Chair’s Report to Annual General Meeting

Internal governance

The crucial role for the SHA must be to influence the Labour Party to adopt the policies we advocate.  I am pleased with the substantive and well-argued document we have developed over the last few months, with contributions from many in the SHA.  I hope the AGM approves the document which shows the value of tapping into the knowledge and experience within the association.

I believe that Labour policy has moved along the direction we support and we should continue to support Andy Burnham.

I am pleased to have had constructive relationships with our supporting trade unions and with KONP.  We are meeting collectively to look at where our policies differ to try to avoid conflicting positions.

have enjoyed meeting colleagues in Wales and Scotland and West Midlands.  I strongly support the idea of an SHA with a federated structure and would like to see a Branch developed in the East.

We have had many excellent discussions both at our meetings and also through the web site and emails.  We have not been good at translating discussions into decisions and clear policies; something the new Officers should consider.  We also need urgently to decide how best to ensure our policies are adopted through the Labour Party policy making processes.

Whilst I can respect the views of those who wish to weaken or even end our relationship with the Labour Party and the Trade Unions I do not agree and believe that it would signal the end of the SHA as we know it.

We have also had unpleasant and inappropriate exchanges, which I regret.  I have proposed two changes to our rules to try to prevent these situations from recurring.  One makes clear all groups must have proper terms of reference and make and record decisions properly. The second makes clear that general administration and issues between Central Council meetings should be dealt with by the Officers and Directors acting together in an open and transparent way.

I do not support the raft of changes being proposed to the rules and I expressed this view to the group – although I was not able to meet with them as I requested.  The changes are a reminder of the destabilization of our NHS caused by major governance changes which did not reflect the views of those that the changes were imposed on.  The changes do not reflect the experience of the current and past officers and would make the SHA bureaucratic and unwieldy. The changes to the role of the Director are so far reaching they could only be made by consent.