Minutes of SHA AGM 5th March 2016

Internal governance

At Manchester Quaker Meeting House

Andrew Gwynne (Shadow Public Health Minister)

Andrew gave a wide ranging contribution. Key points included:

  • All legislation should ensure it is health and wellbeing compliant
  • A national health and wellbeing strategy from a future Labour Government should have the reduction of health inequalities at its heart
  • We should be challenging the Government to publish its childhood obesity strategy
  • The “Responsibility Deal” has not worked, and corporations have been allowed to pull back from it. A clear lack of leadership from the Government.
  • AG is working with colleagues from Local Government across a whole range of public services and policies.
  • He is looking to move public health to the centre of Labour Party policy moving towards the 2020 election

A discussion followed. Key points made:

  • Privatisation in social care has created huge problems
  • Is the 7 day NHS the most socialist policy?
  • We need to reflect the social determinants of health
  • What about early years (Sure Start reinvented?)
  • We need clear support for the junior doctors
  • We need a commonly agreed definition of health and well being
  • Surely social care must also be free at the point of delivery?
  • Tackling inequalities will be a challenge
  • Will the NHS Reinstatement Bill mean another top down reorganisation?
  • The Labour Party must oppose the marketization of the NHS

The Chair thanked Andrew for a most helpful, open and frank session.


Formal Business of the AGM

1. Apologies – Accepted as printed on the agenda

2. Minutes of the 2015 Annual General Meeting – Accepted as true and accurate record

3 Matters arising not elsewhere on the agenda – None

4 Officers to be elected

4a Elected by a ballot of members- The Officers of the Association were agreed as listed on the agenda:

  • Chair: Chris Bain
  • Secretary: Jean Hardiman Smith
  • Treasurer: Jane Roberts DBE

The members of Central Council were agreed as listed on the agenda:

Richard Bourne, Mike Roberts, Rene Smit, Dr Alex Scott-Samuel, Tom Fitzgerald, David Mattocks, Judith Varley, Vivien Giladi, Dr Mike Grady, Jean Hardiman Smith, Dr Zahid Chauhan, Dr Doug Naysmith, Dr Brian Gibbons, David Ll Davies, Dr Brian Fisher, Dr Ivan Benett, Dr Tony Jewell, Patrick Vernon, James Gill.

5 To note other members of the Central Council

  • West Midlands (4):
  • London (6): Jos Bell, Michael English, Dr Patrick French, John Lipetz, Dr Aysha Raza, Caroline Walsh
  • Scotland (2): Dave Watson, Katrina Murray
  • Wales (2): Alison Scouller, Tony Beddow
  • North East (2): David Taylor-Gooby, Robert Buckley
  • Manchester (3): Dr Hannah Cooke, Prof Vivien Walsh

National Organisations

  • Unison: Guy Collis
  • Unite:Barrie Brown
  • Society of Radiographers:
  • GMB

6 Officers to be elected at the AGM

Auditors: Dr Tom Fitzgerald, David Mattocks

Agreed as printed on the agenda

7. Annual Report

The Annual Report was accepted by the AGM. There was discussion about the use of social media, a suggestion that the SHA should put out a tweet encouraging people to join a picket line in the Junior Doctors dispute. A Facebook Page for Junior Doctors was also suggested.

8 Financial and Audit Report

The Director reported that finances are relatively stable. There was a £3k surplus in the year and reserves currently stand at approximately £20k.

There was discussion about affiliation fees to the regional Labour Parties, can we challenge them? Are legacies an area that might be developed? There is small (£2-3k) education orientated fund which might be used to fund policy development events. Members asked that the budget be circulated.

Regions reported the following:

  • Wales:  Income £249.15, Expenditure £223.15, Balance in hand: £560.39
  • Scotland: Income £42.10, Expenditure £120.66 Balance in hand: £216.80  
  • London: Income £635 Expenditure £241.97 Balance in hand £393.03 
  • West Midlands: Income £280.00, Expenditure £112.60 Balance in hand £3256.00
  • North East: Balance in hand: £40
  • Manchester: Balance in hand: £nil

Acceptance of the Financial and Audit Report was moved and agreed.

9. Proposed affiliations to other organisations

  • Labour Party centrally and Regional Labour Parties
  • Medact
  • James Lind Alliance
  • Drugs and Health Alliance
  • Smokefree Action
  • Keep Our NHS Public – delegates report
  • National Voices

All were agreed with the exception of the regional Labour Parties. Members agreed that the SHA should conduct negotiations about the affiliation fees.

10 Resolutions

  1. Branches may affiliate to local Labour parties or any other organisations compatible with the objects of the Association.  Any decisions in respect of the procedures of the Labour Party, such as in relation to the selection of candidates, shall be made by the branch.  Any member in an area where there is no branch who wishes to be a delegate to any local Labour party or any other organisation shall notify the Honorary Secretary and confer with them in respect of any such decisions.  Proposed: Doug Naysmith.

The AGM felt there were unresolved issues regarding the selection of candidates and the reference to the Labour Party in the last sentence. The resolution was deferred

  1. The Association supports the Ethical Care Charter, and urges local council to subscribe to it. Proposed Jos Bell.

An amendment/addition to the resolution was proposed to widen it to more of a Social Care Charter. The wording “the way we would like to see social care develop and we oppose the cuts to social care services” was agreed.

  1. In the light of the support of Labour’s Leader, Shadow Chancellor, of many other Labour MPs, and of many SHA members, SHA should do everything in its power to support the NHS Bill prior to its second reading on March 11. This should include emails to all Labour MPs informing them of SHA’s support for the Bill, and similar support messages on the SHA website, Facebook and Twitter. Proposed Alex Scott-Samuel.

SHA believes:

1. That at this pivotal moment in the fight to save the NHS, the Labour Party can play a crucial and irreplaceable role.

2. That Labour’s policy and stance on the NHS and health is in a number of respects stuck in the pre-Corbyn era:

  • Inadequate support for the junior doctors’ strike and NHS student bursary struggles.
  • Failure to make a clear commitment to reversing cuts, outsourcing and privatisation and reinstating the NHS as a universal, comprehensive, publicly owned, funded and provided service meeting clinical need.
  • Promoting the idea of integrating health and social care, without making clear if this would mean social care becoming a free public service. Otherwise integration could mean extending privatisation in the NHS.

SHA resolves

  • To campaign for Labour to commit clearly to reversing cuts, outsourcing and privatisation and reinstating the NHS as a comprehensive, publicly owned, funded and provided service meeting clinical need. This should include an end to the use of PFI and a serious solution to the problem of PFI debts; and an expansion of democratic control in the NHS.
  • To campaign for the party to commit to social care becoming a free, publicly owned, funded and provide service.
  • To campaign for much stronger Labour support for the doctors’ strike, the NHS bursary fight and other health workers’ struggles – including by Labour MPs and Shadow Ministers attending picket lines, and by the party working with the TUC to organise a national demo in support of the BMA.
  • To work on this with other Labour NHS campaigns, including Momentum NHS.

There was extensive discussion regarding the resolution. Members agreed with the aims of the resolution. Members further agreed that support for the Bill was essential if the SHA was to remain credible.

An addition calling for a monthly report on progress from the Director was not agreed

The resolution as printed on the agenda was agreed by a near unanimous vote.

11 Proposed future meetings of the Central Council – Were agreed as printed.