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    Dear SHA member,

    I stood for Chair of the SHA to progress a socialist approach to health and care. We have made great strides in a short time. After taking up the role, I found that I had inherited a range of difficulties that will take some time to sort out. In the meantime, I want to keep you up to date.

    Making Positive Change

    1. Social Care Campaign
      SHA has an agreed policy on Social Care and Carers. We have also agreed a campaign, jointly with KONP, for social care free at the point of use, supporting independent living, brought into the public sector and paid from taxation – like the NHS. We hope to launch in October. We have union support and support from other organisations, including John McDonnell’s https://claimthefuture.today/. John has said he will support us in any way he can. We have also talked to Liz Kendall, Shadow Minister for Social Care.
    2. Race policy
      The Black Lives Matter movement has spawned much. We intend to take a proposal to CC on developing policy on Racism, Race and Health. If that is accepted, then we shall be bringing people together to explore the topic. Tony Jewell will lead this.
    3. Work with the Shadow Team
      This has gone well over the last few weeks. We have produced briefings, mainly on public health issues related to Covid, but also on primary care and schools. A few weeks ago, we presented on inequalities to the Shadow Team which we understand was well received. We have followed up with more detailed analysis of workplace democracy and community development in health. The briefings are on the website.
    4. Branch activity
      Branches continue to be very active, fighting hospital closures, challenging racism, fighting to protect people and places from Covid. We need to reach out to branches and see how we can best keep in touch. We need to learn from each other as much as we can.
    5. The Covid blogs
      These 20 authoritative pieces, over 20 weeks of Covid, have increased the reputation of the SHA. They enabled us to see the progress of Covid from a global socialist perspective. They are all on the website. They have been paused now but may resume of there is an outcry for more!
    6. Feedback from the Frontline
      In response to a request from Jonathan Ashworth, we have been asking members to feedback their experiences and questions. You have done that in droves, and we have been able to help the Shadow Team confront the government more effectively with your questions and observations.
    7. Social Media
      Jean is doing two large pieces of work via our Twitter and Facebook feeds, one on the Tory attack on the humanity of refugees, and their rights, the other on A level results in England, and the unfairness to non-privately educated children the algorithm has produced.  Jean wants to hear more voices from experience, more human faces to put to the label “refugee”, or “immigrant”, more real lived experiences of living on no income at all. Do we have anyone dealing with such cases now, who could get us some human stories? Please read our Facebook and Twitter, and read, circulate and retweet.

    Overcoming Difficulties. Refer to SHA Debate for more detail

    1. Financial problems
      No-one is suggesting malfeasance, but there do appear to have been unconstitutional transactions over the last couple of years. We shall set up an independent investigation as soon as possible to understand and sort out the problems.
    2. Bringing us back to the constitution
      We found that the rules that bind the organisation had been bypassed.  It is essential that the SHA is, and is seen to be, a rules-based group that will fight relentlessly for socialism and health. That has required some hard changes.
    3. Special General Meeting
      Those hard changes have not been welcomed by many and there has been a request for an SGM which will aim to make Jean and myself resign. We shall call a Central Council meeting soon to decide on the practicalities of setting that up. All members need to be able to participate.

    I hope you can see that we are tackling the difficulties and moving forward. If there are aspects of the work that you would like to support – please let us know.

    All the best,

    Brian

    Comments Off on Debates in the SHA

    Ballot executed via Election Buddy and postal voting papers running from 24/01/2020 to 30/01/2020 for the Election Buddy ballot and 22/01/2020 to 04/02/2020 for the postal ballot papers ( to allow time for the papers to be delivered and returned. Postal ballots were sent 2nd class and included a SAE ( 2nd class ).

    955 Online voters emails and membership number were entered into the EB ballot.

    63 postal papers ( plus another 9 for hard bounced email addresses ) were sent out.

    325 votes submitted, 1 spoilt and 28 paper votes returned. ( not all paper ballot returned contain a vote for both the Leader and Deputy Leader. )

    The results are as follows.

    Ballot for the SHA nomination for the future Leader of The Labour Party.

    Name of CandidateEB BallotPaper BallotTotal votes
    Keir Starmer149 (45.8%)14163
    Rebecca Long-Bailey120 (36.9%)8128
    Lisa Nandy45 (13.8%)348
    Emily Thornberry11 (3.4% ) 112
    Jess Phillips11

    Total number of votes tallied      325 

    Jess withdrew her candidature after postal ballot papers were sent out.

    Ballot for the SHA nomination for the future Deputy Leader of The Labour Party.

    Name of CandidateEB ballotPaper ballotTotal votes
    Angela Rayner118 (36.3% )10128
    Richard Burgon88 (27.1% )795
    Rosena Allin-Khan54 (16.6% )155
    Ian Murray36 (11.1% )339
    Dawn Butler29 (8.9% ) 332

     

    Keir Starmer wins and is the SHA nomination for Leader of the Labour Party.

    Angela Rayner wins and is the SHA nomination for the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party.

    Comments Off on Socialist Health Association Ballot for the Leader and Deputy Leader of The Labour Party.

     

    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

    Comments Off on SHA Scotland Meeting

    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

    2 Comments

    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.

