Proposer: Dr Julian Tudor Hart 

Seconder: Professor Tony Beddow

Dear colleagues: I’m seeking your support for SHA Chair, in the belief that SHA does not currently reflect the changes in the Labour Party that have resulted in its massive expansion in the last 18 months. Nor have we advocated and campaigned vigorously against government privatisation, cuts and rationing as we should have. If you elect me as Chair I will do everything I can to transform SHA in the way that this implies.

Alex Scott-Samuel

I feel privileged to have as my proposer our immediate past President Dr Julian Tudor Hart, and as my seconder, my fellow vice chair Professor Tony Beddow.  I will do everything possible to fulfil their faith in me.

SHA must play its full part if we are to achieve Labour’s current policy goals of ending privatisation, bringing services into a secure, publicly-provided NHS, integrating health and social care for older and disabled people, and ensuring parity for mental health services. As Chair, I will work with Central Council, the SHA officers, the membership, and other like-minded health campaigns and groups to achieve this. We will set new membership targets and do our utmost to reach them through active social media campaigning and community networking.

I will do my best to restore the ‘glory days’ when SHA was seen as a central influence on the Labour Party, the labour movement and on healthy public policy. Strong links will be sought with trade unions, the third sector and quangos such as the Health and Safety Commission. At Westminster, SHA will work not only with Labour’s shadow health team, but will seek to raise the profile of health within other shadow cabinet areas which reflect the social determinants of health, such as education, food and agriculture, local government, macroeconomic policy, transport and the environment. Other parliamentarians such as peers, All Party Parliamentary Groups and the PLP Health Committee are also important potential collaborators.

Together with SHA colleagues, I will both support existing dynamic local SHA groupings and do my best to create new ones in all parts of the UK. My experience in local government, NHS and academic public health will be helpful in creating partnerships, generating income and holding high profile events.

In order to support these activities we will develop a proactive media strategy and seek a strong public profile via a revamped website and social media presence. The wealth of experience of SHA members will be actively used. SHA briefings and reports will be published as and when the need arises. An annual policy review will build on the excellent work currently under way. Where and when appropriate, co-options and honorary appointments will be used to support the extended range of SHA activity.

I hope you will join me in this exciting prospect! In terms of the experience and knowledge I would bring to this task:

Labour movement and NHS. 

I have been a member of the Labour Party and of SHA for nearly 40 years and of Doctors in Unite (formerly the Medical Practitioners Union) for over 30 years. I was a member of Labour’s NEC social policy subcommittee 1979-87. From 1983-7 when Michael Meacher was shadow SoS for health I was his policy adviser and set up a system of health advisory groups which reported to him. I was a member of the PLP Health Committee in the previous parliament and spoke against the Health and Social Care Act at party conference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihnzUT2nri4

 I was a founder member of Keep Our NHS Public and am a member of the KONP steering group. I am co-chair of the Politics of Health Group (www.pohg.org.uk), which I represent on the steering group of Health Campaigns Together. I am a member of Doctors for the NHS, the National NHS Activist Network, and the NHS Reinstatement Bill campaign group. I worked for 16 years (1978-94) as an NHS public health consultant in Liverpool. 

Academic work and Health Inequalities. 

I am Honorary Professor in the School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health at Durham University; Visiting Professor at Chester University; and Honorary Senior Lecturer in Public Health, University of Liverpool (where I was full-time senior clinical lecturer 1994-2015). I have carried out research on health inequalities for nearly 40 years and on health impact assessment (HIA) for 20 years – I co-developed the most widely used methodology for HIA. I also led the team which undertook the first published health equity audit. I was adviser to the Health Select Committee’s enquiry on health inequalities, 2008-9. I have researched the Impact of Thatcherism (http://pcwww.liv.ac.uk/~alexss/thatcherism.pdf) and the potential impact of Corbynism (http://pcwww.liv.ac.uk/~alexss/corbyn.pdf) on health and well-being. I have published extensively on the NHS, health inequalities and gender inequalities, including research papers and editorials in the Lancet and BMJ. 

Yours, Alex

alexscottsamuel (at) googlemail.com

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