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Date(s) - 19.01.2013


Pimlico Library


Notes of the meeting:  London 19th January 2013

Apologies for Absence:  (see agenda below)

Present: Melanie Johnson, Ali Syed, Gavin Ross, Mike Roberts, Rachel Harris, Harry Clarke, Richard Bourne, Richard Grimes, Shibley Rahman, Noemi Fabri, Patrick Vernon, Jos Bell. 

Minutes of the Meeting held in Manchester 29th September 2012 (below) Apologies should include Huw Davies, Ali Syed

1. Campaigning:

SHA Website

Figures for 2012: http://jetpack.me/annual-report/37657278/2012/

Website policy and practice: Given recent concerns, how can the Director best promote the SHA? Do we need a protocol?  In what will be a challenging year  (s) for the party, including its affiliates and the NHS,  how  can we best manage ALL our communications, ( website, social media, meetings, conferences strategies and resources), particularly when both the NHS /Health & Labour will be under even greater attack,maintain credibility & avoid giving any unnecessary hostages to 2015.

MR covered website functionalities of new website, usage and took questions on such. Also covered Twitter site. In response to disquiet about various postings, the Director said that there had been an unintentional mixup between MR’s personal Facebook and Twitter but this now resolved. Spam filter seems to be working.

Much discussion over author attribution and how to make clear that contributors may not reflect views of SHA.

There was considerable discussion about the uses to which the web face of the SHA may or should be managed. Various points made:

  • The right has much access in present media. Affording access through our website is indulgent and – possibly – counter productive;
  • Opening the site to those who oppose SHA principles may encourage hard thinking on our part;
  • Clarity required about whether any piece reflects settled view of SHA. If not this must be very clearly stated – perhaps at the head of the article;
  • To what extent is the website designed to be a resource or the Labour Party and other interested groups?
  • Can we use the site to access a ‘younger’ audience?
  • General agreement that website needs to be very clear when distinguishing personal comment from SHA policy;
  • Political context cannot be avoided eg response to Francis;
  • Care needed about image that can be projected via social media in light of recent events.

To move forward on this:

A further sub group meeting to be held to discuss points raised;

  • Disclaimers would be placed by articles expressing personal view;
  • Moderation would be robust;
  • Authorship must always be clear;
  • Feedback to the Director is important;

All should be subsumed under communications strategy.

2. Defending the NHS’ programme of events:

MR described his activities in meetings etc. Discussion over way forward.

What is it we are defending?

What is our vision for the future?

Suggestions: free at use; welfare of patients; support for staff – perhaps this should inform the programme;

Perhaps too much on organisation.

3. Labour Party policy discussions:

MR – described mechanisms

Launch of paper by Andy Burnham on 24 January – we should send two people to this.

Met with Dianne Abbott re obesity debate

Social Enterprises – no definition yet

SHA members need to be on the Your Britain site making points.

Need to talk to Work and Prosperity team about what desirable economic growth is.

Suggested that work be done on connection between benefits and health.

Patrick Vernon mentioned that Labour Party had set up a mental health commission. SHA should contribute.

Action Point:

Meeting of group related to Mid-Staffs report needed to think about response and strategy.

Children, Food and Obesity

Ali Syed raised this as an important issue for Scotland

London Speaker Directory

Huw Davies notified meeting of request by London Labour Party for volunteer speakers to be placed on directory.

Shibley Rahman’s account of the meeting


  1. Apologies for Absence: Jane Roberts, John Lipetz, Doug Naysmith, Mike Grady, Tina Funnell, David Mattocks, Barrie Brown, Mike Young, Peter Mayer, Tom Fitzgerald,  Nye Harries, Simon Wright, Alison Scouller, David Pickersgill
  2. Minutes of the Meeting held in Manchester 29th September 2012 (below)
  3. Campaigning:
    1. SHA Website
      1. Figures for 2012: http://jetpack.me/annual-report/37657278/2012/
      2. Website policy and practice: Given recent concerns, how can the Director best promote the SHA? Do we need a protocol?  In what will be a challenging year  (s) for the party, including its affiliates and the NHS,  how  can we best manage ALL our communications, ( website, social media, meetings, conferences strategies and resources), particularly when both the NHS /Health & Labour will be under even greater attack,maintain credibility & avoid giving any unecessary hostages to 2015.
    2. Defending the NHS programme of events
      1. GMB
      2. Equality Trust
      3. Macmillan
    3. Developments in the NHS – what do we expect will happen over the next year:
    1. Health policy under the coalition government A mid-term assessment
    2. Mid-Staffs and quality
    3. CCGs and tendering
    4. Private income in Foundation Trusts
    5. The Failure Regime
    6. Public and Patient Involvment, Healthwatch
    7. Any Qualified Provider
    8. Social Enterprises
    9. Freedom of Information
    10. Public Health
  1. Labour Party policy discussions
    1. Children, Food and Obesity
    2. Health and care policy review:Whole-Person Care
    3. Social Enterprises
    4. Economic growth and inequality
    5. Local Government Conference 9 – 10 Feb in Nottingham
  2. Next meeting: AGM Saturday 9th March, Hackney

