Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Socialist Health Association held in Wesley’s Chapel, London on Saturday 14th April 2007.

Present: Paul Crawford Walker (Chair); Huw Davies (Hon Sec); Gavin Ross (Treasurer); Tina Funnell (Vice Chair); David Pickersgill (Vice Chair); Mike Roberts (Vice Chair); Patrick Vernon (Vice Chair); Martin Rathfelder (Director); Chris Bain; Ruth Bucky; Seton During; Brian Fisher; Tom Fitzgerald; Vivien Giladi. Christine Hay; Dianne Hayter; John Lipetz; Derek Marcus; David Mattocks; Joy Mostyn; Doug Naysmith M.P.; Lawrie Nerva; Ruby Nerva; Roy Oliver; Suresh Pushpananthan; Jane Roberts; Rosemary Ross.

Prior to the commencement of the AGM, Central Council welcomed the guest speaker – Sarah Price – Director of Public Health for Islington who spoke about the role of the DPH and the developing relationship with local government. Key features of Sarah Price’s talk were:
• Differences between Local Authorities make a one model version of the relationship between local government and public health service unlikely;
• Public Health agenda needs to permeate all aspects of local government activity not just social care;
• Political environment of local authorities poses challenges for public health officials.
Discussion points which followed the talk included:
• Should commissioning pass completely to local authorities rather than primary care trusts?
• Public health personnel be embedded within local authorities;
• Director of Public Health should be director level appointment in local authorities;
• Preventative agenda has higher profile now;
• Councillors need more training in and knowledge of public health agenda.
The meeting thanked Sarah Price for her talk and wished her well in her work in Islington.

1. Apologies: Mair Garside

2. Minutes of 2006 Annual General Meeting accepted;

3. Matters Arising: None that were not to be addressed elsewhere on the agenda. It was announced that Dr Hirum Morley had died and members expressed their sadness at this loss.

4. Chair’s Report: deferred for discussion later in meeting;

5. Auditors’ Report: David Mattocks and Tom Fitzgerald moved that the accounts for the year be accepted albeit that there was a minor discrepancy in our favour.

6. The Constitutional amendment that ‘In Section 16 Annual General Meeting for “May” substitute “March”.’ was accepted nem con.

7. Deferred until later in meeting;

8. Affiliations agreed unanimously:

a. Affliation to national and regional Labour Party and to Labour Party in Scotland and Wales
b. Medact;
c. Patients’ Information Forum;
d. Drugs and Health Alliance;
e. Keep Our NHS Public – deferred to be taken under Chair’s Report;
f. Mental Health Alliance;
g. UK Public Health Alliance
h. Decision on NHS Alliance deferred until next Central Council;

John Lipetz suggested that we have reports on the work of organizations to whom we affiliate.

9. It was agreed that the annual membership fee be waived for Dr Wendy Savage. It was agreed that the SHA needs a ‘life membership protocol’.

10. The minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of Central Council of 13th January 2007 be accepted.

11. The proposed calendar and themes (where agreed) of meetings (2007: July 14th PCTs and the role of GP (Derby) and October 13th; 2008: January 5th Inequality and Health; March 8th; July 5th (Tredegar) ) was accepted. Other proposed themes for meetings included Local Government Health Scrutiny; Public Health and Local Government; Oral Health. Huw Davies had suggested NHS Past Present and Future as theme for 60th Anniversary Events in Tredegar, July 2008 with the SHA’s contribution to be focused on the future.

12. Deferred Chair’s Report:

The Chair reviewed activities in all areas. The Chair then moved on to present his ideas on the way forward for the NHS and stressed the need for a vision of what a ‘non-marketised’ version of the NHS would look like. There followed a discussion in which a range of views was aired on topics such as the purchaser-provider split; commissioning; the pace of changes over the last ten years; the impact of ‘patient choice’; the Government’s present difficulties with the NHS; morale within NHS staff. The Chair stated that the SHA needs to have staked out its position within a six month timetable starting now.

At this point The Director presented his review of activities for the year and plans for the next. The Chair paid tribute to the energy and hard work of the Director throughout the year and congratulated him on his efforts at party conference which were very well received.

13. Deferred: Affiliation to KONP: A discussion ensued as to whether we should continue to affiliate. Some members were concerned by the anti Government stance of KONP; what they perceived as its negative message and its impact on public opinion. Others felt that continued but watchful and reviewable affiliation was still warranted. Others felt that the heart of the KONP message was correct. After further discussion a vote was taken with For:10; Against: 10; Abstentions: 4. The affiliation was agreed on the casting vote of the Chair.

14. Nominations a) elected by ballot of members
Chair: Paul Walker
Secretary: Huw Davies
Treasurer: Gavin Ross
Central Council : Cllr Judith Blakeman, Seton During, Dr Brian Fisher, Tina Funnell, Christine Hay, Diane Hayter, Melanie Johnson, John Lipetz, Derek Marcus, Joy Mostyn, Doug Naysmith MP, David Pickersgill, Suresh Pushpananthan, Dame Jane Roberts, Cllr Mike Roberts, Rosemary Ross, Richard Scorer Ged Taylor, Patrick Vernon, Mike Young.
West Midlands have appointed David Mattocks,
London have appointed Patrick Vernon and Tom Fitzgerald,
Scotland have appointed Ali Syed and Dave Watson
Wales have appointed Dr Eddie Coyle
Unison have nominated Christine Durance.
Amicus have nominated Barrie Brown

Elected at the AGM
Vice Chairs (4) – following ballot of Central Council: Cllr Mike Roberts, Tina Funnell, David Pickersgill, Patrick Vernon
Auditors (2): Tom Fitzgerald David Mattocks
Delegate to Labour Party Conference 2007: Brian Fisher; Jane Roberts
Labour Party NEC: Diane Hayter
Labour Party National Constitutional Committee: Patrick Vernon
Delegates to Socialist Societies Executive: Huw Davies

Co-options proposed: Chris Bain, Dr Elizabeth Barrett.

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