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Be a part of the BMA - nominations now open for regional council elections

With the prospect of a snap general election in Westminster, election fever has also taken over the BMA as we seek nominations to our regional councils and committees. Our regional councils are an integral part of the BMA's democratic structure, not just in representing the issues affecting colleagues in their workplaces, but also bringing a local perspective, which is invaluable in feeding into our wider policy and influencing work.

Last year, as part of our Caring, supportive, collaborative workshops, I visited regional councils across the nation and experienced first-hand the immense value of bringing doctors together at a local level. The BMA's strength is that it represents medical students and doctors of all specialties – from junior doctors, SAS, consultants, GPs to public health specialists. Regions allow us to meet collectively as one profession, to transcend organisational boundaries such as between primary and secondary care, recognising our interdependence and to support each other locally in the face of pressures and challenges.

Regions can be what you want to make them – from educational or political events with guest speakers, to informal networking, or discussing strategies regarding local health service plans. They allow for a cross-fertilisation of ideas, sharing best practice, can be a safe place to vent steam and, importantly, can be supportive, fun and sociable.

Regions also have links into LNCs (local negotiating committees) and LMCs (local medical committees).

BMA council has recently approved recommendations to further enhance the role of regional councils, so this is an exciting time to get involved and help shape your new regional representative structure.

Remember you don’t have to be politically minded nor a "committee" type of person to be involved in regional work - we are all the stronger for a diverse representative make up.

The deadline for nominations is 19 August.

Find out more about the process online, and via this blog by North East region council chair George Rae.

Even if you decide you do not want to stand for an officer position at this time, please do feel free to get in touch with your regional representatives and share your thoughts.

The BMA can only lobby effectively on your behalf if we hear from frontline doctors and are able to reflect the changes you want to see.

To find out more about what’s happening in your area, please contact your regional coordinator.