle has brought this Cinderella service to the forefront. We must devise what we want and explain it clearly to the electorate.

Other key points : – manifesto has had a good effect on the electorate which we must build upon

– must meet Shadow team and ensure they are in full agreement with principles in our own policy paper

– a fundamental issue is democracy which goes beyond health alone : note that STPs are not statutory but the government is forcing statutory bodies into a position to do their bidding

– our national care service proposals need fine tuning and urgent discussion with local govt where we explore different models and ensure LAs are included (also include Andrew Gwynne in his new role)

Alex asked the meeting to note the Stewart Player blog where he reveals STPs were devised in 2012 at Davos by Simon Stevens and his World Economic Forum colleagues, as an inroad to an insurance based private model. HSJ describes the plan to create the first tranche of accountable care organisations

Key points for action: How prepared are we? How do we react? We must help elected members understand health issues via links and briefings.

5 Report from SHA representatives

Vivien Giladi detailed the work of KONP and Health Campaigns Together and asked whether the SHA is a policy organisation or a campaigning organisation? What is our capacity to do both – including financially?

With the NHS now being trapped in ‘perpetual winter’ due to austerity – and set to be worse with Naylor plans, how far does our current network enable us to support local campaigns outside metro areas?

6. Future Strategy

Alex introduced his paper, saying we need to increase our reach in line with Labour’s expansion. More development and awareness raising are required. Short lie working groups recommended on membership & recruitment; Parliamentary LA and labour movement engagement; Media and communications; HR & Equalities.

Following a wide ranging discussion it was agreed to focus initially on two areas; Policy and Urgent strategy and tactics – and to revisit the remaining proposed groups later in the year.

The above proposal was accepted.

7. Director’s report :

We have two new MPs who are SHA members.

Alex and Martin helped launch a new Liverpool City Region branch in May: Irene Leonard and Helen Cranage are its delegates to CC.

Finance: we have a bigger surplus than before, largely through advertising. The officers are to work up an advertising protocol to ensure all ads are in line with SHA policies and principles.

The Director post has not had a pay rise for 16 years – this has not been wished for by the current Director, who now advises that the organisation should consider funding an increase in good time for recruitment when he chooses to retire.

South Korea Conference – this is an expenses paid invitation in November. Brian Fisher is attending on behalf of SHA.

8 AOB

8.1 Mike R flagged the IPPR report on the impact of air pollution on lungs, dementia, cardiovascular conditions, and the need to support a Clean Air Act.

8.2 Vivien G – following earlier discussion, hopes we can now support KONP and HCT with a financial donation to each.

9 Date of next meeting: Saturday 23rd Sept, Brighthelm Centre, Brighton.

Suggested health and wellbeing additions for the Manifesto raised during the SocSoc Manifesto Meeting. May 2nd 2017.

