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Parliamentary briefings and evidence for Westminster

The BMA regularly represents the views of doctors and their patients in Parliament. This includes issuing briefings to MPs and peers on subjects relevant to the medical profession and improving health plus providing both written and oral evidence to select committees and inquiries. 

Browse our topical briefings, ordered alphabetically below.

Topical briefings A-Z

  • A-D

    A&E pressures

    The BMA believes that the pressures facing accident and emergency services are symptomatic of a wider pressures within the NHS and require effective long-term solutions. 

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Air pollution

    The BMA briefed parliamentarians about the impact of air pollution on the public’s health, ahead of a topical debate in the Commons.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Alcohol harm

    The BMA has long been concerned about the levels of alcohol-related harm in the UK and this briefing outlines our key concerns and recommendations for reducing the significant impact on health and the NHS which alcohol has.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Antimicrobial resistance

    Over the past 75 years, antimicrobial resistance has become increasingly wide spread in incidence and geographical distribution. The BMA believes that there is a need to tackle this important issue and our briefing, circulated to MPs ahead of a debate on World Antibiotic Awareness Week, outlines our national and international recommendations. 

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill 2017-2019

    The BMA briefed MPs ahead of the third reading and report stage of the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill 2017-19. The BMA supports the Bill which aims to better protect emergency workers by creating tougher sentences for those convicted of assaulting an emergency worker. We previously successfully lobbied to extend the scope of the Bill to include all NHS workers and in this briefing are calling on MPs to support amendments to make sexual assault an aggravating factor in cases against an emergency worker and to remove eligiblity for automatic release from prisoners who assault an emergency worker or prison officer. 

    Read the BMA briefing

     

     

    Brexit

    We brief politicians ahead of relevant debates on Brexit and seek to influence legislation which will have implications for the medical workforce and the wider health and social care system.

    Read BMA briefings

     

    Building sustainable GP services

    The BMA has briefed MPs ahead of a backbench business debate on building sustainable GP services. The BMA is calling for long term, sustainable investment in general practice in order to attract, retain and expand the number of GPs, expand the number of practice staff and improve the premises that GP services are provided from.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Childhood obesity

    The BMA was invited to provide a written submission to the Health Select Committee’s follow-up childhood obesity session on 7 February 2017. This follows our original written submission and oral evidence provided to the Committee as part of its inquiry in 2015. 

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Childhood obesity strategy

    The BMA has briefed MPs ahead of a debate on the forthcoming Childhood Obesity Strategy.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Child Poverty

    The BMA is calling for government to address poverty in childhood, which can have both immediate and long term impacts on health and wellbeing.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Defence medical services

    The BMA has concerns about the chronic under-manning of the defence medical services and the impact this has on morale, motivation and retention of army doctors. This under-manning has led to a reliance on reserve forces which are also under-recruited.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Deprivation of liberty safeguards

    Ahead of a short debate in Westminster Hall, the BMA provided a briefing on the effect of deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) on healthcare. The BMA is calling for an urgent review of DoLS with a view to simplifying and streamlining the system.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

  • E-H

    Ebola

    The BMA re-briefed peers on this topic ahead of their Short Debate on ebola on 6 November 2014.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    E-cigarettes

    The BMA is calling on the Government to regulate the sale and use of e-cigarettes. We believe that a strong regulatory framework is required to restrict the marketing, sale and promotion of e-cigarettes so that it is only targeted at smokers as a way of cutting down and quitting.

    Read the BMA briefing

    Find out more about the BMA's position on e-cigarettes

     

    E-petition relating to contracts and conditions in the NHS

    The BMA briefed MPs ahead of the debate relating to an e-petition calling for a vote of no confidence in the secretary of state following the threat ‘to impose a harsh contract and conditions first on consultants…’ The BMA briefing relates to proposals for a seven-day health service and proposed changes to the consultant contract.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    End-of-life care

    The BMA has briefed MPs ahead of a debate in the House of Commons on end-of-life care. The BMA has recently completed a significant piece of research into experiences and perceptions of end-of-life care.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    The European Medicines Agency

    This briefing paper discusses the impact of the UK’s vote to leave the EU on the regulatory framework for medicines, the research workforce, research funding and the identification and treatment of rare medical conditions.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Exemptions to child support – the ‘rape clause’

    As of April 2017, child tax credit and universal credit is limited to two children. The BMA opposes the policy, and believes asking a doctor to verify that a woman is eligible to receive this child support for their third (or subsequent child) in cases of coercion or rape – which is one of the exemptions to the policy – presents our members with unreasonable ethical and professional conflicts. As such, we have requested the that UK Government reviews this policy. 

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Exiting the EU - the impace on science and research

    The BMA briefed MPs ahead of a debate in the House of Commons on the impact of exiting the EU on science and research. The UK’s decision to leave the EU will have major implications for our science and research base.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Fair medical trade

    We briefed MPs ahead of a debate on the impact of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. We hope the Government will support the Modern Slavery (Transparency in Supply Chains) Bill in order to extend the Act’s impact on ethical procurement to public bodies, including health and social care organisations.

