Early last year Dr Julian Tudor-Hart resigned as honorary president of SHA. Julian was the first person to fulfil this symbolic. role (though in earlier decades the role currently known as Chair had been called President).
The Constitution allows Central Council to appoint to this role. While there is no job description nor role specification, SHA President is clearly a position which should be occupied by a person who has unequivocally given long, distinguished and distinctively socialist service to health and/or to the NHS – as was and is the case with Julian.
The honorary officers and vice chairs recently discussed this and unanimously agreed that it is timely to fill the post again and that the most appropriate candidate for SHA President Is Professor Allyson Pollock.
Allyson is a former member of Central Council and is a Life Member of SHA. Her decades of outstanding research and advocacy in the cause of sustaining and reinstating a fully public NHS are well known to all. She has occupied public health chairs in the universities of London (first UCL and later, Queen Mary), Edinburgh, and is currently Director of the Institute of Health and Society at Newcastle University.
The NHS Reinstatement Bill which Allyson drafted with Peter Roderick will be proposed as a private members bill in the House of Commons on July 11 by Eleanor Smith MP. Previous versions of the bill have been proposed in previous Parliaments by Caroline Lucas MP and Margaret Greenwood MP. The bill was overwhelmingly adopted by SHA at our 2016 AGM.
On May 23 and 24 a judicial review challenging the government’s accountable care organisations contract was heard in the High Court; the verdict is awaited. The complainants included Professor Pollock, Professor Sue Richards, Dr Colin Hutchinson and Dr Graham Winyard. Professor Stephen Hawking was one of the original complainants, but tragically died while the review was awaited.
Following the agreement by officers, I have confirmed that Professor Pollock would be honoured to accept the position of SHA President.
I therefore recommend that Central Council agrees to offer the post of SHA President to Professor Allyson Pollock.