The annual representative meeting (ARM) is the BMA’s main policy-making body. Around 500 doctors from across the profession and the UK gather to consider and debate key matters of interest to the medical profession.
I have never been to a BMA conference before. his conference from 25-19th June was an eye opener. The volume of business, and the number of people was daunting. Agenda items ranged from the political to the clinical. and some of us thought some issues would be best addressed by politicians. Throughout the meeting there was a complete lack of trust by doctors of government, dishonesty, and denial by politicians and administrators, and resulting anger and resentment in the body politic. This is spreading beyond the profession and the unrest following the Grenfell tower will be as nothing to the unrest as the health safety net is seen to fail.
STPs(Stick Toffee Puddings , or Slash Trash and Privatise
Agenda Items on Monday of which I as speaking at 1:34 into the meeting
Dr Roger Burns speaks up abut West Wales. (https://pharmaphorum.com/news/millions-affected-nhs-cuts-doctors/#) in response to Motion 16 (I):
Recognises that greater medical involvement in the design and planning of health care is crucial in ensuring that improved patient services are properly designed and effectively implemented.
There were plenty of retired members present, of whom I am one. It looks as if the retired members are trusted to represent their younger and busier colleagues. What is need is a way to vote from a distance. Members need to log into the website and watch a webcam and be prepared to vote at an instant. This would allow members to check in and relate to any particular motion but ignore others.
There was a couple of motions with the implication of rationing, but without mentioning the word itself:
Motion 12 (v) “Calls for government and NHS lead bodies to have an open dialogue with the public and patients about what services the NHS should provide for the funding available, and what services should no longer be funded by the NHS.
New attendees need to be aware that they need a speedy induction if they are to take advantage of the opportunity to speak. New conference members, and those who vote against a motion are given preference. I spoke out about the reconfiguration of Wales Health Trusts. NHSreality is in favour of one NHS trust for 3 million people, and this would at least endure choice within Wales. I spoke against the motion on the grounds that it failed to mention rationing, and the need for the politicians to get on board with this concept before we can make sense of the health service, and bring the hearts and minds of the doctors on board. Sometimes “hard truths” need to be said. Napoleon did this with the French after their revolution. By offering to bring order he took away a little liberty. Lack of choice is a loss of liberty, but it may be worth it if standards of treatment for important and expensive problems rise.
All local BMA groups need to plan ahead of the ARM to present notices of motion. Clinical and social meetings are also needed, and could be combined with politics.. My suggestions to be considered for the future include:
Wales residents should be given choices within Wales. If this can only be facilitated by one Health Trust then we support this proposal.
All Wales staff should be offered exit interviews by the BMA, and if they wish, in conjunction with other organisations such as the Nurses and Midwives, and other professions. Since no credence would be given to a summarised internal HR report, external consultants should be charged with this task.
In West Wales infrastructure needs to be improved, especially for travel, but also to replace old buildings and plant.
Medical Publications should always inform the reader if the paper was rejected by another publisher. The on line information should then reveal why rejection occurred.
All Wales BMA members should be offered the option of group/mutual medical insurance
and for local debate: A decision not to build a new hospital at Whitland / Narberth in 1996 is to be regretted.