During my period as Chair I have been made aware, unofficially, of several SHA branch meetings which appeared to be inappropriate – either in terms of theme, content or particular presentations.

While it would be inappropriate to constrain excessively the activities of branches, I think we would agree that SHA branches must always act in a manner which is consistent with the aims and values of SHA. This is not intended in any way to suppress constructive discussion and debate. But when perspectives which clearly clash with SHA values are introduced (e.g. promoting private sector provision in the NHS) it must always be made clear that they are against SHA values and are not being promoted as acceptable perspectives.

This was discussed recently by the honorary officers and vice chairs and some of the recommendations which follow arose from that discussion.

Recommendations

1 Themes, content and presentations at all SHA meetings and events should be consistent with the aims and values of the SHA.

2 Speakers and content which depart from SHA aims and values but which are featured in order to create dialogue should be clearly badged as such.

3 Details of all branch meetings should be circulated to Central Council members well in advance so that Central Council observers can attend whenever possible and so that modifications can be sought when meetings seem inappropriate.

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