Category Archives: Internal governance

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.

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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: 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


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.


8.1 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


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:


The Chair declared the meeting closed


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I was elected in March 2016.

Attendance at West Midlands Branch 19/3/2016

Minutes taken for Central Council meeting in June 2016

Labour Party Annual Conference: I attended as many events as I could, and took full notes which are available. Please ask if interested.

Notes taken of our two SHA events: Democratic Accountability and The Future of Social Care. Please ask if interested.

In January 2017 I took the minutes of the Central Council meeting.

At that meeting I was appointed Women’s Officer. With Martin’s help I have set up a database and have been contacting SHA women members, in batches of 20 or so, to ask them if they found the SHA a welcoming organisation, and to find out what we could do to ensure we fully included women members and ensured their voices were heard. My next task is to collate ideas, and to contact our women members again to find out how our members would like to proceed on suggestions.

The work has kept me surprisingly busy over the last 12 months, and I am looking forward to the next 12 months of serving the members.

Jean’s posts on this site

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  • Opening Balances, 1 January 2016                             £20,808.19
  • Closing Balances, 31 December 2016                          £26,527.07
  • Increase in funds                                                                 £5779.75

We have examined the vouchers and bank statements for the financial year 1st January to 31st December 2016. We have seen all the bank receipts and statements and reviewed income and expenditure. We are content that all monies received and expended have been properly paid and accounted for.

Payments and receipts are received electronically. The account captures expenditure as it is incurred and actual expenditure when paid. There has been increased income in the Paypal account from advertising and membership subscriptions which has contributed to our general funds.

We regret that the Society of Radiographers have not renewed their affiliation this year.

We are satisfied that the Association’s finances are in good order and accurately reflect the membership and activity. We believe the Association’s reserves are sufficient to give the Council more than six months protection against unforeseen liabilities. There is an accounting discrepancy of £67.63 in our favour which we have not been able to reconcile.

We have reviewed the arrangements for the electronic ballot of members and are satisfied that appropriate safeguards are in place.

Tom Fitzgerald,  David Mattocks

Lay Auditors March 2017

2016 2017 2016 2017
Income Budget Expenditure Budget
Administration £1,733.21 £1,800.00
£14,920.11 £14,300.00 Subscriptions £25.00  £0.00
£9,498.00 £9,500.00 Affiliation fees £1,341.04 £1,500.00
£85.00 £100.00 Donations £0 £200
£19.44 £10.00 Tax/bank £3.40 £3.00
 – Equipment £0 £0.00
External events £2350.40 £2,500.00
 – Members expenses £1,024,25 £2,000
 – Officers expenses £402.40 £800
£4216.62 £4,500.00 Web £563.63 £600.00
Post Phone £284.00 £300.00
£138 £50.00 Publications & adverts £358.39 £1000.00
Room hire £239.80 £700.00
Salary £12,084.00 £12,100.00
£108 £500.00 SHA events £2,077.50 £1,500.00
£90 £25 Goods for sale £0  £0
£29,075,17 £28,985 Total £23,406 £25.003


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At Manchester Quaker Meeting House

Andrew Gwynne (Shadow Public Health Minister)

Andrew gave a wide ranging contribution. Key points included:

  • All legislation should ensure it is health and wellbeing compliant
  • A national health and wellbeing strategy from a future Labour Government should have the reduction of health inequalities at its heart
  • We should be challenging the Government to publish its childhood obesity strategy
  • The “Responsibility Deal” has not worked, and corporations have been allowed to pull back from it. A clear lack of leadership from the Government.
  • AG is working with colleagues from Local Government across a whole range of public services and policies.
  • He is looking to move public health to the centre of Labour Party policy moving towards the 2020 election

A discussion followed. Key points made:

  • Privatisation in social care has created huge problems
  • Is the 7 day NHS the most socialist policy?
  • We need to reflect the social determinants of health
  • What about early years (Sure Start reinvented?)
  • We need clear support for the junior doctors
  • We need a commonly agreed definition of health and well being
  • Surely social care must also be free at the point of delivery?
  • Tackling inequalities will be a challenge
  • Will the NHS Reinstatement Bill mean another top down reorganisation?
  • The Labour Party must oppose the marketization of the NHS

The Chair thanked Andrew for a most helpful, open and frank session.


Formal Business of the AGM

1. Apologies – Accepted as printed on the agenda

2. Minutes of the 2015 Annual General Meeting – Accepted as true and accurate record

3 Matters arising not elsewhere on the agenda – None

4 Officers to be elected

4a Elected by a ballot of members- The Officers of the Association were agreed as listed on the agenda:

  • Chair: Chris Bain
  • Secretary: Jean Hardiman Smith
  • Treasurer: Jane Roberts DBE

The members of Central Council were agreed as listed on the agenda:

Richard Bourne, Mike Roberts, Rene Smit, Dr Alex Scott-Samuel, Tom Fitzgerald, David Mattocks, Judith Varley, Vivien Giladi, Dr Mike Grady, Jean Hardiman Smith, Dr Zahid Chauhan, Dr Doug Naysmith, Dr Brian Gibbons, David Ll Davies, Dr Brian Fisher, Dr Ivan Benett, Dr Tony Jewell, Patrick Vernon, James Gill.

