Minutes of SHA Central Council June 2017

Internal governance

SHA Central Council – 17th June 2017, 1.00 – 4.00 pm

Unite HQ, London


Present: Tony Beddow, Steve Bedser, Jos Bell, Lawrence Cotter, Helen Cranage, David Davies, Brian Fisher, Tom Fitzgerald, Brian Gibbons, Vivien Giladi, James Gill, Tony Jewell, Sina Lari, Irene Leonard, John Lipetz, Peter Mayer, Katrina Murray, Mike Roberts, Gavin Ross, Rosemary Ross, Onkar Sahota, Alex Scott-Samuel, Alison Scouller, Rene Smit, Andrew Thompson, Roy Trevelyan, Judith Varley, Vivien Walsh, Neil Nerva

In attendance: Martin Rathfelder

Apologies: Catharine Grundy, Gurinder Singh Josan, David Mattocks, Doug Naysmith, Aysha Raza. Jean Hardiman Smith, Fiona Twycross, Caroline Walsh

1 The Chair, Alex Scott-Samuel welcomed everyone to the meeting. In view of Jean’s absence due to ill health, a volunteer minute taker was requested and Jos Bell volunteered.

2 Mike Roberts asked for a minute’s silence to pay respect to Jo Cox, murdered a year ago, and to all those lost or injured in recent tragic events at Manchester Arena, Westminster, London Bridge and Grenfell Tower. Jos Bell requested that we also pay respect to our first response and emergency services colleagues and those involved in the long term care of survivors. Mike and Jos sit on the LAS forum and had also assisted at emergency collection centres. Austerity cuts in police and fire services are now rightly questioned.

Jos also raised the related Public Authority (AccountabilityBill 2016-17 (Hillsborough Law) worked up by Andy Burnham in April which has brought together key campaigns such as Hillsborough, the Contaminated Blood scandal, Orgreave, Truth About Zane, Deepcut, Birmingham 21, Shrewsbury 24, all of which involve demonstrable public sector negligence. Alex asked Jos to write a blog on this.

3 Central Council Minutes, 8.3.17

3.1 Steve Bedser: omission in minutes of his proposal re the need for CC to acknowledge all 8 equality characteristics in vice chair elections.

3.2 Vice Chairs

Alison Scoular and Tony Beddow were welcomed in their newly elected roles. Alison would deputise as Chair in Alex’s absence and due to his patial sightedness, had also agreed to act as ‘Alex’s eyes’ during meetings to indicate those who wish to speak.

3.3 John Lipetz asked for clarification about expenses for the AGM. John also proposed and it was agreed that AGM issues would be addressed at the subsequent CC, rather than wait another 12 months to be actioned.

4 Labour Party Matters

4.1 Election of Conference delegates

Nominated – Alex Scott-Samuel, Jean Hardiman Smith, Jos Bell, Helen Cranage. Elected – Alex Scott-Samuel, Helen Cranage.

4.2 Socialist Societies Exec

Nominated and supported: James Asser – NEC rep; Jos Bell – SHA rep & VC policy; Catherine Atkinson – chair; Heather Staff – secretary; Sina Lari – VC development. The posts will be elected by the Soc Socs exec at its next meeting. When Jos is not able to attend, Vivien Giladi is the named attendee.

4.3 National Policy Forum report

Katrina Murray reported. Due to the fast track election the NPF had to act much more quickly than the usual 2 year policy development timeframe. It was agreed by CC that the speed of the process had produced a much better manifesto than might otherwise have been the case. Katrina said the extra time would allow for additional detailed work, examining what the content would mean in practice. With the possibility of another election looming, all are aware this also needs to be done quickly.

Issues for further discussion: – Has the immediate danger of STPs been addressed? – Need to notify and work with local authorities more closely. – Ensure the breadth of health / public health / social care including links with other areas such as environment and housing is included, as well as ensure Treasury team is on board.

Jos said the Soc Soc Exec had contributed positively to the content of the fast track manifesto. She had been asked to write a brief as to where health linked into other SocSoc priorities.

Katrina and Tony Beddow who are on the NPF, will keep SHA informed of future progress.

Vivien and Mike cited the need to work with Health Campaigns Together – see below.

The Tories’’ Social Care debacle has brought this Cinderella service to the forefront. We must devise what we want and explain it clearly to the electorate.

Other key points : – manifesto has had a good effect on the electorate which we must build upon

– must meet Shadow team and ensure they are in full agreement with principles in our own policy paper

– a fundamental issue is democracy which goes beyond health alone : note that STPs are not statutory but the government is forcing statutory bodies into a position to do their bidding

– our national care service proposals need fine tuning and urgent discussion with local govt where we explore different models and ensure LAs are included (also include Andrew Gwynne in his new role)

Alex asked the meeting to note the Stewart Player blog where he reveals STPs were devised in 2012 at Davos by Simon Stevens and his World Economic Forum colleagues, as an inroad to an insurance based private model. HSJ describes the plan to create the first tranche of accountable care organisations

Key points for action: How prepared are we? How do we react? We must help elected members understand health issues via links and briefings.

5 Report from SHA representatives

Vivien Giladi detailed the work of KONP and Health Campaigns Together and asked whether the SHA is a policy organisation or a campaigning organisation? What is our capacity to do both – including financially?

With the NHS now being trapped in ‘perpetual winter’ due to austerity – and set to be worse with Naylor plans, how far does our current network enable us to support local campaigns outside metro areas?

6. Future Strategy

Alex introduced his paper, saying we need to increase our reach in line with Labour’s expansion. More development and awareness raising are required. Short lie working groups recommended on membership & recruitment; Parliamentary LA and labour movement engagement; Media and communications; HR & Equalities.

