Socialist Health Association Central Council Minutes

Internal governance

Minutes of the meeting held on 20th September 2014 in Manchester


 Accepted as circulated

Minutes of 7th June

Accepted as a true and accurate record

Matters arising



Council Members recognised that MR had been placed under significant stress. It was also recognised that MR could see no value in continuing with mediation. The Chair confirmed that he had no problems working with MR.

Members discussed the merits in a further piece of work to bring closure to the issue of mediation.

It was agreed to delegate authority to the Officers Group to commission a short piece of work to establish whether there was any scope for further mediation


There remain a number of issues outstanding:

  • The use of working groups and how that is managed?
  • The issue of Vice Chairs, how many do we need? What should their role be?
  • Who is MR’s line manager?
  • Equalities
  • Transparency

There was some discussion about whether decisions about campaigning were a governance issue

It was agreed that a further report should be brought back to Central Council

National Policy Forum

Feedback included that it was important for health and social care to work out of their normal silos, and that some progress has been made on Mental Health issues.

All of the Resolutions from Socialist Societies had been accepted, although a resolution committing Labour to a Wealth Tax had been lost

It was also agreed that after Conference some work would be needed to co-ordinate all of the outputs

The NPF document is not yet policy, although it should be after it is agreed by Conference

Other issues included:

Does the Health and Social Care Act contravene the Human Rights Act? For example through discrimination for those with Learning Disabilities

The Agenda has been moved by organisations such as the SHA, KONP and others. The challenge is to translate that into real outcomes

The NPF document is reasonable although there are gaps such as silo working on issues such as Housing and Planning, PFI, and funding.

General Election

Members views included:

  • We should look to mobilise health professionals in marginal constituencies.
  • Should we be seen to support the Efford Bill? Should we be building a coalition around the Efford Bill?
  • Labour should be looking to broaden out the agenda beyond the normal health debates
  • The SHA should primarily be influencing and promoting Labour Party, but should not be afraid to attack others
  • We should not presume that others have no interest in more detailed matters regarding the NHS
  • We need to overcome the perception that the SHA does not campaign seriously on behalf of the NHS
  • The SHA could play a role in educating Parliamentary and Local Government candidates on health matters
  • We need to look at working with others to extend our reach and influence
  • Is the NHS really the key issue? Is the deficit or immigration more significant?
  • Are there examples of the SHA campaigning effectively with medics?
  • Fundamentally, do we want to be seen as a Socialist organisation or a Labour organisation? How much conflict is there between those two things?
  • Labour needs to build credibility as regards economic policy. Is that in conflict with the policy we would wish to see regarding the NHS?