Newsletter to SHA members in Wales :
No. 3 May 25th 2020
- Welsh Labour’s Stage Two policy process
Many members in SHA Cymru Wales are taking part in crafting our submission to Welsh Labour’s Stage 2 policy process which covers the main areas of devolved policy within the preserve of the Senedd; for example Housing and local Government, the Economy, the Environment, and Health and Social care. Although we are concentrating our efforts on Health and Social Care, other policy areas have bearing on the smooth working of the care system in Wales .
In the last policy round SHA Cymru Wales submission had three interlinked aspects. One sought to improve the way that Local Health Boards report both to Welsh Government and the wider public how they are discharging their providing and commissioning responsibilities. Their annual reports should be required to show a range of provider and commissioner performance data and provider and commissioner budgets / financial out turns. A second aspect encourages Welsh Labour to build on work of Dr Julian Tudor Hart in respect of the power of locally rooted anticipatory primary care. It seems strange that Scotland is taking forward Julian’s work to a far greater extent than Wales. The third was to encourage Welsh Government to improve and refine the way that financial sums set aside by local authorities for social care are refined into proper budgets for the various elements that comprise social care – and services for adults in particular. By this means the volume of activities or intended outcomes, and their intended costs, would, for each local authority be transparent and capable of comparison both with authorities across Wales – and with likely need or demand. We were pleased that from our suggestions, a proposal relating to looking at new forms of integrated housing was commended by the Party.
For this year’s policy process we have to submit our proposals by 15th June and courtesy of zoom and our more technically able members we have had two meetings of members wishing to help craft our submission. This is work in progress and the next (and possibly last) zoom meeting will be on Tuesday 26th May at 2pm. All members are welcome to join and joining details will be sent out just before the session. Themes emerging so far include: i) the extent to which Covid-19 has changed the context in which health and social care operates, ii) the need to do more to strengthen local communities and adjust the balance of investment between primary and secondary care – and by implication between preventative and curative measures, iii) the need to rectify problems perceived by the public in respect of Labour’s custodianship of the NHS in regard to financial management and the standards of clinical services and their accessibility.
Socialist bodies and Welsh Labour
Welsh Party rules allow affiliated socialist bodies to be represented on the Welsh Executive committee. The places are settled by ballot. This year there was a tie between two candidates and it has been decided that none of candidates will fill the vacant position. Members may feel that there were other and better post-sharing options available than having no representation at all. .
For those not familiar with Roy Lilley, his site is well worth a visit for informed comment on the NHS, the wider care system, and good management practice.( See NHSManagers. net) A recent posting carries an article intended for the Daily Telegraph that calls for the nationalisation of the care home sector. It outlines the fragmented nature of it, with some homes owned by local small businessmen and women, where care was good and profit margins slim whilst others were operated by corporate bodies using offshore arrangements as owners of their properties taking the “rent” paid by operating units which, on paper, made no money. Parts of the sector are now unstable as staffing levels fall away and homes close at short notice.
Meeting of Central Council – 23rd May 2020
Central Council met on Saturday using zoom technology. Main business was:
- noting that links with the Shadow Health and Care team have increased and strengthened, in particular to help thinking and policy development in respect of responding to the challenges posed by Covid-19 and the issues around opening up schools
- noting that Keir Starmer had been asked to raise with the Prime Minister our concerns at reports of NHS staff being threatened with sanctions for raising concerns about unsafe working practices or lack of protective equipment and asking for an assurance from Johnson that any NHS manager, civil servant or other guilty of such action be removed from office
- agreeing a policy paper on how best to bring together health and social care traditions and services as part of a national care service; this built on the paper agreed at the national meeting held in Cardiff last year
- as part of the above discussion it was agreed that direct payments / independent living grants should not feature in any re-styled care system but instead – as it the case in Welsh social care practice and much NHS practice- care professionals should seek to identify patient / client wishes and aims and meet these as far as is possible.
Thought for the week
If we are able to persuade NHS public health experts to promise not to audit the accounts of big businesses , do you think Deloittes and others will agree not to try their hand at contact tracing and controlling pandemics?