BMA Scotland has announced its new chair of Scottish Council, following an election.
Dr Iain Kennedy, a GP from Inverness, will take up the post of chair at the first Scottish Council meeting of the new session on August 30th. Current chair Dr Lewis Morrison, who has served a four-year term, will remain in post until then.
Dr Kennedy is the Executive Partner of Riverside Highland Medical Group and has worked as a GP for 25 years. He has been an elected member of BMA Scotland for almost 14 years sitting across a number of committees including the BMA’s UK Council, Scottish GP Committee, UK GP Committee, and Scottish Council.
A Highlander, graduate of Edinburgh University and former Non-Exec Director of NHS Highland, Dr Kennedy was the lead whistleblower on bullying culture which led to the Sturrock Review of NHS Highland.
Dr Kennedy, who will serve a three-year term as chair, said: “I feel very proud to have been chosen by my peers to lead BMA Scotland during an extremely challenging time for our NHS.
“Anyone with experience of working in the health service right now will be under no illusion of the precarious state the health and care system is in and the impact this is having on doctors and the care we can provide for patients on a daily basis.
“Healthcare workers are exhausted, facing burn-out and are looking for a brighter future. Colleagues are telling me they feel undervalued and unsupported by the health service: there is much to be done, and this will require teamwork. My team and I will aim to engage rapidly with government, politicians and key stakeholders to make the health service in Scotland far better for the workforce and patients.
“What doctors have been telling me confirms that we have crises around pay, pension taxes, working conditions, workload and workforce. These are priorities for BMA members in Scotland and must be resolved so that patients receive the high-quality care they deserve.
“Doctors and medical students want Scotland’s NHS to be a more attractive place to work – a place where we keep the healthcare workers we currently have and attract plenty of new talent to join us. The people of Scotland and those who work in the NHS deserve a better health service and that can only happen if we increase the numbers of doctors and improve how we support them to look after patients.
“Recent years have been very hard for the workforce and I have no doubt the next few years will be just as challenging as we attempt to recover our NHS from the impact of the pandemic and get things back on an even footing. There is a lot of work to be done by everyone and I look forward to getting started.
“Doctors and medical students should be reassured that I will be leading an organisation with an absolute crystal clear focus on supporting doctors so they can do their best for patients. I want to thank my predecessor, Dr Lewis Morrison, for steering the ship for us through the worst of the pandemic – he has been a fantastic leader and I wish him all the best as he steps down from his current role.”
Outgoing chair Dr Lewis Morrison said: “Congratulations to Dr Iain Kennedy as incoming chair of Scottish Council – he will bring a wealth of experience and a hard-working mentality to the role, and I have no doubt he will do everything he can to support his colleagues through the challenging times ahead.”
Notes to editors
The BMA is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.