It has been busy for the committee since my Autumn update. I hope this brief overview gives you a taste of what we have been working on, but please do email me if you have any questions, or comments.
NHS emeritus consultants pilot
We have had another meeting with NHS England about their pilot for Emeritus consultants, or more simply consultants who might want to consider doing more work for the NHS (in England) following retirement. The new pension arrangements make this more appropriate financially than it was previously. Hopefully our discussions may result in defined contracts, pay and support for the administrative hurdles. Members may get advice from the BMA and the retired members committee is always keen to hear from anyone with success stories or indeed problems.
Retired members conference, 14 March 2024
The arrangements for the retired members conference are coming together. The 2024 conference will be chaired by Surjait Singh with the support of deputy chair, Tom Kane. The day will include structured debate of motions and a panel session on the theme ‘retirement – another step in your career’. Members can choose whether to attend the hybrid event online, or in person at BMA House. 65 seats will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis in each nation and English region. Please note the deadline for nominations is 5pm on Friday on 2 February 2024.
Injury to feelings claim / McCloud Remedy
Some of you may be affected by implementation of the McCloud Remedy and if you feel that you have suffered an injury to feelings from age discrimination relating to pension protection and would like to claim compensation, then you must begin the process of submitting a claim by 28 December 2023. Dr Kane has been representing retired members at pensions committee and there is a new page on the BMA website which features a form where you can input basic data if you feel you would like to make a claim.
BMA local structures
There is much discussion about the proposals for structural change in the BMA replacing divisions with Units. We have engaged with the process and have in particular some concerns about where the resultant structure places retired members remembering that we come from all branches of practice and perhaps don’t want units expressly for us e.g. a retired members unit for Scotland.
You can now nominate yourself for a seat the BMA annual representative meeting, our main policy-forming meeting, where you can democratically discuss, debate and vote on motions which form the policy that directs our association in the year ahead and for the future. A range of motions are debated at the ARM from pay, terms and conditions to medical ethics, global health and the future of the NHS.
ARM 2024 will be held on 24 and 25 June 2024. It will be a hybrid meeting, with in-person attendance at the ICC Belfast and virtual attendance via an online platform. All BMA members are now eligible to nominate and vote in the elections in their division area- please check and update your division. Please note nominations will close on 12pm, 11 January 2024.
Retired member representation across the BMA
Retired members are attending a number of other committees representing our interests e.g. Pensions, MAPS, Patient Liaison Group, UK Council etc. We are always keen to hear from colleagues and if there are things you wish raising are happy to ensure that they are considered and where possible raised appropriately.
There is opportunity to become a member of the retired members committee and part of the committee will be elected every year, indeed if I wish to continue, my own seat comes up for election this year.
Clearly the disputes with Government continue and we would encourage all to consider showing moral support for our working colleagues when they are taking action.
Physician associates and medical apprenticeships
There has been much discussion about the role of physician associates and many concerns about scope creep and their upcoming regulation by the GMC. There is no particular issue we have identified for us directly but we would encourage members to ensure should they find themselves in discussion on the matter to be clear they are not doctors. By contrast we are also seeing the commencement of medical apprenticeships which are providing an alternative route to qualification as a medical practitioner and these will ultimately be trained to the same standard and entitlements as any other medical student.
Junior doctors name
The BMA junior doctors committee are not happy with the title and have resolved to call themselves simply 'doctors committee'. This is causing some consternation and there are efforts to identify an alternative prefix that identifies them. The GP speciality trainees seem to have settled on GP Registrars to identify themselves but discussion continues.
Please do get in touch if there is anything you want to say or ask, we are here for you. You can contact me at [email protected], or Laura Clark on BMA staff, [email protected]. Lastly may I wish you all seasonal greetings for the coming festivities and belated Diwali for which I was recently in India and enjoyed the celebrations.