Socialist Health Association Central Council Minutes

Minutes of the meeting held at Unite, Holborn 7th June 2014

Present: Robert Buckley, Richard Bourne, Doug Naysmith,  Gavin Ross, Tony Beddow, John Lipetz,  Katrina Murray, Richard Grimes,  Chris Bain, Joe Farrington-Douglas,  Hannah Cooke,  Brian Fisher, Jos Bell, Barrie Brown, David Taylor-Gooby, Alison Scouller, Patrick French, David Davies, Vivien Giladi, Shibley Rahman, Tom Fitzgerald, Patrick Vernon, Steve Adshead, Hannah Cooke, Jane Roberts, Noemi Fabry, Mike Roberts.

Agenda of the meeting, and documentation

1. Apologies: Councillor Sanchia Alasia, David Pickersgill, Dr Tony Jewell, David Mattocks, Alan Wenban-Smith, Dr Peter Mayer,  Melanie Johnson

2. Chair’s business:

Barrie Brown reported back on a teleconference that had taken place on 5th June at 9.30am. The key points were:

  • The conduct at the previous Central Council meetings was unprecedented and had given rise to concerns about whether the SHA was able to be an effective campaigning organisation.
  • A piece of work was needed to establish whether there was still scope for mediation
  • The Central Council should consider adopting a protocol for conduct and behaviour of members
  • The SHA needed to be reaffirmed and it’s objectives restated. The KONP has received support because it has been an effective campaigner and the SHA needs to improve it’s performance
  • The SHA also has the advantage of being able to draw on the skills and experience of its membership to inform policy development
  • The SHA needed to improve it’s Equalities performance

There was a wider discussion including:

In addition to protocols there needed to be a requirement for a declaration of interests by CC members

Will the Unions continue to support and fund the SHA?

Papers needed to be circulated in adavance to give members the best chance of participating

Diversity and Governance issues would need to be addressed

Equalities needed to include promoting the needs of disabled citizens, equalities in it’s widest sense

The Report from Barrie Brown was accepted. Actions were

  • There should be a teleconference to set the Terms of Reference for mediation. All Officers including the Vice Chairs to be included
  • Protocols for conduct and behaviour to be developed
  • The scope for mediation needed to be established and agreed
  • The SHA needs to find a way of reaffirming it’s purpose
  • The SHA needs to take action on Equalities (building on Jane Robert’s work).
  • The SHA should ensure transparency in what it does, including the requirement for declarations of interest from CC members

It was agreed to move on to next business.

3. Minutes of the meeting of Central Council 26th April 2014

4. Matters arising:

It was clarified that the paper on Public Health had been adopted as our policy. The issue was that there was a lack of clarity about whether it had been fed into the  Labour Party policy making process. The meeting concluded that it did not  appear to have been submitted, the reasons for that were not clear.

There was a view that the CC had agreed not to affiliate to the NHS Alliance.  There was also a proposal to continue affiliation. It was agreed to defer consideration of the matter to the next Central Council meeting.

It was agreed that the election process should be reviewed by Officers

5. Amendments to Your Britain considered:

Health and Care

Page 3

H1 accepted, but not prioritised: Line 40 insert ”Austerity at the same time as cutting the welfare state kills people. We need to invest more in the NHS which is effectively suffering a cut, not a freeze. Renegotiate PFIs where necessary – we cannot any longer allow corporations to hold the NHS to ransom. 90% of NHS work happens in the community which needs more investment, not only to offer a better service but to be able, where appropriate, to offer services that would otherwise have been delivered in hospitals. We make no assumption that community care is always cheaper than hospital care, but it may be in some places for some services.

H2 amended and prioritised Page 4 line 7 Delete second paragraph and replace with:-

“Labour will restore the duty of the Secretary of State to deliver a comprehensive, universal NHS overwhelmingly publicly provided and entirely publicly managed and will give the Secretary of State the power to give directions to any part of the NHS.”

H3 Not agreed: Insert “Under Labour there will be no more top-down re-organisation of the NHS during the next Parliament”.

H4 amended and prioritised: line 12 Delete first sentence of the third paragraph and replace with:-

“Labour will deliver an NHS that values and promotes collaboration and cooperation. Labour will remove any legal or other barriers which prevent or deter cooperation including any which seek to require NHS services to be competitively tendered.   Labour will replace the system of procurement through commissioning with a system where publicly funded care services are planned and decisions about services and funding are made through open and transparent democratically accountable processes drawing on experiences in Scotland and Wales, where health outcomes on a par with England are delivered for about 10% less cash than comparable English regions .”