    4 Comments

    April 2014

    Call for Action—for a democratically accountable, membership led SHA

    The Socialist Health Association’s January Central Council (CC) and March AGM have highlighted serious issues of governance and accountability within the SHA, problems which remain to be addressed. The AGM did not adopt either the Treasurer’s or the Auditor’s report and merely noted the Director’s and Chair’s reports.

    The SHA is a democratically accountable membership organisation.

    In the light of concerns about previous elections January CC agreed that the 2014 election would be tightly managed including a more formal and more clearly labelled call for nominations to go out. This did not happen.

    In response to concerns raised that the CC included individuals with potential conflicts of interest through NHS-related consultancy and business work, the governance group requested that all candidates for election to be formally required to declare all relevant interests. This did not happen.

    Requests were made by the governance group to confirm the list of eligible members and make these list accessible to all Branches. This did not happen.

    In accordance with the Constitution, any CC members who had consistently failed to attend meetings were to be reminded of their duties and rendered ineligible for election. This did not happen.

    Emails have been seen which appear to indicate that the Director disseminated selective information to individuals or branches, which would have influenced the outcome of the election. We seek credible reassurances that this did not happen

    During the past year at a time when health policy and the NHS was at the top of the political agenda the SHA national body has not been visible on any of the major issues affecting the NHS in England.

    No clear position on how the H & SC Act should be repealed. Likewise no clear view on Lord Owen’s Bill to re-establishing the Secretary for Health’s requirement to provide a full and comprehensive health service is forthcoming. No clear position has been taken on the care data issue, nor on Section 75, nor on Clause 119, nor on PFIs, nor on the dangers of the EU/US treaty, i.e. the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), on the health service.

    The SHA is a democratically accountable Labour Party Affiliate.

    Do members of CC and Officers accept that the current governance arrangements including the lack of legal structure, lack of clear line management arrangements,  lack of communications oversight, lack of policy formation oversight carry significant risks, not least in terms of reputational damage to individuals, the SHA, and the Labour Party, as per the Governance Groups report and recommendations?

    The work of the Governance Group evidence based, comprehensive and rooted in good practice, including other Labour Party affiliates. The views of the entire SHA membership had been sought on this work.

    The group met with officers and staff and invited constructive suggestions on several occasions.

    The group was told by officers that its work and recommendations were broadly welcomed. However the work was then publicly disparaged by Officers and the paid staff. The process was publicly misrepresented by the Officers who claimed not to have met with the Governance Group. The final Governance report was not published to members as requested. Officers instead submitted a separate tranche of changes to the AGM without reference to the Governance Group.

    Most of the Governance Group’s proposals received majority support at the Council but not the required two thirds majority. However, this matter will not go away, Council should determine which Governance Group proposals need re-examining.

    The GG recommended an Executive is needed to ensure the SHA follows through on decisions of the CC to tackle urgent matters.

     

    The SHA is a membership organisation, tasked with contributing to the development of Labour Party health policy.

    •  How has the SHA enabled its membership as a whole, and its Central Council in particular, to effectively and efficiently feed into the LP policy development process?
    •  Does Council recognise concerns that – even taking into account limited resources – the SHA is not amplifying the expertise and experience of its membership, to identify and influence key areas for policy development?
    •  The system of policy formation is weak. Task and finish groups should be set up and supported to ensure this is done effectively.
    •  How is it ensured that public SHA statements are representative of agreed policy? When an SHA spokesperson disregards agreed SHA positions (or opens politically sensitive debates in an erratic fashion) how under the current arrangements – is that addressed and managed?

    Concerns were raised in 2011 about how the SHA was being represented online, in public. We draw the CC’s attention to the Communications Protocol accepted by CC in 2011 as a proposed way forward. The issues persisted and in June 2013 the Editorial Board was installed to address these.

    The EB was tasked with developing and ensuring best practice in communications and establishing a clear oversight of statements made by those representing the organisation in public. Its work was undermined by Officers.

    An (uncosted) Mediation process was proposed and agreed in January 2014 to address what were presented as urgent issues. However, no effective action appears to have been taken by officers to expedite this and three months later these issues persist.

    What oversight of the SHA’s online presence does CC propose and what accountability is there for what is published online under the SHA name? Eg in November 2014 the EB requested that a page was removed because it undermined agreed SHA positions four months later the article in question was reinstated without any consultation with CC.

    In public representations and communications how does the SHA Leadership currently ensure that public statements promote and do not damage the reputation of either the LP or the SHA?

    The SHA is a voluntary organisation and its greatest asset is its membership.

    Like all voluntary organisations its effectiveness relies on the contribution and goodwill of its active members.

    How has the SHA Leadership encouraged and supported current members who have volunteered to contribute to the work of the organisation and what measures has it taken to recruit new members?

    We draw attention to the fact that currently at least three Central Council members are disabled; Central Council should ensure that all meetings are held in an accessible meeting place with accessible transport links – which has not always been the case.

    We also note the inconsistencies in re-imbursement of travel and printing costs by volunteer Council members who incurred costs as part of agreed work.

    Given the continued under-representation shown to women, ethnic minorities and disabled people, and the fact that members of these groups have highlighted a non equalities-friendly culture, what has the SHA Leadership (Officers and paid staff) undertaken to improve this sitaution and enable and support women, disabled and ethnic minority members to be actively involved in the SHA?