Minutes of the Meeting held in Manchester 29th September 2012

Present: Brian Fisher, Richard Bourne, Harry Clarke, Paul Dolan, Noemi Fabry, Richard Grimes, Phil Hunt. Doug Naysmith, Shibley Rahman, Karin Smyth, Mike Roberts, Alison Scouller, Katy Gardner, Ian Goley, Adrian Heald, Brian Jameson

For apologies see agenda of 29th September

Matters Arising: Agreed we should pursue meetings with MPs not on the health team on wider themes – openness with Tom Watson, economics with Andy Love, and talk to John Cruddas about how we can assist the policy review process. These might be in the House of Commons.  We want to encourage a less departmental basis to policy making. Meetings to co-ordinate campaigns had been successfully organised

There was a long discussion about the document produced by Tony Beddow, Jane Roberts and Melanie Johnson  Improving the Health of the Nation; a policy for the NHS and its partners which was felt to be a very helpful statement of principles which would guide our contributions to policy making across the UK.  More detailed work would be needed in respect of England and the internal market.  Brian Fisher and Richard Bourne have been working on a document entitled Repeal and Replace which should be circulated shortly. The statement of principles needed to include something more explicit about social care, perhaps something about cross-departmental working, standards and regulation, waste and the environment and needed to be clearer about the democratic accountability for the control of resources.  It was agreed that it should be amended accordingly and the authors were thanked  for their very helpful contribution. The proposed changes to the Labour Party’s Partnership in Power structures were welcomed and we agreed to support them.  There were still questions about how decisions would actually be made and about the degree to which the front bench would really be involved. We hope to be organising  a series of meetings about health policy in England with the front bench team thanks to help from Liz Kendall. Brian explained the position proposed in the Repeal and Replace paper:

  1. Private providers of health care can be risky, but the NHS has always depended on them.  We are not in favour of more private provision unless there is good reason, but we do not see wholesale nationalisation as a way forward.
  2. Planning needs to be done with as few vested interests involved as possible, and it needs to be open, democratic and accountable.
  3. Marketisation is not a driver of quality or efficiency in healthcare

It was suggested that a good slogan for the party might be “No more top-down reorganisation of the NHS’.

The practical arrangements for demonstrations on 30th September and 20th October were discussed.

There was some discussion of how reorganisation of the NHS in England was working out, and a very variable picture emerged.  In some places capable GP leaders had emerged who were delivering real improvements.  It seemed clear that Labour would not be abolishing Clinical Commissioning Groups, but we would want them to be more accountable.  However insisting on having lay people on the board might not help.  It was agreed that we might usefully talk to organisations such as McKinsey’s and PWC about how they envisaged future developments.  Agreed we should remind people to use the Labour Party’s NHS Check to report developments.


  1. Wendy Savage says:

    Re private providers? “The NHS has alway been dependent upon them” ? This is a misleading statement. The use of private providers even now is small according to the NHS Confed less than 3% now and before 1990 very small and limited to a few specialties.
    Il am unaware of their great innovations.
    It seems that the SHA is now behind the Labour Party in its thinking and I do not underhand why you have rejected the purchaser provider split look at the HSC report of 2010 where commissioning was described as 20 yers of costly failure (if the figures were released to confirm this). What do you hope to gain by speaking to McKinsey and PWC? W

  2. Martin Rathfelder says:

    It depends what you count as private. GPs, opticians, pharmacists and dentists are all private, and always have been. 30% of mental health expenditure goes outside NHS providers. All pharmaceuticals and kit is privately provided.

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