Newsletter to SHA members in Wales: No. 4 June 24th, 2020
- Welsh Labour Stage Two Policy process
A number of Zoom meetings were arranged at different times of the day and week to enable as many members as possible to discuss our submission on Health and Social Care. The submission was made before the deadline of June 15 and contained 19 proposals. A copy is on both the national and Welsh web sites. Secretaries of the five CLP’s to which we are affiliated (Swansea West, Cardiff West, Gower, Aberavon and Neath) have been sent a copy and members in those CLPs are encouraged to assist their CLP in contributing to the next stage in the policy progress – arrangements for which are awaited. The process by which the consultation policy paper on Health and Social Care was prepared is unclear. The absence of proposals to address both aspects of performance by the Welsh NHS and to further extant policy was a surprise to SHA officers and members. It is understood that similar concerns about other papers are shared by others.
- Work programme for remainder of 2020
Officers would welcome feedback from members about issues or concerns with health and social care that SHA Cymru Wales ought to be pursuing either within the Party or by other means. The recent policy submission outlines some topics: the weaknesses in the NHS performance management regime and the role of any new Welsh NHS Executive, progress with reducing health inequalities within Wales, plans for meeting waiting times targets for elective surgery, and the intended future relationship of health and social care provision in Wales. To these might be added one progress made in acute hospital care with implementing the Safe Staffing legislation and the plans for extending this to other parts of the hospital service. Work on what is inhibiting a shift from secondary care treatment to primary care / public health prevention in significant conditions – such as obesity, diabetes, and mental illness might also be worthwhile. Please let the secretary know: a) of other areas of work you feel merit some priority b) if you would wish to be a member of a small working group looking at any of these topics.
- SHA Cymru Wales closed Facebook page
SHA Cymru Wales now has its own closed Facebook page for SHA members in Wales to use. To join, simply let Tony Beddow know that you want to join the group and you will get an invite that activates your access.
- Officers met on 20th June and in addition to considering the work programme outlined above are looking to hold the AGM in October, probably in either Swansea or Cardiff but also enabling input from members able to attend in person and, by zoom or similar, members and guests who need to join in from afar.
- Governance of the SHA
Work necessary to review the governance arrangements of the SHA to convert it into company limited by guarantee continues. However, the 23rd May 2020 meeting of Central Council was unable to consider the detailed paper on this matter. The paper asked Central Council to give a view on four issues that affect the coming governance arrangements. Council members are therefore currently being “balloted” on these aspects that influence the emerging constitution.
The first issue is the intended geographical coverage of the SHA. Presently it is unclear whether it operates only in Great Britain (England Scotland and Wales) or the U.K. (Great Britain plus N. Ireland).
The second is whether the current terms of reference of the Association set out in the constitution remain relevant. They emphasise the Association’s interest in health matters and its support for the values underpinning the NHS. Given moves in many places to more closely align the NHS with the provision of social care – especially adult social care – some members feel that the remit of the Association should be extended to include social care. Were this to be accepted, the Association might need to consider to what extent the values it sees as underpinning the NHS ought to apply to social care.
The third and fourth issues relate to the intended size of the Central Council (Management Board) once the Association becomes a limited company mode. Currently Central Council is made up of the three officers elected by the national membership, delegates elected from SHA branches based on their membership, delegates elected by the national membership, and delegates elected by bodies affiliated to SHA nationally. In the current arrangements there is no upper limit to the numbers able to serve. Council currently has about 40 members (five from Wales, 2 elected by SHA Cymru Wales and 3 who were successful in the national ballot). Many parts of England are not covered by active branches and were these to be created they too would be entitled to delegates. Views of Members of Council have been sought on what maximum number of Council members
they would see as being necessary / efficient, and what number of English branches they would wish to see operating in the near future.
- Covid -19 and related matter
Strong links have been maintained with the Westminster Shadow Team so that it is fully appraised of current issues relating to Covid 19 as our many members experience them. The detailed weekly Covid 19 blog is available on SHA’s UK web site – usually by Monday afternoon. It is clear that the actions and inactions of U.K Government and others will be the subject of an enquiry. Members may wish to listen closely to ongoing exchanges between politicians, advisors and others as blame seeks a home. No doubt the blog will inform members in this regard. Web site links are given below for the UK web site and for SHA Cymru Wales.