March 4, 2016
Agreed by Central Council in November 2014 and January 2015
The SHA stands for a care system (for England) which is an integral part of our public services, providing world class care but also helping to reduce inequalities in health, wealth and power. Policy should be guided by the social determinants of health.
Care should be free at the point of need and funded out of general taxation and should be provided predominantly by public bodies.
Decisions about allocation of resources, priorities and plans and major changes in services should be made through existing representative democratic structures.
Free social care should be introduced progressively starting with those with greatest needs.
Public provision of (social) care services should be greatly increased.
Directors of Public Health within local authorities should be adequately resourced to make recommendations which must be taken into account. (Delivery of public health services should be through NHS bodies.)
Partnership working at national and regional level should be established with joint agreements over workforce planning.
A national framework for common terms and conditions covering all care staff should be negotiated. A national framework should be agreed for staff development and training across the care system.
Strategies and plans for wellbeing should be agreed at local, sub-regional and regional level and should be used to guide decisions about service provision, major investments and reconfigurations.
Mergers and other organisational changes should be subject only to local agreement.
NHS bodies should have boards of directors with a majority of NEDs and governing bodies set up to reflect a balance between patients, public, staff and other local stakeholders.
GP Practices (as businesses) should be phased out and GPs employed by NHS bodies.
Secretary of State should be legally and politically accountable for the provision of a comprehensive health service with powers of direction over all NHS bodies.
The arrangements made for the provision of NHS services must be through NHS contracts, should be subject to best value but not compulsory tendering and not subject to competition law.
Services should be provided by NHS bodies unless there is no NHS body capable of providing what is necessary.
Legal contracts for provision of services to the NHS should be fully subject to Freedom of Information and must carry the same obligations as placed on NHS bodies. All potential service providers should be subject to a “fit and proper test”.
The NHS should treat private patients only where this has direct benefit to NHS patients.
All NHS bodies must be under clear obligations and duties:-
To work to reduce inequality
To cooperate with other public bodies
To promote shared decision making and community development
To be open and transparent and to involve public and patients in all major decisions and plans.
The procurement and contract management of major assets should be the responsibility of the Secretary of State with NHS Bodies subject to an appropriate reasonable internal charge for use.
Oversight by regulatory bodies should be phased out and the money invested in front line staff.
Public and patient involvement should be through the representative democratic structures and scrutiny arrangements.