Policy Digest 1988

NUPE & COHSE Demonstrating against privatisation of hospital cleaning
NUPE & COHSE Demonstrating against privatisation of hospital cleaning at Addenbrookes


Is opposed to AIDS testing taking place without patients’ consent. Where there is a risk of contamination to health workers, all patients should be treated as potentially antibody positive.


Recognises that career structures in clinical disciplines in the hospital service are unsatisfactory, particularly in psychiatry. Government should establish senior posts for therapists, and ensure that junior staff are seconded and funded for training in therapeutic skills.


Requests that Health Authorities be instructed to establish efficient methods of giving women the results of cervical smear tests.


i) Is committed to democratic control of the NHS.

  • a) The Health Service would remain a national service, under control of the appropriate minister, and funded centrally to an appropriate level in accordance with nationally-determined minimum standards.
  • b) At the lowest tier, control would be by a District Committee consisting of two thirds elected lay members and one third elected staff representatives.
  • c) Election to such District Health Committees would take place on the same day as local authority elections.
  • d) The election of staff representatives would be the responsibility of the NHS TUC-affiliated unions. Individuals qualified to be candidates in the staff section would be ineligible to stand in the lay section.
  • e) All contracts of staff employed at District level would be held by DHC concerned.
  • f) DHC would liase with local authorities to ensure that appropriate policies for preventative health were adopted in the fields of social services, housing and education.
  • g) DHC would have a duty to consult regularly with consumers of health care and concerned groups, and would have power to co-opt individuals onto its committees.

iii) a) Believes in an adequately-financed and democratically-controlled NHS.

In order to secure the widest agreement to the consultative document developed jointly by SHA, COHSE and NUPE agrees to support the proposals and amend the SHA policy on democratisation adopted at 1985 AGM.

iv) Supports the London Health Democratisation Campaign’s Charter for a Democratic Health Service, and agrees to work closely with the campaign to develop a strategy for successfully democratising the NHS.


i) Believes that doctors working in primary care services should be whole-time salaried employees. In a move towards the eventual abolition of the independent contractor status of GPs urges a Labour Government to introduce an attractive salary option and service conditions tailored to the special needs of improving inner city practice.

ii) Believes all out of hours service should be provided by trained principals in general practice either by groups working their own out of hours rotas or by an NHS co-operative of general practitioners. All general practitioners, even salaried practitioners, must undertake a share of out of hours work.

iii) Is committed to increasing the numbers of women in all senior hospital posts, but especially in obstetrics and gynaecology.

iv) Is in favour of empowering FPCs to revoke the right to practice of independent contractors whose premises are (a) of inadequate standard and/or (b) are inaccessible for unaccompanied disabled patients. National standards to be established in consultation with professional associations and consumer representatives.

v) Believes GP services should be re-organised to make them more accountable to the public.

vi) In order to prevent abuse of NHS resources, believes that hospital medical officers working in the NHS should work exclusively in the service and not be entitled to seek private practice.


i) Is committed to setting up a limited list of drugs.

ii) Favours an investigation of the whole subject of drug promotion.

iii) Favours legislation to force pharmaceutical, cosmetic and allied companies to fund research into alternative testing methods that do not use animals. The out-dated LD50 test should be abolished.

iv) Calls for hospital Drug and Therapeutic Committees to include representatives of local GPs and community pharmacists.


i) Calls for re-opening of Black enquiry into child leukaemia in Cumbria, urgent investment in an immediate building programme to ensure that spent nuclear fuel rods may be stored safely and “dry”, the closure of Sellafield, and investment in other industries in Cumbria to ensure that Sellafield’s 15,000 workers are not out of a job when the plant eventually closes.

ii) Urges programmes to:

  • a) shut down all nuclear power stations,
  • b) find safe alternative to fossil fuel,
  • c) clean up acid rain from coal and oil fired power stations (levels of acid rain to the reduced to levels recommended and adopted by other EEC countries, and
  • d) immediately decommission all Magnox nuclear power stations and any other nuclear power station installations without secondary containment.


Believes that a patient of any age has the right to consult a doctor for contraceptive advice in complete confidence.


