Early Spring news from the retired members committee

Peter Curry, BMA retired members committee chair, updates members on debate at the recent retired members conference and other recent news

Location: UK
Published: Thursday 21 March 2024
Peter Curry

Well Spring is here and the garden is breaking into colour and lifting the spirits of many.  I hope that you are similarly inspired.


Retired members conference

Last week saw many of our retired colleagues gather in London for our annual conference, with a significant number joining us online.  We had some inspirational talks making it clear that retirement should not be seen as an end but rather a new beginning. The conference was recorded and will be available online if you were not able to join in. 

Phil Banfield, BMA council chair, joined us and I note that he is well on the way to becoming a retired member, having already taken his pension and returned to work!  The afternoon was devoted to considering a number of motions put to conference, most of which were passed. I need to note my thanks to Surjait Singh, Tom Kane and Laura Clark, as well as the BMA conference staff, for the considerable work putting the conference together and ensuring that it ran as smoothly as it did.


Ear wax treatment services

One motion was to consider the need to restore universal NHS access to the management of ear wax, a matter clearly of import to many retired members.  It was suggested that this should be provided by Primary Care however subsequent discussion demonstrated that the recommended treatment is now micro-suction which is not available in Primary Care.

It is also not a funded provision available to Primary Care and thus needs to be considered elsewhere.  It also appears to be available in some secondary care services. Could I ask that interested members where it is not available might want to consider lobbying their MPs as it does need the right equipment but does not need doctors.

We are taking a number of other motions forward. You can read the full list of resolutions here


IT support webinars

At the conference, some members suggested that they would welcome some IT support webinars and in particular joining in with meetings remotely.  We are going to try and develop this and at least have a trial meeting.



It has come to our attention that there are some retired members who do not appear to be getting annual increases in their pension payments which should be index linked.  If this includes you or your April payment is not increased over and above your March payment then please contact the BMA pensions department, 0300 123 1233.


BMA first point of contact

While retired members are not big users of First Point of Contact it is there for us as well. When we call or email the BMA, it is the FPC advisors that advise or refer us to different parts of the BMA. The service has been provided by a contracted out call centre provider working for other companies as well. Now, it has been decided to bring the service in house to the BMA which will mean staff will focus on providing support to BMA members.  We will be looking at what support we can provide to this service particularly targeted towards support for retired members.


Local BMA restructuring

There is ongoing discussion about the restructuring of the BMA.  There have been strong views expressed and some upset caused.  We are trying to navigate our way forward and are already discussing what we might do with regional and devolved nations groups of retired members.  All suggestions and thoughts would be most welcome, you can read the proposals here.


2024 annual representative meeting

I hope that some of you will be finding your way to the ARM in Belfast on 24 and 25 June where BMA policy is debated and agreed. If you are going, I hope to see you there and at our retired members dinner on Monday 24th June, invitations to which will be emailed once ARM seats are confirmed.


Elections for retired members committee and ARM seats

It is good to see so many of you interested in election to the retired members committee. and looking to take forward our interests. We have also had many members standing for election to the ARM as a retired representative. Voting for these elections closes at midday on Friday 22nd March and we will update you all on the results once they are known.