Following a wide ranging discussion it was agreed to focus initially on two areas; Policy and Urgent strategy and tactics – and to revisit the remaining proposed groups later in the year.

The above proposal was accepted.

7. Director’s report :

We have two new MPs who are SHA members.

Alex and Martin helped launch a new Liverpool City Region branch in May: Irene Leonard and Helen Cranage are its delegates to CC.

Finance: we have a bigger surplus than before, largely through advertising. The officers are to work up an advertising protocol to ensure all ads are in line with SHA policies and principles.

The Director post has not had a pay rise for 16 years – this has not been wished for by the current Director, who now advises that the organisation should consider funding an increase in good time for recruitment when he chooses to retire.

South Korea Conference – this is an expenses paid invitation in November. Brian Fisher is attending on behalf of SHA.


8.1 Mike R flagged the IPPR report on the impact of air pollution on lungs, dementia, cardiovascular conditions, and the need to support a Clean Air Act.

8.2 Vivien G – following earlier discussion, hopes we can now support KONP and HCT with a financial donation to each.

9 Date of next meeting: Saturday 23rd Sept, Brighthelm Centre, Brighton.

Suggested health and wellbeing additions for the Manifesto raised during the SocSoc Manifesto Meeting. May 2nd 2017.

  1. Overall we would ask that Brexit negotiations are pursued on the basis of protection rather than the dismantling of rights and safeguards and national wellbeing.
  2. The nation’s health should not be driven by austerity but instead driven on the principle that a healthier society is a far more productive one. Health and wellbeing is therefore at the centre of everything we do.
  3. As we state in our SHA Manifesto Paper, we wish to restore the Duty of the Secretary of State and need to reclaim and rescue our NHS by the repeal of legislation which relates to competition, conflict of interest and the hold of privatisation. The private sector should only ever be an add-on to stop patients waiting far too long for treatment – never at the core of NHS delivery.
  4. We must re-establish the National in our NHS through an Act of Parliament which also integrates health and social care – funded through taxation.
  1. We must take a health driven approach to the delivery of key services through local authorities, including education, leisure, childrens services, housing, transport etc ( as per 2015 ).
  2. Measures such as the cost effective integration of 111, 999 and out of hours GP cover will also provide much-needed service improvement, increased wellbeing of both patients and staff and the better use of A&E and UCCs ( as per 2015 ).
  3. Any re-configuration of NHS services such as hospitals, A&E and GPs should never be financially driven – as per STPs. All planning must take into account current and projected population trends and local assets preserved or improved according to clinical need rather than cuts.
  4. We should increase GDP spend on health and care from 6/7% – 9/10%
  5. We want to restore and enhance Sure Start, linking early education with play provision and health initiatives at the most local level. This will also help to regenerate communities which have been badly hit by austerity and the closures of key industries.
  6. Rather than referring to ‘determinants’ etc, it would be clearer to the public to simply refer to this is a commitment to improving investment in public health in terms of what we eat, drink and breathe and how we live in and use the world so that every individual can have the best life chances.
  7. We want to bring back the management of NHS staff under the aegis of the NHS
  8. We want to bring back the management of blood and blood products under the aegis of the NHS – particularly in the light of preventing another contaminated bloods scandal.
  9. Just as raised by LCMH we support any measures to improve MH services & CAMHS – also including the lessening of pressures on young people in the education system.
  10. We want to ensure that all workers in the care sector are provided with a structured profession in the same way as nursing. We must offer unpaid carers of all ages appropriate support and respite – for their own health and wellbeing.
  11. We support SERA in the matter of environmental protections – which fits into our own commitment to public health controls and prevention, to include: Clean water, improving air quality, increased measures for safe planning and construction, landfill controls and management, decent homes, safe transport planning etc. Support for a Clean Air Act. We support green energy measures rather than fossil fuels and fracking.
  1. Support the Irish Soc re their concerns re post-Brexit border issue : in the same way as the rest of the UK is calling for help in protecting EU nationals working in the NHS, also pay additional regard to the impacts on health workers crossing the border each day. Commit to ensuring protections for both workers and the health and care services in which they are employed.
  2. Support the Fabians recommendations re hypothecated funding for health and social care, but add to that with ensuring the likes of Google, Starbucks, Vodafone, Boots etc pay the level of tax for which they responsible along with an added clamp down on tax evasion.
  3. Support Labour Scientists on movement of labour and relieving impact of Brexit on training and education – also links with health workforce and overall generating income to the education sector. Revive support for part-time students.
  4. Support CoTL proposals for access to ethical banking and access to the internet.
  5. Support Labour Lawyers and Disability Labour with respect to protecting the Human Rights Act, restoring access to legal aid, industrial tribunals etc.
  6. In addition commit to continuing with the ‘Hillsborough Law’ Public Authority (Accountability) Bill – which compels public officials to be truthful at inquiries and ensures legal aid for bereaved families which was introduced by Andy Burnham on 29.4.17.
  7. We aim to end homelessness – which is a drain on society, wasting lives with early deaths with a range of measures working with homeless charities, improving access to accommodation and and boosting the foyer movement in conjunction with local health providers to reduce the incidence of TB and other diseases which are on the rise due to increased poverty. We will work with experts in green planning to ensure that we develop in a way which works towards cancelling out housing poverty and in sympathy to the environment.
  8. We will aim to reduce the numbers of families reliant upon foodbanks and other anti poverty measures to redress current negative impacts on the nation’s health.
  9. Tax Credits are meant to be an enabling anti-poverty measure which has been proven to improve the life chances of working parents and their children. They should never be used to demean or threaten women. We must repeal the despicable ‘rape clause’ which has lately been introduced into the Tax Credits application process.
  10. Overall, everything that Labour stands for should continue to be rooted in the principles of equality and actively working against rising poverty and inequality.