Favours the establishment of L.A. Health Committees (such as the one in Leeds).


i) Believes Warnock Report proposals, imposing a 14 day time limit and establishing a licensing body for embryo research, are misguided and unnecessary. Instead guidelines for experiments on foetuses and foetal material and the responsibilities of existing official committees should be extended to cover such research.

ii) Welcoming advances in treatment of infertility, believes that such treatment should be available within the NHS to all who seek it regardless of marital status, sexual orientation, social or economic circumstances. However, recognising the complicated emotional factors involved and the present low success rates believes that counselling should be available to all who seek treatment.


i) Believes Labour Party should put health and NHS in the forefront of its campaigns and shall further develop policies to create a healthier Britain and expand the NHS. The emphasis of campaigns to be:

  • a) the right of people to live and work in a healthy environment
  • b) the iniquity of private practice and the harmful effects on the NHS of private health insurance
  • c) the exploitation of patients and taxpayers by the drug companies, and
  • d) the development of the NHS to improve standards.


i) Believes private hospital should not enjoy charitable status, and further believes that charges to patients for private medical services (other than those provided by family planning, abortion and psychotherapy charities) should be subject to VAT.

ii) Deplores increased dental charges.


i) Opposes proposals in Griffiths Report of 1984 which will:

a) reduce the public accountability of the NHS because of the increased powers given to chairpersons of health authorities and the reduced powers of ordinary health authority members, and

b) centralise decision making.

ii) Re-affirms its belief that the NHS requires democratic control and worker participation.

iii) Urges re-establishment of post of Medical Officer of Health, and review of the role of the Community Physician.


Believes agency nurses must not be employed in the NHS. If some special hospitals have difficulty in recruiting nurses at present rates of pay, incentive payments should be offered by DHSS.


i) Urges setting up of a working party to draft proposals for a Patients’ Charter of Rights. Wide consultation within Labour and Trade Union movement to take place.

ii) Patients should have access to their own medical records within a policy which takes into account professional concern about confidentiality.


Declares total opposition to the government’s plans to privatise large sections of the NHS, especially cleaning, catering and laundry functions.


i) Re-affirms its belief that women should be offered the widest possible choice in control over-pregnancy and childbirth.

ii) Arising from the “Wendy Savage case“, calls for a review of disciplinary procedure (HM (61)/112) for medical and dental staff.


Believes the role of the prison medical service is punitive rather than therapeutic and demands its abolition, replacing it by making available to prisoners the services of general practitioners of their own choice.


i) Believes all government policies should be designed to prevent illness and create a healthier Britain.

ii) Believes that local authorities, in conjunction with their health authorities, should produce an annual audit report on their districts health to be used in policy development and resource allocation.

iii) Believes that many claimants fail to take up their full entitlement, and urges local authorities and health authorities to provide facilities for continuous in-service training to maintain a level of awareness and update information on welfare rights.

iv) Believes that in audits of General Practice, a method of obtaining consumers’ views should be devised.


i) Believes the provision of school meals should be compulsory in all state schools and adequately funded to ensure that nourishing meals are available.

ii) Calls for healthier nutrition in all schools, NHS and social services institutions. Managers and staff should be given training in preventative health; and a low fat, low sugar, and low salt diet should be the goal in all schools, colleges, hospitals and other institutions.


i) Calls on DHSS to ban smoking by staff, patients and visitors in all NHS premises. Where it may be considered necessary to allow certain categories of patients in hospitals to smoke, this should be allowed only in a self-contained room set apart for the purpose. Cigarettes should not be sold in any NHS premises.

ii) Opposes the sponsorship of sport and the arts by tobacco manufacturers.

iii) Calls on the Labour Party to recommend to its membership that smoking be banned at all LP meetings and conferences.

iv) Calls on all Labour DHA members to get their own DHA to prohibit smoking by all staff whilst on duty at NHS hospitals.


Urges enhancement of the status and pay of speech therapists, and encouragement for people to take up this profession.


opposes privatisation of the water authorities, increased water charges, and the introduction of widespread metering.


Believes YTS trainees should be treated as workers in training and allowed to receive, as a right, proper sickness benefit for industrial injury. Any time taken off through industrial injury should be properly compensated for, and should also be added on to the duration of the training scheme.