    Read the BMA briefing

    Find out about our ethical procurement campaign

     

    Folic Acid

    The BMA supports mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid (vitamin B9). We believe it is an important and cost-effective public health measure to help reduce the risk of common birth defects occurring during pregnancy.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Funding of the NHS after the UK leaves the EU

    We are calling on the Chancellor, Phillip Hammond to uphold the ‘single most visible promise of the Leave campaign’ to give the NHS an extra £350 million a week in the forthcoming autumn statement.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Future capability of UK's armed forces

    The BMA has briefed peers ahead of a debate on the future capability of the UK armed forces.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    General Medical Council (GMC) - protection of the public

    The BMA has concerns about some further intentions, which we have raised with the Department of Health, and we are seeking reassurance that these concerns will be addressed in guidance for fitness-to-practise panels.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    GP recruitment and retention

    The BMA briefed peers ahead of a parliamentary debate on GP recruitment and retention. This document highlights the worrying trend of falling numbers of Whole Time Equivalent GPs, at a time when the Government is struggling to fulfil its pledge of recruiting an additional 5000 GPs by 2020, to address extreme pressures on General Practice and ensure patients safety. During the debate MPs raised the BMA's concerns and priorities in this area

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Health inequalities of people with learning disabilities

    This briefing sets out BMA concerns about the health inequalities suffered by people with learning disabilities and sets out areas for action to address these as discussed in the BMA report 'Recognising the importance of physical health in mental health and intellectual disability, achieving parity of outcomes'.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Health surcharge for migrants

    The BMA believes that the implementation of a health surcharge is unfair, and this briefing outlines our specific concerns.

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    Higher education

    The increase in tuition fees which was introduced in 2012 results in the average debt for a medical school graduate reaching £70,000. There are concerns that this additional financial burden on medical students, who typically undertake courses 2 or 3 years longer than students doing other degrees, is a barrier to increasing student intake from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Higher Education and Research Bill

    The BMA briefed peers on the Public Bill Committee ahead of their discussions.

    We outlined concerns that the Bill will create competition between higher education providers and also highlighted the danger of linking tuition fees to the Teaching Excellence Framework. We also emphasised the need to promote medical research and to ensure that the best education is provided to medical students.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    HPV vaccinations

    The BMA believes universal HPV vaccination is the most effective way of preventing HPV-related infection and disease across our society – for the reasons outlined in this briefing. We are pleased the UK Government has now committed to extending the HPV vaccination programme to boys. 

    Read the BMA briefing

     

  • I-N

    Immigration detention

    The BMA has briefed MPs ahead of a backbench debate on ‘Immigration Detention’. The briefing outlines our concerns about the health and wellbeing of, and the provision of healthcare to, those held in immigration detention.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Immigration e-petition

    The BMA recognises that the principle of reducing reliance on migrant workers, and training and up-skilling UK resident workers to fill workforce gaps, is valid, and we support the long-term aim of self-sufficiency in NHS medical staffing. However, the BMA also believes that it is essential to recognise that workforce gaps remain in certain regions of the UK and within particular medical specialties. 

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Immigration policy for international students

    The BMA briefed MPs and Peers ahead of debates on the application of immigration policy to international students. The briefing considers  a number of issues including the financial contribution made by international students to the UK economy, the recent fall in application numbers to UK medical schools from EU and international students, and future immigration systems.

    Read the BMA briefing

    Implications of the EU referendum result for government policies on ensuring safe staffing levels in the NHS

    The BMA has briefed members of the House of Lords ahead of a debate on safe staffing levels in the NHS following the EU referendum result.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Implications for the health and social care workforce of the result of the referendum for the withdrawal of the UK from the EU

    The BMA have identified a number of issues which will need to be urgently addressed by the Department of Health, government and national agencies, and others, in the negotiations on the UK's withdrawal from the EU because of their implications for the health and social care workforce. 

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Junior doctor contract

    A background briefing on the junior doctor contracts setting out the context of the current dispute between the BMA junior doctors committee and the government.

    Read the BMA briefing

      

    Mental health

    The BMA has briefed MPs ahead of an opposition day debate in Commons. We have repeatedly raised concerns that mental health in the UK is not held in the same regard as patients’ physical health and does not receive comparable levels of funding.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Mental health provision for armed forces veterans

    The BMA briefed MPs ahead of the adjournment debate in the House of Commons on mental health provision for armed forces veterans. The briefing outlines the BMA’s concerns in this policy area.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Minimum practice income guarantee

    The BMA has issued a briefing around the withdrawal of the minimum practice income guarantee.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Mitochondrial donation regulations

    The BMA has briefed both MPs and Peers ahead of the government’s motion to approve a statutory instrument that would allow the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) to license mitochondrial donation for treatment of mitochondrial diseases, when the HFEA is satisfied that it is safe to do so.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    NHS and social care funding

    The BMA briefed MPs ahead of a Labour Opposition Day debate on NHS and social care funding.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    NHS funding

    The BMA briefed MPs ahead of an opposition day debate in the House of Commons on NHS funding.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    NHS funding gap in England

    The BMA briefed peers ahead of a Lords oral question on the projected NHS funding gap in England. The BMA is concerned that the NHS needs investment to ensure that high quality, safe and cost effective care is delivered to all free at the point of need.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    NHS pay

    The BMA briefed MPs ahead of an Opposition Day debate on NHS Pay.