    Call for Action

    The SHA at UK level needs to consider all these matters. We need an SHA that is fit for purpose. We ask officers and Central Council, as well as the Director, to address these matters urgently and ensure that CC has sufficient time dedicated to discussing these matters at the July meeting of CC or at a specially called for

    EGM and decide on necessary actions.

    Harry Clarke

    Noemi Fabry

    Councillor Mike Roberts

    Vice Chairs to March 2014

    Prof Tony Beddow CC

    Vivien Giladi CC

    Judith Varley CC

    Dr Thomas Fitzgerald CC & Auditor

    Ali Syed MBE CC

    Councillor Rachel Harris CC April 2013

    Caroline Molloy—CC co-opted 2013-14

    John Lipetz CC

    Reposted for inclusion in the November Central Council meeting.

    1 Comment

    SHA Birmingham Central Council 1.9.18 in the Birmingham and Midlands Institute. The meeting opened at 1.30

    Headings, significant actions and other matters in bold

    Present:   Alex Scott-Samuel Chair (ASS), Andy Thompson Vice Chair (AT), Tom Fitzgerald Treasurer (TF), Alison Scouller (AS), David Mattocks, Vivien Walsh (VW), Paul Leake (PL), Caroline Bedale (CB), Mark Ladbrooke (ML), Catherine Grundy Glew (CGG), Steve Bedser (SB), Tony Beddow (TB), Irene Leonard (IL), Mike Roberts (MR), Helen Cranage (HC), Pater Mayer, Vivien Giladi (VG), John Lipetz (JL), Brian Fisher (BF), Allison Gardner (AG), Carol Ackroyd (CA), James Williamson (JW), Gurinder Singh Josan (GSJ), Corrie Lowry (CL), Judith Varley

    Apologies for this meeting: Jean Hardiman Smith Secretary (JHS), Kathrin Thomas, Chris Bain, Colenzo Jarret-Thorpe, Dave Watson, David Davies, Guy Baily, Jacky Davis, Jessica Ormerod, Jon Shaffer, Katrina Murray, Sina Lari, Stephen Warren, Tony Jewell, Lawrence Cotter, Coral Jones, Diane Jones, Jane Roberts, Nico Csergo, Guy Collis, Shaun McBride, Jos Bell, Corrie Lowry

    Leeds meeting amendments: present: Vivien Walsh, Peter Marshall    Apologies: Catherine Grundy Glew

    Birmingham meeting    Observers:   None

    2   Minutes of Leeds meeting: Several delegates were missed off the list of those present, others said they’d sent their apologies but these had not been recorded. Delegates must take personal responsibility for signing the attendance sheet. Apologies will be recorded if they’ve been seen. The Minutes were accepted with those amendments and an understanding that they are not a record of every comment or question

    VG suggested delegates who had missed 2 successive CC meetings without apologies should be removed from CC and GSJ said branch Secretaries should be informed before any action was taken against delegates elected by branches. ASS said Officers would consider these matters

    ML asked if paper work could be sent several days ahead of a meeting and together rather than piecemeal

    AT will be looking at the website, how it functions and to provide access passwords

    CB mentioned that the final window for contemporary motions is noon 13 September

    MR said the Clarke commissioned Report should be on the Agenda for the next meeting, since some elements are not fit for purpose, others are out of date and the recommendations had not been agreed by CC in 2014. This and the call for Action Report should both be addressed by CC particularly as a more intelligible version is now available

    There were discussions about points of order, dispute and dissent at the Leeds meeting and about how fully these should be recorded. ASS pointed out that minutes were never to be verbatim, only summaries. GSJ asked that points of order and action should be recorded and that delegates should understand the meaning of incorporation of the association because of liability problems which might arise in future. Was it a personal decision for a delegate to be replaced by someone else? ASS said that the ‘presumptive delegate’ at the Leeds meeting was attempting to substitute for an elected delegate who hadn’t resigned, so this was unconstitutional and unacceptable. JL suggested that delegates standing down and their replacements should notify CC. TB said that as a delegate based organisation, SHA regions / branches are responsible for selecting and de-selecting delegates but resignations are accepted and new delegates normally appointed at the end of the year. Points of Order are normally challenged under Standing Orders. Points of Order or Points of Information are often used to get a voice in situations where the individual might not otherwise be able to speak. Generally, matters are understood in accordance with the Labour Party Rule book.

    JW questioned the process and said it should be fair and transparent. AT replied that he had spoken of ‘back channel pressures’ operating outside the meeting and in social media with the intention of influencing the outcome of the disciplinary hearing and therefore were NOT relevant to the meeting.

