Minutes of SHA Central Council September 2016

Internal governance

Present: Mike Roberts, Brian Gibbons, Chris Bain, Jean Hardiman Smith, Tony Beddow, Judith Varley, James Gill, Hannah Cooke, Tony Jewell, Doug Naysmith, Richard Bourne, John Lipetz, Alex Scott Samuel, Vivien Giladi, John Legrys, Terri Eynon, Thomas Legrys, Vivien Walsh, Jos bell

Apologies for absence: Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe, David Mattocks, Dr Mike Grady, Dr Jane Roberts, Dr Brian Fisher, Rene Smit, Dr Peter Meyer, Catharine Grundy, Dr Patrick French, Alan Wenban-Smith, Alison Scouller, David Taylor-Gooby

  1. The minutes of the last central Council meeting were read and agreed
  2. Matters Arising: Electronic Voting; It was decided it was an officers’ decision whether a matter was urgent and needed to be decided by electronic vote.
  3. Julian Tudor- Hart had sent an email to say that he had resigned as President and he had therefore been removed from the list of officers. It was believed he was dissatisfied with the direction the SHA was taking on neo-liberal marketization, and with the functionality of the organisation. In the last 12 to 18 months there has been a refocussing, but this repositioning has not yet been fully consolidated. There has, though, been a change of policy direction. A question was asked  as to whether it constituted a formal resignation, and the email had gone missing. Alex asked if Julian Tudor-Hart could be formally requested to continue as a member of the SHA who has achieved more than anyone else. (John) Julian is a hero, and it is unanimous we ask him to stay. The SHA is more socialist recently than in the last few years. Make it clear he has done so much. The vote was unanimous: A letter to go from the Chair; Chris B to liaise with Brian F.
  4. Election of Vice Chair: It had been agreed there would be one vice chair role. JL suggested two people be voted as vice chairs as allowed constitutionally. V G suggested it was a good way forward; Tony B and Alex S-S were both voted for and appointed.
  5. Progress in mental health policy; There has been little progress. There is a policy statement on parity of esteem between mental health and physical health, but nobody seemed quite sure of the definition of parity. There is a clear wish that the social causes of ill health must be built into policy making. MR suggested we wait until the national policy forum decides what to do next. In practice there are further cuts to mental health, so mental health budgets are not protected. Welsh legislation is now setting mental health on a statutory basis. While it is remaining a Cinderella service in England, Wales is giving it a higher status. It is important not to forget the needs of children and young people. M R suggested that if the LP reappoint a minister for mental health the SHA should go and talk to them. This was formally proposed. Tony #B said we could do something around parity of esteem, and that we should talk to members in the mental health field. It was agreed to send out for discussion.
  6. Social Care: Simon Duffy and Caroline Glendinning hold differing views on the issues of younger disabled people versus the frail elderly. We need to find a way to combine the best of both sides. There is a separate discussion about money and the boundaries between health and social care. This is less significant if social care was to be free. MR our policy documents on social care are old, but useful. BF we must clarify the issues before we can move forward. This is a part of Brian’s exercise. The National Policy forum is only looking at mental health.
  7. Air Pollution: Jos spoke about how she had to move out of her own home due to air pollution, but how you get a local authority or company to comply with requirements is another matter. Boris Johnston did nothing. Manchester’s air quality is bad. We are not tackling this as an organisation. People are dying due to poor air quality. Other organisations are campaigning, like Friends of the Earth, who are issuing air quality kits, Greenpeace and probably 38 Degrees. Health and the environment work together. Most of our legislation is dictated by the EU and it is a worry it will be downgraded in favour of business. Vivien G: The SHA should take up the issue. V to forward a paper. CB will make contact with SERA? Hammersmith/Fulham have a community project. Climate change can be a wider brief.
  8. JL: BF, A S-S and Jane R are reviewing all policies. Tony B has produced an email with useful commentaries. We need to set a date to consider our improved policies and decide what to campaign on. Suggestion; To set up a working commission. We should produce a first draft for the first council after January. Public health should include air pollution. Tony J to formulate a group to look at public health to bring policies up to date. The same for care and mental health. Draft to Central Council after January. Tony Jewell: The Murray Trust had some money. Maybe we could ask for a grant to ask academics to prepare something. Alex: we would be filling in the gaps to produce a document for discussion – putting things up for decision by central council. Hannah? To try to mend different areas of the UK might not work as there are three parallel streams, for example social care is free in Scotland, prescriptions free in Wales. Group agreed to consist of Tony J, Tony B, Jean, Alex, Vivien G, John, Hannah, Brian F. Document to be sent to group by MR, Brian F to coordinate
  9. Management of finances to be in hands of officers; seconded by JL Agreed. MR will produce a proposed constitutional amendment for the AGM.