  1. Overall we would ask that Brexit negotiations are pursued on the basis of protection rather than the dismantling of rights and safeguards and national wellbeing.
  2. The nation’s health should not be driven by austerity but instead driven on the principle that a healthier society is a far more productive one. Health and wellbeing is therefore at the centre of everything we do.
  3. As we state in our SHA Manifesto Paper, we wish to restore the Duty of the Secretary of State and need to reclaim and rescue our NHS by the repeal of legislation which relates to competition, conflict of interest and the hold of privatisation. The private sector should only ever be an add-on to stop patients waiting far too long for treatment – never at the core of NHS delivery.
  4. We must re-establish the National in our NHS through an Act of Parliament which also integrates health and social care – funded through taxation.
  1. We must take a health driven approach to the delivery of key services through local authorities, including education, leisure, childrens services, housing, transport etc ( as per 2015 ).
  2. Measures such as the cost effective integration of 111, 999 and out of hours GP cover will also provide much-needed service improvement, increased wellbeing of both patients and staff and the better use of A&E and UCCs ( as per 2015 ).
  3. Any re-configuration of NHS services such as hospitals, A&E and GPs should never be financially driven – as per STPs. All planning must take into account current and projected population trends and local assets preserved or improved according to clinical need rather than cuts.
  4. We should increase GDP spend on health and care from 6/7% – 9/10%
  5. We want to restore and enhance Sure Start, linking early education with play provision and health initiatives at the most local level. This will also help to regenerate communities which have been badly hit by austerity and the closures of key industries.
  6. Rather than referring to ‘determinants’ etc, it would be clearer to the public to simply refer to this is a commitment to improving investment in public health in terms of what we eat, drink and breathe and how we live in and use the world so that every individual can have the best life chances.
  7. We want to bring back the management of NHS staff under the aegis of the NHS
  8. We want to bring back the management of blood and blood products under the aegis of the NHS – particularly in the light of preventing another contaminated bloods scandal.
  9. Just as raised by LCMH we support any measures to improve MH services & CAMHS – also including the lessening of pressures on young people in the education system.
  10. We want to ensure that all workers in the care sector are provided with a structured profession in the same way as nursing. We must offer unpaid carers of all ages appropriate support and respite – for their own health and wellbeing.
  11. We support SERA in the matter of environmental protections – which fits into our own commitment to public health controls and prevention, to include: Clean water, improving air quality, increased measures for safe planning and construction, landfill controls and management, decent homes, safe transport planning etc. Support for a Clean Air Act. We support green energy measures rather than fossil fuels and fracking.
  1. Support the Irish Soc re their concerns re post-Brexit border issue : in the same way as the rest of the UK is calling for help in protecting EU nationals working in the NHS, also pay additional regard to the impacts on health workers crossing the border each day. Commit to ensuring protections for both workers and the health and care services in which they are employed.
  2. Support the Fabians recommendations re hypothecated funding for health and social care, but add to that with ensuring the likes of Google, Starbucks, Vodafone, Boots etc pay the level of tax for which they responsible along with an added clamp down on tax evasion.
  3. Support Labour Scientists on movement of labour and relieving impact of Brexit on training and education – also links with health workforce and overall generating income to the education sector. Revive support for part-time students.
  4. Support CoTL proposals for access to ethical banking and access to the internet.
  5. Support Labour Lawyers and Disability Labour with respect to protecting the Human Rights Act, restoring access to legal aid, industrial tribunals etc.
  6. In addition commit to continuing with the ‘Hillsborough Law’ Public Authority (Accountability) Bill – which compels public officials to be truthful at inquiries and ensures legal aid for bereaved families which was introduced by Andy Burnham on 29.4.17.
  7. We aim to end homelessness – which is a drain on society, wasting lives with early deaths with a range of measures working with homeless charities, improving access to accommodation and and boosting the foyer movement in conjunction with local health providers to reduce the incidence of TB and other diseases which are on the rise due to increased poverty. We will work with experts in green planning to ensure that we develop in a way which works towards cancelling out housing poverty and in sympathy to the environment.
  8. We will aim to reduce the numbers of families reliant upon foodbanks and other anti poverty measures to redress current negative impacts on the nation’s health.
  9. Tax Credits are meant to be an enabling anti-poverty measure which has been proven to improve the life chances of working parents and their children. They should never be used to demean or threaten women. We must repeal the despicable ‘rape clause’ which has lately been introduced into the Tax Credits application process.
  10. Overall, everything that Labour stands for should continue to be rooted in the principles of equality and actively working against rising poverty and inequality.
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March 11, 2017, after the Annual General Meeting

Welcome:

The Chair, Alex Scott-Samuel welcomed Central Council members the meeting. He gave an especially warm welcome to all new members recently elected to Central Council.

  1. Apologies for absence: (as the AGM)
  1. Approval of minutes from last meeting

The chair read the minutes from the last meeting on 14/01/2017. The minutes were approved as read.

