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Date(s) - 09.06.2018


Crewe YMCA


Apologies for absence: Dr Tony Jewell, Caroline Bedale, Dr Jacky Davis, Dr Helen Cranage, Corrie Lowry, Dr Peter Mayer, Cllr Mike Roberts, Guy Collis, Diane Jones, Tony Beddow, Sina Lari, Chris Bain, Katrina Murray, Norma Dudley, Dr Zahid Chauhan, Steve Bedser, Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe, Dr Onkar Sahota, Dr Brian Fisher, Dr Lawrence Cotter, Jessica Ormerod, Jos Bell, Dr Andy Thompson, Dr David Wrigley, Dr Tom Fitzgerald, Callum Vibert


  1. Minutes of the meeting in Sheffield
  2. Minutes of the meeting after the AGM
  3. Matters arising from the AGM
    1. Delegates to organisations to which we are affiliated:
      1. Smokefree Action
      2. Keep Our NHS Public
      3. Health Campaigns Together
    2. Constitutional amendment  -AGM, timetable of meetings and elections:  If the national AGM is on 30th March the formal notice is issued on 2nd March and the national ballot takes place in March.  So branch elections should take place in January and February.
    3. Equalities Act 
  4. Matters arising from Central Council
    1. SHA policy on maternity services
    2. Young Labour/recruitment
    3. NHS 70th anniversary materials
  5. Central Council membership, Support for disabled members
  6. Chair’s report Resoution:  SHA website
    At a recent meeting of honorary officers and vice chairs it was agreed that the SHA website and related issues were a key area for review and development. Andy Thompson is the vice chair taking forward this area of development.
    Concerns have been expressed over a long period regarding the usability and content of the SHA website, which clearly requires major review.  Although the website contains a vast quantity of material, much of it is very difficult to identify, to search and to access.
    If the website is to become the user friendly resource we all want and need, a major review incorporating both expert and user perspectives is needed. This should include reviews of the criteria for accepting blogs and advertisements on the website and of all SHA social media.
    The vice chair responsible for website development should convene a steering group of experts and users, to review all relevant aspects of the SHA website and of SHA social media use.
  7. Secretary’s Report
  8. Director’s report
    1. Financial Contributions to outside bodies – Officers have agreed donations of  £250 to Medical Aid for Palestinians and £500 to the Centre for Health and the Public Interest.
    2. Website and social media: Our most successful tweet ever, about the percentage of patients seen in four hours or less  in major A&E departments  in the first quarter of 2018, had 791,333 impressions.  Graphs produced by James Gill showing the individual performance of 129 trusts since 2005 were distributed to Labour Parties in time for local election leaflets and inserted into the Wikipedia articles for the trusts.
  9. Labour Party matters:
    1. Socialist Societies executive delegate
    2. Democracy review proposed submission:
      1.  It should be made easier for Socialist Societies to participate at regional level.  At present it appears that each region operates differently.  Some never meet and the regional executive is a self-perpetuating oligarchy. In others we are charged exhorbitant fees to attend regional conferences which don’t appear to produce anything constructive. The regional boundaries are  arbitrary, and it’s not made clear what purpose regional conferences or officers serve.  There should be a standard fee for affiliating to regions, based on the numbers of members the society has in the region, not based on a minimum of 1000 members.
      2. Any geographical arrangement in which elected politicians operate, such as mayoral constituencies, should be matched by a Labour Party structure to which our representatives should be accountable.  These structures should be open and democratic and deal with appropriate policy issues as well as campaigning. Party members should be able to see what their representatives are doing as much as possible.
      3. We need to consider how we can involve more members in decision making, especially those who are unable for any reason to attend meetings. Participation should not be restricted to those who are able to turn up.  The SHA has agreed that decisions and voting may be conducted on line where appropriate as part of our compliance with the Equalities Act.  This principle should be extended to all levels of Party decision making.
    3. Conference (and Womens conference)  delegates
    4. Nominations – CAC, Treasurer, Auditors
    5. Constitutional amendment/contemporary resolution
    6. Policy development process report
    7. Social care resolution:Conference agrees that social care is so underfunded and privatised that it is damaging the physical and mental health of the elderly and disabled people who have previously relied on it. To reverse the increasing inaccessibility of social care, we call on the Party firstly to commit to increase funding to the sector and, secondly, to commit explicitly to work towards social care free at the point of use.Privatisation has undermined quality and locked in instability – profit has never been shown to improve care. The sector is now almost completely in private hands with companies teetering on bankruptcy. This will require a process to bring current private contracts back into public ownership. We call on conference to demand a health and social care service, accountable to the people and funded through progressive taxation.Finally, we call for policy development to ensure that the quality and provision of social care is appropriate to the needs of the population and needs of the UK today.In summary, the creation of an effective system of Social Care requires government commitment to:
      • A substantial increase in funding
      • Care which is free at the point of use
      • A consideration of new forms of social care
  10. Emergency resolution from London Branch, proposed by: Stephen Warren. The Socialist Health Association believes we have entered into a Health Crisis in England and Wales in 2018,  since the Mortality Statistics for the first 7 weeks, and the first 16 weeks of 2018 show an increase in deaths of 10,375 and 20,215 respectively, when compared to the averages for the same periods of the previous 5 years. The research of Dr. Hiam and Professor Dorling of University of Oxford, Professor Taylor-Robinson of University of Liverpool, and others,  has provided evidence that there are true increases in Absolute Mortality Rates; an increase in Infant Mortality Rate, and remarkably a decline in Life Expectancy, in England and Wales, not explained by statistical variation, simple changes in demographics, weather conditions, or seasonal causes such as influenza.The body of evidence they provide shows that these changes are strongly associated with changes in the social and physical determinants of health, at least partly due to the Policy of Austerity, particularly since  it impacts unequally on those sections of the community already vulnerable to physical and mental ill health.  As SHA members we are particularly aware of the appalling impact of DWP benefit changes for those of us with significant physical and mental health needs,  and the well documented and tragic accounts of suffering and even rising numbers of fatalities.We note that these changes are not explained by  changes in population demographics, or other errors of statistical analysis, as asserted by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, and Department officials, in their responses to questions in the Houses of Parliament and calls by these researchers and others for an urgent investigation into an unexplained excess of at least twenty thousand deaths this year. We also note the potential to contribute of the well documented and mounting crisis in our acute services, with ambulance queues and trolley queues, continuing beyond winter, as the very visible evidence of a vastly over stretched and under resourced NHS.We deplore the Secretary of State for Health’s unwillingness to take seriously and investigate the well founded concerns of patient groups, clinicians, researchers, and parliamentarians, that there is a serious  health crisis in England and Wales leading to excess deaths.Since the  years from 2012 to 2017 used for comparison have themselves shown  concerning changes in routinely gathered health statistics, we believe the deterioration in health in England and Wales is accelerating.Therefore we call for an  urgent   investigation by  Parliament or the Select Committee for Health into the causes and possible remedies  for the unexplained excess deaths, and the underlying worsening of the health of the nation that they imply, in the full range of areas which may be responsible for change:   Economic; public health; legislation; Department of Health policy and operational issues, and the resources, democratic accountability, organisation and clinical governance of the National Health Service.
  11. SHA President
  12. SHA meetings and events:
  13. Future meetings:

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