    BF asked how delegates could intervene in the business of the meeting without Points of Order and was assured all members were able to express their views, and unscheduled items could be raised under AoB if they weren’t on the agenda. SB said the Chair had managed time thereby frustrating delegates wishing to speak at CC. As there were no guarantees of delegates being able to express ideas or challenges at CC, perhaps agenda items should be timed in future. ASS said long discourses were inappropriate, and he’s also keen on gender balance if possible.   CGG asked if contentious issues should be high on the agenda so there’s adequate time to air views

    3   Chair’s Report: The disciplinary procedure is on-going involving a huge amount of work for the Officers and Vice Chairs. ASS formally thanked and congratulated all those who have taken part and for the support they have given

    4   Secretary’s Report:   JHS was absent due to illness (see apologies), so there was no written report, but she and her husband, Ken, have already done enormous amounts of SHA admin work throughout the Summer for which both are thanked. JHS is continuing to run all admin functions. Comments and articles for facebook should be sent to her. Once official speakers are confirmed, she’ll advertise in the official LP Conference material though BF asked if this would be possible since there’s still no proper access to accounts. Commitments to premises and other arrangements for the SHA fringe meeting have been met. Membership lists are up-to-date though some have multiple inaccuracies, (to be reported more fully). Claims for expenses, including any outstanding expenses from previous meetings, should be sent to Jean along with bank account details if she hasn’t got them already. The expenses listed on the Birmingham attendance sheet have been sent to Jean. VW asked about the Manchester branch meeting arranged for 2 weeks time; Jean is in discussion with members about this. GSJ asked about the website development, which subgroups have been set up, who’s doing what etc… AT said he’d been fully occupied with the panel but would be asking for working group volunteers after the LP Conference. CB asked if anything could be shared with anyone else to relieve the load on Jean and Ken, but as matters are still so tangled, that’s not possible.

    5   Treasurer’s Report   Access to bank accounts is still incomplete, compounding current problems. We cannot pay for meetings, local or national, without being sure we have funds to cover them, and changing signatories to the accounts has been difficult and is still underway. ASS has contacted previous signatories regarding their replacement so Officers can recover control and the process is still underway too. Formal agreement to the new signatories, Tom Fitzgerald, Alex Scott-Samuel and Jean Hardiman Smith has been recorded. Previous arrangements meant Martin Rathfelder had discharge of matters costing less than £500, the Treasurer, those of greater value. This report and changes were accepted and agreed unanimously by the meeting.   IL said there’d been a similar problem in the CLP, changes to signatories had to be notified by the Secretary on headed notepaper with the appropriate Minute and it all took time. ASS commented that 3 former signatories had been supportive but progress was slow as it entailed postal mail exchanges.   For the future, we need to consider having transfer forms for signatories already prepared. TF confirmed our purpose is to run campaigns, a key one currently being to save the NHS, and to support local SHA groups, Manchester branch has funds and Martin Rathfelder is its Treasurer. However, honouring our previous commitments prevents making further financial commitments to any branch event until we have access to all accounts, and claims cannot be backdated. Current travel re-imbursements can be met. ML said Oxford branch had raised £150 in a meeting held in one of the most deprived area of Oxford, and offered to loan money to branches in difficulty, with the proviso that branches should seek to raise their own funding. CB said she had been nominated to become Manchester branch Treasurer, but Martin Rathfelder had objected. TB wondered if Martin was Treasurer by default or had been elected and then AT blocked further discussion since it might affect the current process. BF said SHA needed a proper financial policy for central and peripheral matters

    6   Labour Party matters. A proposal for Contemporary Resolution, on Social Care by Brian Fisher still needed a title but was open for endorsement by CC. JL asked that it be proposed in the spirit of Nye Bevan as was done in the health motion last year, social care should be free, universally available and publically funded. CA was thanked for her contribution and seconded the proposal. It was thought there was little chance of it being discussed at Conference but social care will be a big issue over the coming year. MR mentioned refs to the Green Paper including one entitled ‘Adult Social Care and Support’; support was low whilst demand was so high, and it all meant more pressure on the health service. The problems arising from not doing anything on social care whilst the government insists it’s the responsibility of the Local Authority are immense and it’s essential to focus on the impact of the National HEALTH Service. BF said the proposal needed debate since the current incumbent had no commitment to this motion, and whilst he (BF) thought it would get through the Contemporary Motion gate, he didn’t want it framed with impact on the NHS as it’s about social care. VG thanked BF and colleagues for their work but wanted permission to ‘tweak’ it to get it through various gates at Conference. ML commented on the crisis in social care funding with many regressive ideas. ASS asked for motions to be submitted to the Conference Committee via him or JHS, and by 20 Sept. Branches and CLPs should be encouraged to support it as it will go to a priority themes ballot. JHS or Coral Jones will be invited to the Composite Committee if it’s accepted. This year’s conference has NO slot for health and social care! SB offered tactical advice that each region should have a delegate branch meeting on Sunday am as this would enhance chances of the motion being called, and we should all seek local supporters for the Contemporary Motion. JL reminded us of the inadequacies of support for children’s and older people’s support. CA commented that a Report on the Crisis on Social Care had been published on 31 Aug. Public funding, free at point of access had been addressed. The Women’s Group need to deal with the infrastructure including ‘soft’ budget funding, some minor ‘tweaking’ is necessary. BF will not be at the Composite meeting and Jean and Coral need to be briefed. GSJ asked if delegates might contribute to the tweaking if they’re present as delegates. This was accepted by the meeting.

    Women’s Group meeting. Decriminalisation of abortion across the UK had been popular and support was building. One motion can be selected to take forward to the main Conference. VG thanked AS for her work preparing this doc.

    SHA fringe meetings   Maternity policy and Save Liverpool Women’s Hospital 12.30 – 2.30 Monday 24 Sept, chaired by Irene Leonard

    Re-nationalising Social Care 6.00 – 8.00 Tuesday 25 Sept. Brian Fisher in conjunction with Health Campaigns Together. Eleanor Smith MP will speak at this meeting

    Both the events detailed above will be at the Quaker Meting House, 22 School Lane, L1 3BT. One or both of these sessions will commemorate Julian Tudor Hart; they are open to all comers.