    Read the BMA briefing

  • O-R

    Organ donation

    The BMA has urged MPs to support a ‘soft’ opt-out system for organ donation in England, as has been implemented in Wales and is being introduced in Scotland.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Palliative care

    We briefed MPs ahead of an adjournment debate in the Commons on palliative care, highlighting some measures to improve standards in education, training and research.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Patient data

    The BMA has issued a briefing on safeguarding of NHS patient data ahead of a Westminster Hall Debate on the subject.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Patient safety and medical innovation

    Ahead of the adjournment debate on patient safety and medical innovation in the Commons on 9 December, the BMA briefed MPs on its views regarding innovation.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Prison population

    The BMA has provided evidence to the House of Commons Justice Select Committee to inform their inquiry into Prison Population 2022: planning for the future.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Public health

    The BMA briefed peers ahead of a Lords Oral Question on the impact of the £200 million reduction in the public health budget on local authorities. The BMA calls for the government’s decision to cut public health funding to be reversed, and that no further cuts be made in future years. 

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Public sector pay cap

    This briefing relates to the below amendment to the Queen's Speech which would end the public sector pay cap.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Prison overcrowding

    The BMA briefed peers ahead of a debate in the Lords on overcrowding in UK prisons.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Prison reform

    The BMA has provided evidence to the House of Commons Justice Select Committee to inform their inquiry into Prison Reform.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Debate on the Queen's Speech: 'Exiting the European Union'

    The BMA briefed MPs and Peers ahead of debates on the Queen’s Speech on Brexit, including the forthcoming Immigration Bill.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Regulation of healthcare professionals

    The BMA briefed Peers ahead of a Lords oral question on the regulation of healthcare professionals.

    The briefing outlines our views on a recent review by the UK Law Commissions which proposed reform of the law to create a single framework for the regulation of healthcare professionals.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Risks to NHS sustainability arising from the UK’s departure from the EU

    The BMA briefed Peers ahead of a debate on the risks to the NHS arising from Brexit. Key issues include workforce, immigration, NHS funding and Northern Ireland.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

  • S-Z

    Seven-day services

    The BMA briefed peers ahead of a debate on the implications of introducing seven-day services in the NHS.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Smoke-free private vehicles

    The BMA has briefed peers ahead of the orders and regulations on smoke-free private vehicles.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Solitary confinement: myths and misconceptions

    The BMA has long campaigned to end the use of solitary confinement of children and young people in the secure estate. This latest MP briefing ahead of a Westminster Hall debate on this topic aims to address some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding solitary confinement. You can also read more on our solitary confinement campaign, including our joint statement with the RCPCH and RCPsych.

    Read the BMA briefing

    Read the joint statement

     

    Student maintenance grants

    The BMA briefed MPs ahead of an Opposition day debate on the Government’s intention to abolish non-repayable student maintenance grants and replace them with increased maintenance loans.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Sugary drinks tax

    The BMA has briefed MPs ahead of a Westminster Hall debate on a tax on sugary drinks.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Sustainability and transformation plans (STPs)

    STPs are five-year plans detailing how local areas will work together to implement the Five Year Forward View and achieve financial balance by 2020. These plans present both opportunities and risks for doctors. The BMA briefed MPs ahead of an opposition day debate in the House of Commons.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    The potential impact of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union on funding for universities and scientific research

    The BMA briefed members of the House of Lords ahead of a debate on the impact of Brexit on funding for universities and scientific research.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Tobacco control plan

    We briefed MPs ahead of a backbench debate on the Government’s new strategy to tackle smoking in England.

    We welcome the Government’s commitment to tobacco control through the publication of a new strategy, and in particular its focus on achieving a smoke-free generation (something the BMA has written about further).

    However, cuts to the public health grant undermine local authorities’ ability to achieve this goal by investing in highly cost-effective smoking cessation services. Furthermore, we believe stronger nationally-led measures could be taken to encourage greater industry accountability.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

    The BMA briefed MPs ahead of a backbench debate on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). We have serious concerns about the potential for the TTIP – especially the proposed investor protection mechanisms – to threaten the NHS’s ability to provide high quality healthcare to all, regardless of wealth, by facilitating a legal framework which could be exploited by businesses to challenge legislation and policy in the UK.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Winter pressures

    The BMA briefed Peers ahead of an oral question to the Government about any plans to increase staffing levels in the NHS to meet the anticipated demand during the forthcoming winter period. We urged the Government to make the necessary provisions, both in the long-term and short-term, to support service provision in the face of increased demand – throughout the year as well as at particular crisis points.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Work Capability Assessment

    The BMA continues to call the Government to end the WCA with immediate effect, and to replace it with a rigorous and safe system that does not cause avoidable harm to the weakest and most vulnerable in society.

    Read the BMA briefing

     

    Whistleblowing

    The BMA briefed peers on recommendations for the Commission established by Public Concern at Work on whistleblowing ahead of a short debate in the House of Lords.

    Read the BMA briefing