5 To note other members of the Central Council

  • West Midlands (4):
  • London (6): Jos Bell, Michael English, Dr Patrick French, John Lipetz, Dr Aysha Raza, Caroline Walsh
  • Scotland (2): Dave Watson, Katrina Murray
  • Wales (2): Alison Scouller, Tony Beddow
  • North East (2): David Taylor-Gooby, Robert Buckley
  • Manchester (3): Dr Hannah Cooke, Prof Vivien Walsh

National Organisations

  • Unison: Guy Collis
  • Unite:Barrie Brown
  • Society of Radiographers:
  • GMB

6 Officers to be elected at the AGM

Auditors: Dr Tom Fitzgerald, David Mattocks

Agreed as printed on the agenda

7. Annual Report

The Annual Report was accepted by the AGM. There was discussion about the use of social media, a suggestion that the SHA should put out a tweet encouraging people to join a picket line in the Junior Doctors dispute. A Facebook Page for Junior Doctors was also suggested.

8 Financial and Audit Report

The Director reported that finances are relatively stable. There was a £3k surplus in the year and reserves currently stand at approximately £20k.

There was discussion about affiliation fees to the regional Labour Parties, can we challenge them? Are legacies an area that might be developed? There is small (£2-3k) education orientated fund which might be used to fund policy development events. Members asked that the budget be circulated.

Regions reported the following:

  • Wales:  Income £249.15, Expenditure £223.15, Balance in hand: £560.39
  • Scotland: Income £42.10, Expenditure £120.66 Balance in hand: £216.80  
  • London: Income £635 Expenditure £241.97 Balance in hand £393.03 
  • West Midlands: Income £280.00, Expenditure £112.60 Balance in hand £3256.00
  • North East: Balance in hand: £40
  • Manchester: Balance in hand: £nil

Acceptance of the Financial and Audit Report was moved and agreed.

9. Proposed affiliations to other organisations

  • Labour Party centrally and Regional Labour Parties
  • Medact
  • James Lind Alliance
  • Drugs and Health Alliance
  • Smokefree Action
  • Keep Our NHS Public – delegates report
  • National Voices

All were agreed with the exception of the regional Labour Parties. Members agreed that the SHA should conduct negotiations about the affiliation fees.

10 Resolutions

  1. Branches may affiliate to local Labour parties or any other organisations compatible with the objects of the Association.  Any decisions in respect of the procedures of the Labour Party, such as in relation to the selection of candidates, shall be made by the branch.  Any member in an area where there is no branch who wishes to be a delegate to any local Labour party or any other organisation shall notify the Honorary Secretary and confer with them in respect of any such decisions.  Proposed: Doug Naysmith.

The AGM felt there were unresolved issues regarding the selection of candidates and the reference to the Labour Party in the last sentence. The resolution was deferred

  1. The Association supports the Ethical Care Charter, and urges local council to subscribe to it. Proposed Jos Bell.

An amendment/addition to the resolution was proposed to widen it to more of a Social Care Charter. The wording “the way we would like to see social care develop and we oppose the cuts to social care services” was agreed.

  1. In the light of the support of Labour’s Leader, Shadow Chancellor, of many other Labour MPs, and of many SHA members, SHA should do everything in its power to support the NHS Bill prior to its second reading on March 11. This should include emails to all Labour MPs informing them of SHA’s support for the Bill, and similar support messages on the SHA website, Facebook and Twitter. Proposed Alex Scott-Samuel.

SHA believes:

1. That at this pivotal moment in the fight to save the NHS, the Labour Party can play a crucial and irreplaceable role.

2. That Labour’s policy and stance on the NHS and health is in a number of respects stuck in the pre-Corbyn era:

  • Inadequate support for the junior doctors’ strike and NHS student bursary struggles.
  • Failure to make a clear commitment to reversing cuts, outsourcing and privatisation and reinstating the NHS as a universal, comprehensive, publicly owned, funded and provided service meeting clinical need.
  • Promoting the idea of integrating health and social care, without making clear if this would mean social care becoming a free public service. Otherwise integration could mean extending privatisation in the NHS.

SHA resolves

  • To campaign for Labour to commit clearly to reversing cuts, outsourcing and privatisation and reinstating the NHS as a comprehensive, publicly owned, funded and provided service meeting clinical need. This should include an end to the use of PFI and a serious solution to the problem of PFI debts; and an expansion of democratic control in the NHS.
  • To campaign for the party to commit to social care becoming a free, publicly owned, funded and provide service.
  • To campaign for much stronger Labour support for the doctors’ strike, the NHS bursary fight and other health workers’ struggles – including by Labour MPs and Shadow Ministers attending picket lines, and by the party working with the TUC to organise a national demo in support of the BMA.
  • To work on this with other Labour NHS campaigns, including Momentum NHS.