    BF will also be submitting a Contemporary Motion on Social Care to the main LP Conference as described previously.

    In addition, Sunday 23 Sept 11.00 at ‘The World Transformed’ at the Blackie there will be a session on NHS Campaigning with SHA, Health Campaigns Together and ‘Neon’

    There will also be the march in support of the Liverpool Women’s Hospital led by Prof Wendy Savage on 22 Sept starting at 12.00 at the Hospital and arriving at the LP Conference site for speeches and the Socialist Singers at around 3.00

    21 Sept   ‘Pensioners United’ screened at the Plaza in Crosby. Tickets via Eventbrite. John McDonnell likely to be present.

    As we have missed the deadline to be in the printed programme, we must use social media and the app. To publicise SHA events. Targeting similar meetings and entrances with fliers works well in Liverpool. CB asked about the cost of doing this and whether personal underwriting is possible to us included in the official brochure.

    7 Any Thompson’s interim Report on the Resolution of the Disciplinary Panel and Incorporation

    Main points:

    No one person should hold the logins, passwords and control of finances; all Officers should have access. The process and culture should be of transparency to everyone anywhere. The lack of policies has created massive difficulties. New financial arrangements will be instituted and best practices implemented.

    SHA cannot continue as an unincorporated organisation; this needs urgent attention with liability / member expressly limited (likely to be £1). Employer’s liability insurance will cover risks.

    The website should be bespoke, not ‘standard’; it needs urgent attention enabling Officers (and maybe some sub-groups) to access a full range of all SHA documents. Maintenance and development of the website is likely to take some time, but some immediate steps are needed.

    The Disciplinary Panel work is in accordance with NHS Guidelines and is compliant with other systems. Legal advice will be sought if, when, where necessary. Several legal opinions might be sought; those associated with appointment tribunals might be appropriate. AT believes the disciplinary process is defensible, he wants prompt resolution without undue delay of the process for reasons of time, public discussion and in the interests of the members. David Wrigley who will chair the Appeal has had all the paper work and has reported to Jean.

    Andy’s statement prompted comments, suggestions and questions which are summarised below.

    They included recruitment procedures, affiliation to other organisations, competence, training needs for Officers, clear job descriptions – maybe needing HR analysis -, governance, accountability and responsibilities issues, and a Director subject to a contract which MUST be delivered. The Clarke Report, originally rejected, should now be revisited. SHA has an accountant, and the Labour Party can advise on some issues. For recruitment, it will be necessary to determine functions, and it seems likely that 1 person will be insufficient. MR suggested the Chair of Labour Business is a lawyer and might give cost effective advice. Sorting everything is a long process, and should not to be de-railed or fail for some minor problem. Key matters needed resolution, the 2014 report on the SHA website by a working group headed by Neomi Fabry should be looked at again.  AT’s recommendations would result in a long report, but when fully implemented, SHA would be professionally fit for the 21st century. BF commented that the process had been criticised but Andy’s recommendations should be taken seriously, and need to be seen as fair. SB said we needed to get the basics right first, and then tackle core policies; whilst robust advice must be paid for, the CVS might have some appropriate ‘off the shelf’ policies we could use alongside current practices to see if they were better. The Officers would agree how best to take forward the Report’s recommendations. JL thanked AT for his work and CC accepted and agreed his Report.

    8 Policy Development Process   TB presented Kathrin Thomas’s paper which raised 3 points:   1 Individual members getting their ideas to CC via the delegate structure should first test them in the branches to remove glitches.   2 Is the policy group a filter before the policy commission?   3 new polices should be linked to those already existing. ASS said that as agreed by CC on June 9, TB is Vice Chair leading on policy and his brief includes making recommendations and picking up the work of Brian and the policy commission. ASS is the link to the shadow health team. BF commented that a rapid reaction process is needed – a turn-round of responses within half a day. Some way of CC agreeing something quickly is necessary, and a key matter is how a policy is finally signed off. It was suggested that any active policy discussion should be flagged up for delegates to contribute. CGG considered the time frame for passing policy and whether this allowed for adequate branch level discussion. Delegates were especially aware of the special situation of social care needing small group discussion. MR commented that a ‘Green Paper’ approach should be adopted; the whole of local government needs examining, public health, health inequalities, and the framework whereby best practice can be brought forward. IL proposed a discussion forum for the website. ML said consultation / engagement was very necessary and to bear in mind that International Aid under Theresa May was linked to trade deals and Trump policies. TB supported the Green Paper approach and said that CC should hold policy development sessions twice yearly. Public health gap analysis, carers issues, issues arising from combining health and social care and funding had all been addressed in the last year, all fairly heavy policy concerns yet the LP has no formal policy. What relationship did SHA have with the shadow team? Other players need to be influenced, like media, web-based discussions etc.. but may be beyond our technical competence. Volunteers? Mental health was assessed as needing £20 billion when MPs last considered NHS shortfalls. Serious debate on taxation policy was required. ASS asked for TB to develop this programme further and CC agreed this decision

    AoB AT returned to technological concerns, particularly ways of engaging with members, including those in remote areas, in live discussion. Raising money is always difficult and he favoured a land value tax targeting the wealthy. CL voiced her concern about what we can all see happening in the country and hopes to see a more positive attack from the LP. AG commented that standards shpuld be developed and met, and collaborative on-line meetings should not be impossible to organise.