H5 amended and prioritised: add ”The NHS will no longer have either an internal nor external market. It will no longer pretend that Foundation Trusts are free-standing competitive corporations. The duty of the Secretary of State to ensure a comprehensive NHS will be restored. The private sector will only be allowed to offer patient services if the NHS cannot improve or they can show genuine innovation. ”

H6 amended and prioritised: Line 30 delete sentence beginning “Instead, we need…” Insert “The health service must ensure collective and individual accountability throughout. NHS services must be responsive, working closely with local authorities, to needs and wants of the populations they serve, as part of a long term dialogue. All care must be delivered with as much participation in shared decision-making as the patient wishes at the time. In particular, all planning functions must be democratically accountable. We will ensure the engagement of patients and family / carers in the care process as co-producers of health outcomes and the provision of good information to patients to enable them to be actively engaged. Values of known importance to patients such as dignity and respect should be fully demonstrated in every service provided for each patient. This should be informed by widely available and meaningful information about the performance of and outcomes from health care services.

It is essential that the NHS should retain the confidence of the taxpayer and its users. Transparent, accessible and independently validated comparative performance data should be used to indicate the effectiveness of the NHS. This will describe its effectiveness at two levels, national and local.

Nationally, UK comparative performance in terms of health inputs, care processes and patient outcomes (both patient and clinician reported) will be used to ensure the NHS matches the performance of the best European systems. The average length of life both attained and forecast at national and sub national levels, the number of life years lost, and the quality of life in key respects (especially for the last decade of life) will inform these measures. The independence of the public health function is important; the Chief Medical Officer will be required to submit an annual report directly to Parliament charting progress in these areas.

Locally NHS services – both directly provided and franchised – will be compared and reported on a number of key indicators. These will include:

  • Timeliness of access for diagnostic, elective, and emergency care at primary and secondary locations
  • Clinical quality of care in terms of outcomes and adherence to evidence based treatment protocols
  • Patient experience of the whole care process and the extent of “co-production”
  • Utilisation of human, financial, estate and consumable resources
  • The efficacy of local peer review mechanisms

Local authorities have a key role to play in holding local health care services to account for their performance and this must be strengthened through a return to grant funding models rather than relying upon commissioning ( or similar words inserted by Tony ).

Page 5

H7 Amended and prioritised: Line 25 insert ” The financial and other incentives to promote change and cooperation between health sectors and between health and local authorities will be used alongside clinically intelligent and appropriate targets. ”

H8 Amended: “The third sector often plays a crucial role in providing services through supporting people to live at home, and providing advocacy and rehabilitation services. NHS agencies and commissioned providers will therefore be expected to play their part in ensuring that every locality has a thriving third sector largely funded by grants rather than contracts. NHS organisations will be expected to take an active part in neighbourhood partnerships and to encourage users and carers groups to do so.

H9 amalgamated with H8

H10 not considered: Page 6 Line 12 insert “One of the most effective tools for integration of care is to enable all providers to use a common electronic record, over which the patient controls access.”

H11 subsumed into H8

Page 7

H12 not considered (covered by H8) : Line 3 insert ” So we will direct all health agencies and commissioned services to support and assist carers’ groups and other groups dedicated to supporting older people in their own communities. ”

H13 not considered, could be included in H6: Line 20 insert: ”The NHS will ensure that clinicians and patients share decisions to the extent the patient wants to. This will require incentives, training and technical interventions such as online access to records and Decision Aids, as well as strengthening Healthwatch and making it more independent. ”

Page 8

H14 not considered: Line 6 insert ” (In addition to strengthening Healthwatch) we will require health agencies and providers to support and work with the local community and voluntary sector as a whole, since all the issues that they deal with have an impact on health. We will ensure there is less insistence on inspection and more on listening to staff and patients. Whistleblowers will be protected. Staff/patient ratios will be adequate for safe care. On the job pastoral and mutual support to help staff deal with the emotional burden of their work – and to encourage compassion and care.”

H15 Amended, prioritised: line 18 In Section entitled – The future of social care.

After second paragraph add:-

“Labour believes that it is time to accept that social care should be placed on the same basis as health care; cover for all, contributed to by all and free at the point of need. The case for all care being free is the same as the original case for free health care.   Labour will work towards delivering on the aspiration of free care building on the Care Bill provisions which extend social free care to some.”

(Proposal from Labour Party Disabled Members Group)

Add at the end “Policies which take away the independence of the disabled and cause deteriorating health as a consequence are costly and cruel. An incoming of Labour Government will not implement the current Government’s proposals to end the Independent Living Fund (ILF) in June 2015 and will instead initiate a full review of disabled people’s independent living. As part of that review Labour will look to use National and local government purchasing power to drive down prices of disability related equipment and services, including insurance. Labour will also look at ways of reducing the cost of social care for disabled people and their local authorities without reducing the quality of services delivered.”

Agreed that further work would need to be done by the Director and Officers to produce 10 amendments, which had to be submitted by Friday 12th June.

5.       Delegates to Labour Party Conference

It was agreed that Stephen Adshead and Jos Bell should be the SHA delegates to Conference

5        Future meetings

The next Central Council meeting to be in Manchester on 20th September 2014