Communications Strategy

The Objective of the SHA is:-

Promoting health and well-being through the application of socialist principles.

We stand for:-

  • Universal Healthcare meeting patients’ needs, free at the point of use, funded by taxation
  • Democracy based on freedom of information, election not selection and local decision making
  • Equality based on equality of opportunity, affirmative action, and progressive taxation.

Our Strategy is:-

  • Discuss and debate issues and views relevant to our objective, drawing on the depth of knowledge and experience within our membership and maintaining links with other organisations which have similar aims
  • Develop policies based on the collective views of our members which promote cooperation rather than competition. Policies will reflect national differences and other context and will be agreed by the Central Council
  • Promote and publicise these policies and campaign for the Labour Party (because at present only Labour offers the possibility of achieving our aims through the democratic process), and other organisations, to adopt these policies
  • Hold a Labour government to account for delivery of agreed policies.

In applying the strategy to our communications we should:-

  • Respect the views of our members and the views of others who we invite to help us
  • Offer all our members opportunities to contribute without discrimination or censorship (but with some editorial control)
  • Deal with the merits of the policy or issue not with the person or organisation advocating it
  • Be open to opinions and views which seek to challenge and develop our established position
  • Look for consensus but not for unanimity
  • Draw clear a distinction between what is our agreed policy or position and what is not
  • Offer a facility on our web site accessible only by members for appropriate discussions.

We should not:-

  • Use language which is offensive or disparaging or denigrate individuals or allege motivation to others
  • Offer support to organisations which do not share our views (CC to determine if unclear)
  • Confuse personal views with the agreed position of the SHA
  • Promote views from organisations (or people) who oppose our aims or policies ( that does not mean we should not publish them or draw attention to them)
  • Publish material from other organisations without making clear it does not represent SHA views or policies.

The above applies to those who communicate officially on behalf of the SHA in England or CC members who might be thought of as communicating on behalf of the SHA.

We will appoint an Editorial Board to ensure consistency and to consider periodically if our communications strategy remains appropriate.  In particular this will cover the content of the web site and any other social media communications (but not Socialism and Health or routine administrative communications).

The Editorial Board will be made up of five members appointed by the Central Council. It will take over from the sub group the work on redesign of the web site.

The Board will:-

  • arbitrate on any disagreement over what the communications policy requires
  • withdraw a member’s access to post on the web site in extreme cases and after due warning
  • provide advice to the Director about possible web site posts offered by non members
  • offer advice to contributors on more effective communication
  • consider any complaints about any SHA communications (and request action if necessary)
  • remove from our web site any material they consider inappropriate
  • request deletion of any SHA related tweet or Facebook entry (or similar) they consider inappropriate
  • request changes to any material that has been posted on the web site
  • offer the Officers and CC advice and suggestions about the effectiveness of communications and media.
  • work with the Director and Officers on the structure and design of the web site.

The Board will meet as required and be authorised to make majority decisions via email. It will be accountable to the Central Council and between meetings to the officers of the association. It will present a report to the AGM and may report periodically to ordinary meetings.

This policy applies primarily to England and Wales. SHA Scotland runs its own on-line presence.