Minutes of SHA Central Council January 2016

Internal governance

9th January 2016 at Kings Centre Bristol

  1. Apologies: Accepted as printed on the agenda.

  2. Agenda: Agreed as printed

  3. Minutes of the meeting held on 26th September 2015: The minutes were accepted as true and accurate record.

4 Matters arising

4.1 Devolution Working Group: The Working Group has not yet been convened. Chris Bain agreed to start the process

4.2 Policy Process:

The Birmingham Midland Institute has been booked for the 18th June for the first annual policy meeting. Members agreed that it was still early days for the Shadow Health team which might have an impact on how much they could add to critical thinking at this stage.

Members also heard that there was a lack of clarity about the future of the National Policy Forum. However the NPF has set up some working groups focussing on the economy; international issues; housing; transport; mental health; children and education; crime and policing. More details will be available in the near future. Members also heard that the Policy Forum was working well in Wales.

Members made a range of key points:

The London Mayoral Election has a symbolic importance to the Labour Party
The Party needs to make clear the link between fiscal policy and the range of other policies
Housing is going to be very important
Is the Party going to show that it is anti austerity when it comes to the NHS?
We firstly have to become an effective opposition
Social care is an emerging priority
Karin Smyth made a number of points:

There will be Tory attacks on Wales and we must find a way to fight back
Jeremy Corbyn is a signatory to the NHS Bill
There does not seem to be a clear Party position on devolution. We need clarity on issues such as funding and social care
A Commission on the NHS is being mooted. LP will oppose it if it moves us back towards privatisation
Might we learn from the Welsh experience? Have a learning event with someone from Wales. Mark Drakeford was suggested. This was agreed by Members.
Karin then left the meeting

Brian Fisher identified 4 gaps in SHA policy:

  • Personal Health Budgets
  • Social Care
  • Quality Control
  • Resource allocations and health inequalities

These were agreed as our immediate priorities. It was also agreed that seminars should be held to develop policies in these areas

It was also agreed that we needed a statement to clarify our position regarding the current state of the NHS. There are two paradoxical messages:

  • The NHS is the best healthcare system in the world
  • The NHS is in chaos and on the point of collapse

Jane Roberts agreed to develop a draft signature statement and circulate for comment and agreement.

4.3 Campaigning:

Members made a number of key points:

We needed to increase both the heat and the light on social care
We should support Health Campaigns Together, but individual organisations needed to set their own agendas
There is to be a major event at the London Welsh Centre on 30th January
We need regional events on social care
With Junior Doctors opening up a new front will there be interest in social care?
Will social care be shouted down given that it has no industrial base?
We need a narrative which looks outside the silos at the care system as a whole
Integration remains a major challenge
Austerity is having a huge impact in social care, with Local Authorities having to close a 30% funding gap
Should we put something on the website which says “This is what austerity really means for people”?
Should we bring Occupational Health within the NHS? Do we have the resources? First step is to take some soundings to see if there is support

5 Labour Party Issues: The National Policy Forum review is still happening

6 Policy Issues: Members agreed that these had been largely covered in discussions under Item 4

7 Branch Reports

  • North East Branch: Members agreed that this should include South Shields for an initial period of 12 months. The position can then be determined locally
  • Wales: SHA Wales has made a significant contribution to the Policy Forum, including a proposal on Primary Care which was adopted.  Organ Donation legislation has been adopted. The Welsh Assembly is looking at the Safe Staffing Bill, including inputs from the SHA. There are new targets for the ambulance services. A National Hospital Board is being established. It seems possible that there will be a coalition after the Elections in May. SHA Wales will then have to consider its position regarding working with other Parties. There should be an independent constitutional commission on Devolution
  • London: A written report was submitted (below)

26th Jan 6.45. – 8.45. House of Commons – Public Health in the face of a fallen budget – with Andrew Gwynne and specialists to discuss :

Whole child paediatric prevention re diet and exercise
Air quality
Input into Sadiq’s campaign

Feb – date tbc next week: A care service fit for Londoners with Barbara Keeley & care specialists to discuss :

Care at home
Care homes
Young carers
The impact of sanctions – linking up with Debbie
Input into Sadiq’s camaign

Had I attended I was going to ask a question which several London members have asked – for CLPs who wish to affiliate they would prefer the funds to come direct to the London branch. Can we please set this up? We have so far fundraised £500, but this would be a helpful addition and would encourage more CLP affiliations.

Members agreed to discuss the last point regarding finances as part of the agenda for the Devolution Working Group

8 Next meeting: AGM 5th March in Manchester