    The meeting closed at 4.30     Date of next meeting Nov 10 London

    Judith Varley   10.9.18

    Comments Off on Minutes of SHA Central Council September 2018

    The investigation into the issues raised in the scrutineers’ report is ongoing.  All aspects are being looked at including sight impairment and employee and governance issues.

    Jos Bell, the Chair of London Branch raised the issue of disabled members not always being able to attend Central Council or needing support to do so.  The Officers have agreed a “buddy” system where CC members who are disabled and who attend will be the people who will vote, but if they are unable to be present, then a deputy, usually their “buddy” can vote on their branches’ behalf. This is in line with our support for people with disabilities.

    I continue to liaise with the various branches, including recently the Scottish branch, and on the 21st April attended the West Midlands AGM as a visitor and speaker.  I should like to thank them for their warm welcome.

    Scottish Branch.  I visited Dave Watson in Glasgow, and the officers believe that we could learn a lot from the devolved countries.  Dave has been working directly with the Scottish government, and I found him inspirational.  They have done a great deal of work and the officers feel it would be good to hold a cross nations conference on renationalisation drawing on experience from Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

    I have been working with HCT and the NPC, led by Brian Fisher on Care.  Care is exceptionally complex, but its success is crucial the success of the NHS.  Our longer-term plans are still not decided, but we hope to have an update on cooperative working and perhaps a conference or two soon.  Brian and Dame June Clark, are presenting on Care to the NPC Pensioners’ Parliament.

    Finally, I attended a day course at the London International development Centre on Healthcare and Critical Realism. It is a full day course, run on a Saturday, and is completely free.  The people running it are leaders in their field.  One of the people attending was Alan Taman, press for HCT, Steve carne was also on the attendee list.  It was useful for networking and inspirational.  There will be at least one other opportunity, so if you would like to know more please email me or phone.  I found it sharpened and focused my thinking, and it reinforces the way we tend to think and work on NHS and care matters.

    Comments Off on Secretary’s Report

    My apologies for not providing a written report at the AGM in March. 2017-18 has been a busy and fruitful year for the SHA. Following my ‘baptism of fire‘ – day 1 as Chair involved welcoming shadow SoS Jon Ashworth to the 2017 AGM – I was very pleased to welcome Jean Hardiman Smith, Tom Fitzgerald, Alison Scouller and Tony Beddow as honorary officers and vice chairs. It has been a pleasure to work with them and I am equally pleased with the addition of two further vice chairs, Diane Jones and Andy Thompson this year.

    Membership

    The membership of SHA – which had, as the bar chart shows, been static for many years – has increased exponentially during the last 15 months:

    Membership numbers

    My view is that this ‘epidermic of popularity‘ mirrors the ‘Corbyn effect‘ whereby the rediscovery of socialist values by the Labour Party has transformed its fortunes and made it the largest political party in Europe. I welcome also the increased number of SHA branches (see Director’s Report) and of branch delegates to Central Council.

    Renationalising the NHS

    Undoubtedly, another factor in our rapid increase in membership is our contemporary motion to Labour’s 2017 conference, which I had the privilege of compositing and subsequently proposing to conference last September. The motion, which was essentially about full renationalisation of the NHS in England, had been submitted by 25 CLPs in addition to SHA, with a further 15 submitting similar motions. It was carried unanimously by conference.

    Since September SHA, along with many CLPs and health campaigning organisations, has advocated vigorously for full implementation of what is now Labour Party policy. Many Labour local authorities continue to cooperate with NHS England’s Five Year Forward View and Integrated Care Systems. Hence it was very welcome when the Guardian revealed last week Jon Ashworth’s commitment to consult in coming months on how an incoming Labour government should restructure a reinstated NHS based on Bevan’s original principles of universal, comprehensive, publicly provided care free at the point of use. I have offered our services to Jon and look forward to SHA working with him on this.

    Organisation and development

    My plans for strategic development were cut short by the 2017 general election and the need to focus on influencing the manifesto, creating a presence in marginal seats and short term outputs. These remain priorities, but the honorary officers and vice chairs have now discussed and agreed strategic development priorities and lead roles for 2018-19, as follows:

    • Operational management‘ – primarily within Jean’s role
    • Policy – Tony to lead
    • Website and associated issues – Andy to lead
    • Media / communications – Alex to lead
    • Membership / recruitment – Jean to lead
    • Liaison with labour movement, patient groups etc – Diane to lead
    • Maternity / health of women – Alison to lead
    • Liaison with parliaments / legislatures – to be agreed
    • Support to Chair – Alison

    Once confirmed by Central Council, this division of labour will where relevant supplant existing roles and responsibilities and will be implemented by the officers and vice chairs as appropriate. I should make it clear that these are development priorities and are of course in addition to the fundamental roles of the Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.

    Register of interests

    It has been drawn to my attention that public sector bodies maintain registers of interests which are updated and declared at each meeting. This obviously helps ensure that all members are aware of their own and fellow members’ conflicts of interest, be they political, occupational or financial. I would welcome members’ views on whether Central Council should maintain a register of interests.