There was extensive discussion regarding the resolution. Members agreed with the aims of the resolution. Members further agreed that support for the Bill was essential if the SHA was to remain credible.

An addition calling for a monthly report on progress from the Director was not agreed

The resolution as printed on the agenda was agreed by a near unanimous vote.

11 Proposed future meetings of the Central Council – Were agreed as printed.

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Minutes of Central Council Meeting 14/01/2017

London; Unite Building 128 Theobalds Rd WC1X 8TN

Chair: Chris Bain

  1. Apologies: Dr Patrick French, Dr Peter Mayer, James Gill, Caroline Walsh, Jos Bell (present for a short time), Steve Bedser, David Mattocks, Patrick Vernon and Brian Gibbons

The Chair asked the meeting for agreement that the items on the agenda be moved as follows:

Election Arrangements to be moved to after Matters arising (to item 4 on the Agenda)

Policy review moved (to item 5 on the Agenda); and also to consider a Policy review day to consider the document(s) in more detail. Agreed.

  1. Minutes of Central Council Meeting of 24/09/2016 agreed as accurate
  1. Matters Arising:
  1. Julian Tudor Hart: As agreed, Chris Bain has written to Julian with no response. Tony Beddow advised the meeting that this was due to ill health, but that it could probably be followed up in the next week or two. John Lipetz added it was important to do our best to keep him as President. Course of action agreed.

  2. Cooperative Bank: Martin Rathfelder (Director) advised that Central Council had been told by the bank we would need to comply with their requests for proof of identity before the 25th September 2017 or they might be unable to continue with our banking arrangements

It was agreed to support Vivien Giladi’s proposal that we should consider a name change for the post of director, and that the Officers will take responsibility.

It was agreed that Chris Bain’s proposal that a single item agenda for the election of vice chairs after the AGM be adopted.

It was agreed to support Alex Scott-Samuel’s proposal that we should not alter the constitutional position in respect of Vice Chairs.

  1. Electoral Reform:

After a full discussion it was agreed that the officers would be responsible for any elections arising at the Annual General Meeting, and look to, for example, the Electoral Reform Service in the longer term.

  1. Policy Review Process: This section was led by Brian Fisher:

It was agreed to set a separate date for Central Council to consider the Policy Review.

It was agreed that we would adopt the “drawers” idea where a “flavour” of the document would be initially available, with drawers of deeper complexity available depending on the level of information needed.

It was agreed to adopt Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe’s proposal on a transitional approach blueprint for an incoming new government (what to do in the first 100 days) providing a framework for action.

It was agreed that main aims and values should be on a national level, however the devolved countries should be free to consider how to get to where our aims and values lie.

  1. Action on Smoking and Health:

Martin Rathfelder’s proposal that Joss Bell be appointed the Socialist Health Association delegate to action on Smoking and Health was agreed.

  1. Women’s Issues: Jean Hardiman Smith’s proposal that as Secretary she takes on the role of Women’s Liaison and support was agreed.
  1. Campaigning: Health campaigns Together March demonstration and the Copeland By-Election.

The demonstration will be London only. Volunteers are needed to carry the SHA banner

Jane Roberts will circulate her paragraph on the language the Government is using around the NHS

An item on the wording of the membership briefing will be added to the next agenda

  1. Labour Party Matters:
  1. Martin Rathfelder advised that we have submitted a constitutional amendment to Clause 4 as follows:

Labour is a democratic Socialist party working for a fairer, healthier and more equal society.

This will be on the agenda for the Labour Conference. The wording cannot be changed and is as agreed by Central Council.

  1. National Policy Forum: Martin Rathfelder advised this is still discussing mental health.
  1. Financial Report:

Presented by Martin Rathfelder: This report is unaudited: At the end of 2016 the Socialist Health Association had £27,316.00 in the bank, an increase of £6,500.00 during the year.

Martin Rathfelder advised that around half the increase in profits was from advertising.

Alex Scott-Samuel proposed a paper on advertisers regarding whether they were ethical and what their core values were. Vivien Giladi requested that Alex Scott- Samuel suspended his motion and minutes and papers on the issue are to be sent to him.

  1. Any Other Business:

Stuart Bellwood proposed that we consider advertising with the Durham Miners’ Gala

This was agreed.

It was agreed that the Ambulance Service be included in the Policy Review.

It was agreed that to avoid potential clashes with other important meetings that members take responsibility and advise Martin Rathfelder of any dates to be avoided for SHA meetings.

The meeting closed at 3pm prompt.

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