  • Vice Chairs:
  1. It was proposed that there should be four vice chairs and it was agreed that all issues relating to Vice Chairs be remitted to the officers to determine.
  2. It was agreed that half of the Vice Chairs posts should be held by women.
  3. It was agreed that the Officers should discuss the issues involved to include Vice Chairs job descriptions, and bring to Central Council to take forward.
  4. It was agreed that the SHA would use Election Buddy to vote for Vice Chairs.
  5. Adjournment

The Chair, Alex Scott-Samuel adjourned the meeting at 4.30pm.

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March 11, 2017 at the Priory Rooms, Birmingham

  1. Professor Alex Scott-Samuel was welcomed and congratulated by Martin Rathfelder SHA director as the new Chair of the Socialist Health Association. He welcomed members to the AGM Priory Rooms Birmingham. Chris Bain the outgoing Chair of the Socialist Health Association and  Jane Roberts the outgoing Treasurer of the Socialist Health association were thanked for their work in Central Council and as Officers.

Professor Scott- Samuel introduced John Ashworth MP Shadow Secretary of State for Health to the members. Precis of John Ashworth’s speech circulated separately.

  1. Apologies: Dr Tony Jewell, Siôn Simon, Sid Sidhu, Sir Ian McCartney, Coral Jones, John Biggs, Cllr Stuart Bellwood, Baroness Diane Hayter, Lesley Pavitt, Christine Hay, George Conchie, Phil Gregory, Rosemary Clarke, Mike Young, Cllr Stuart Bellwood, Alan Taman, Dr Catherine Mackereth, Ed Derrick, Simon Duffy, Dr Mike Hobbs, Gavin & Rosemary Ross, Catharine Grundy, Dr Pam Wortley, Andy Thompson, Richard Bourne, David Lamb, Caroline Walsh, Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe, Chris Bain, Sina Lari, Katrina Murray
  1. Minutes of AGM 2016: The minutes of the 2016  AGM were accepted as read
  1. Matters Arising: There were no matters arising
  1. Resignation of President: Julian Tudor-Hart has officially resigned as President. Issue submitted to Central Council for consideration.
  1. Election of Officers: Following the resignation of Dame Jane Roberts there was a vacancy for treasurer. Dr Thomas Fitzgerald was formally elected. Jean Hardiman Smith was re-elected as Honorary Secretary unopposed.
  1. Nomination for 1 vacant Central Council Place: Dr Judith Varley was formally elected to Central Council
  1. Central Council Members: Thomas Fitzgerald is no longer on the list, and Dr Varley has been added. With these exceptions members of Central Council were agreed as on the Agenda
  1. Election of Auditors: James Gill and David Mattocks were elected as Auditors for 2017/8
  1. Annual Report: (details as per Agenda)
  1. SHA Director Martin Rathfelder presented the report. He proposed stopping  printed copies of our magazine, Socialism and Health,  as it meant he had to issue copies for libraries. It was agreed to stop issuing the magazine and replace with a mail out of the most widely read articles to members without internet access.
  2. It was agreed that using the same pseudonym for various bloggers on the website would cease and in future we would credit all work of authors who did not wish to use their real names to individual pseudonyms
  3. It was agreed that issues relating to advertising should be considered by the officers.
  4. It was agreed a Working Group on the website was not required. Changes to be as simple as possible.
  1. Financial and Audit ReportMartin Rathfelder SHA director presented the report. He reported that funds are increasing. Acceptance of the Financial and Audit Report was moved and agreed.
  1. Proposed Constitutional Amendments:  The Constitutional Amendments  included in the agenda were proposed and seconded. The Amendments were agreed.
  1. Proposed affiliations to other organisations: All proposed affiliations were formally agreed. (see Agenda for list)
  1. Resolutions: None received
  1. Review of our Mission Statement and Progress of Policy Commission: The report was presented by SHA Vice President Brian Fisher:

a) It was agreed that a Green Paper is produced

b) It was agreed that the Central Council meeting on the 17th June 2017 should be a policy day meeting only.

c) It was agreed that the Green Paper should be launched at the Labour Party Conference in September.

  1. Date of next AGM: 17th March 2018
  1. Proposed meetings of Central Council:

Agreed

The Chair declared the meeting closed

 

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