    1 Comment

    I’ve spent the last two months working on our contact lists so we can comply with the General Data Protection Regulations. I contacted most of the 36,000 people on our database.  That reduced the number to around 31,000.  Some people wanted to leave our database, many emails bounced, but 1300 wanted to stay on our list.  This gives us an opportunity to build a relationship with those people.  It isn’t very clear how the new rules apply to an organisation like the SHA.  They are concerned with marketting and the protection of personal information.   The vast majority of the contacts on our database who have not responded are not private individuals.  They are politicians, academics, local and national organisations, who advertise their contact details to the public.

    We now have eight functioning branches.  The branch in Oxfordshire appears to be on the brink of viability and I’m hoping that we will manage to get at least one branch going in Yorkshire this year.

    The membership of the association has continued to grow, though rather more slowly. Now at 1082 paid up members.  Analyzed by geography the current figures are:

    Region Members Consented
    Greater Manchester 292 294
    Greater London 226 336
    West Midlands 94 101
    Yorkshire 67 142
    Liverpool City Region 53 96
    Tyne-Tees 52 57
    Home Counties 49 70
    South Wales 39 34
    Scotland 36 66
    Avon 35 80
    Oxfordshire 28 23
    East Anglia 28 64
    East Midlands 22 63
    Cheshire 20 28
    Brighton 15 51
    Devon & Cornwall 15 39
    Staffordshire & Shropshire 15 29
    Lancashire 13 37
    Solent 5 21
    North Wales 4 18
    unknown 3 0
    Kent 3 27
    Rest of the World 3 7
    Ireland 2 3
    Dorset 0 17
    Comments Off on Director’s Report

    Speaker

    The meeting opened with an address by Debbie Abrahams MP.  She gave us a brief but comprehensive summary of the difficulties we all see everywhere, every day, and tied them firmly to the Austerity policies introduced and implemented ruthlessly by the Coalition and Tory governments since 2010.  Widening inequality is THE biggest issue of our times, she said, greater here than elsewhere in Europe and in the OECD.  Income disparities are worse for the poor, with children and women losing out disproportionately, with impact on reducing growth too.  None of these matters were recognised in the Chancellor’s Spring statement, though they had all been foreseen by Theresa May when she was Home Secretary.  England has become the country of poor pay, job insecurity and the ‘self employed’, (most earning less than a living wage).  Debt was flat-lining as a whole, but has increased in the poorest of the population.  Education should be about preparing children for life, not just as workers and social security should provide for those out of work, children, the elderly and those who have become sick and disabled; with £34 billiion cuts already and more to come, the policy was an absolute failure.

    The largest wealth determinants are land and property, and as fewer people own these, and their holdings have increased, they have led to further increased generational and power inequalities – the business of who makes the decisions and how.  Add to these factors, lower investment and a shift in funds from poorer to wealthier areas, we now have differences reminiscent of Victorian times.  Relating funding to the age profile, England is now below the EU average, public spending is down and life expectation down too (Marmot June and Dec 2017), whilst the state pension age has risen.  In England, 300,000 more pensioners are in poverty than in 2010, 4 million children in poverty are in working households, with CPAG estimating 900,000 are under 5 years.  3.7 million disabled people have had social service cuts since the Health and Social Security Act (2012), with twice as many now living in poverty.  Although 4 million disabled people want to work, only 25,000 have found paid employment.  Disabled access to a full public life, employment and other opportunities continues to be poor or absent contradicting the manifesto mantra, ‘Nothing about me, without me’.  This is a catalogue of failure at the most basic levels.  She ended by suggesting we need a new social contract, a Beveridge for our times.

    Debbie was thanked for her contribution.

    *

    Action points in BOLD

    Agenda with apologies

    Minutes of the 2017 Annual General Meeting

    Accepted by Vivien Giladi and seconded by Mike Roberts

    Elections

    Alex Scott-Samuel as Chair and Jean Hardiman Smith as Secretary had been re-elected unopposed

    Tom Fitzgerald was re-elected as Treasurer

    Two auditors were appointed, Councillor Mark Ladbrooke, nominated by Tom Fitzgerald and seconded by Helen Cranage, and James Gill, self nominated and seconded by Mike Roberts.

    A new position of Minutes Secretary was suggested by Jean Hardiman Smith and Judith Varley was proposed  by Vivien Giladi, seconded by Helen Cranage

    Twenty new Central Council  members had been elected. Several branch AGMs had been held shortly before the Central Council AGM.  This had led to confusion as some branch Central Council delegates were also present on the national Central Council list of candidates for election.

    Vivien Walsh was thanked for her work as election scrutineer and for her timely report.  The second scrutineer’s report was not yet available.  The election results were accepted and the officers needed to see the second scrutineer’s report.  Mike Roberts suggested outstanding issues should be examined by the officers to give a rapid response, with confidentiality for any additional areas of concern.

    Jean Hardiman Smith apologised that her report was still as notes currently.

    Constitutional amendments

    It had been proposed and agreed at an earlier CC meeting that branch AGMs should have at least 4 weeks notice given, and ordinary branch meetings 2 weeks. John Lipetz proposed a further amendment – that in addition to this, branch AGMs should be held well before the national AGM. Further debate led to agreement that branch elections should be concluded no less than 3 and no more than 12 weeks prior to the national Central Council ballot being circulated so that branch delegates already on Central Council did not contest national places.  A clarifying statement was added to the effect that anyone succeeding in a branch election to Central Council will not be eligible to stand in the national election in that cycle.

    Martin Rathfelder had proposed that SHA should in future have 2 rather than 4 vice chairs and they should have honorary officer status.  Andy Thompson was in favour of keeping 4.  Caroline Bedale suggested up to 4 vice chairs be retained in order to support special areas of work and to prepare reports for the AGM. The amendment was withdrawn.

    Venues

    It was agreed that Martin should have 3 weeks advance notice of any proposed change of dates/venues for either Central Council or AGM

    Women’s Group

    With more women amongst Central Council delegates, a Women’s Group with a core of 3 CC members should be inaugurated, and it would need to meet to be effective.  Alison Scouller covered maternity issues and she commented that in practice it was difficult to arrange meetings since everyone was so busy.

    Grievance procedure

    Mark Ladbrooke said SHA needed a grievance policy, perhaps based on that of the Labour Party.  Grievance issues should not be raised at the AGM. (NB SHA does have a a grievance procedure)

    Annual Report

    Martin commented that membership was increasing substantially (now provisionally 964) and new branches were being created – all welcome developments, although the distribution of branches was concentrated in safe Labour areas.  Could all members think about recruiting members in neighbouring Tory areas?

    Tony Beddow had long thought a review of SHA organisation was overdue considering the skills, competences, gaps in expertise etc amongst Central Council delegates, and proposed some professional backup working with Martin.  (???Mark Appleby) suggested we should welcome more disabled members recognising that they might need further support, financial and other to participate.  Tony Jewell commented that his locale, Fenland, was large and diffuse and it was difficult to organise a local group – suggestions as to how this could be done and how many people were needed to create a viable branch etc.. would be welcome.  SHA should try to attract more young (defined as under 27) and BAME members.  In general, more structure was needed to help new members and more local  activities organised, but in general, local groups giving opportunities for members to meet, discuss, connect, pick up ideas for campaigns etc.. were all beneficial.   Martin said national funds were available to pay for meeting rooms for branch meetings.  Organisational issues to be on the next Central Council agenda

    Tony Beddow said that affiliation costs to the Welsh Labour Party had risen 4-fold from £60 – this was on the basis that SHA was equivalent to a Union and had at least 1000 members.  This needs to be taken up at national level.  Martin has raised the issue of affiliation costs previously and will take it up with the Democracy Review.

    Tony Jewell suggested we could gift aid subscriptions to the David Stark Murray Trust, think in terms of legacies and investigate and revive it – all and Martin to do.

    Caroline Bedale wanted information about local branch activities and Martin said he would organise a page for each branch on the website for this purpose.

    Affiliations

    Affiliation to other organisations were agreed as follows:  The Labour Party, Medact, James Lind Alliance (supports evidence based medicine), Smoke Free Action, KONP, Health Campaigns Together (HCT), Equality Trust, and European Public Health Alliance.  New NHS Alliance was disaffiliated although Brian Fisher, a NNA officer, spoke in its support.   Vivien Giladi stated that HCT was moving towards building solid links with Trade Unions.  Tony O’Sullivan said KONP groups were maximising working together and had a new website. A London demonstration for the 70th birthday of the NHS on 30 June was planned and they were working on the Naylor Report and Virgin Healthcare.

    Resolutions:

    1  Caroline Walsh, represented at the meeting by Martin, was involved in the Handbook on the Equality Act.  The Act applied to all organisations including the SHA.  It should be easier for people to participate, perhaps electronically.  This was welcomed, we would commend it to the Labour Party and make a financial contribution to effecting it.  Meetings might be streamlined – the Manchester youth group might help with this. 

    This Association welcomes the legal handbook “Equality Act 2010 (disability) and the Labour Party” produced by the Disability Equality Act Labour group. The hard work that has gone into this document by disabled members and experts in the field are to be commended. We commend the handbook to the Labour Party and call for it to be accepted, in its entirety, as official Party guidance. We agree to make a donation of £50 towards a print run to enable the group to make the handbook available at Party events including conference.

    The resolution was carried.

    Future meetings

    Our meetings need to move around the country, and care taken to review dates we have already and to avoid clashes with other meetings

    Policy discussions

    Brian Fisher reported on the work with the Labour shadow health team.  A small group had tackled Primary Care initially, specifically the independent status of GPs, the Out of Hours situation, Social Care and how to integrate it.  They aimed to develop a brief leaflet, 3 pp in soundbite sentences.  The front bench want expertise, not necessarily from the SHA or Labour Party members.  Jacky Davis asked how we know group recruits agree with our views.  Brian stressed that confidentiality was crucial throughout and that policy was not a ‘silo’ situation – housing, education, socio-economic factors all contributed.  The people to speak on other topics had not been decided, but the numbers must be small and security ‘tight’.  Mental health was to be covered next

    Central Council meeting

    The AGM was followed by a brief Central Council meeting at which four vice chairs were elected. Two women – Alison Scouller and Diane Jones – were nominated and elected unopposed. X men were nominated, and Tony Beddow and Andy Thompson were elected.

    Comments Off on Minutes of Annual General Meeting 2018

    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
    Comments Off on Socialist Health Association Accounts 2017