May retired members news

Peter Curry, BMA retired members committee chair, updates members on developments with physician associates’ regulation, pensions and other recent news

Location: UK
Published: Thursday 2 May 2024
Peter Curry

Physician associates

The GMC is currently running a consultation until the 20 May on the regulation of physician and anaesthetic Associates. I know that there are a number of retired members with significant views on these issues. When the GMC reviews consultation responses it tends to start by counting the number and so, although the BMA will be providing a comprehensive response, this may be counted as a single response.

There is considerable discussion within the Royal College of Physicians of London, which college is primarily supporting their introduction to UK clinical care and a variety of positions amongst the other colleges and associations.

The BMA has produced a draft / proposed scope of practice. This has had the support of the Patient Liaison Group within the BMA and primary concerns are that:

  • The use of the term associate as opposed to assistant is potentially confusing, however the change is now enshrined in law
  • PAs and AAs should not allow or in any way encourage patients to think they are doctors
  • They should not be primarily responsible for consultations with undifferentiated patients yet are in a number of posts
  • It should be clear who (as a senior doctor) is supervising them.

However, the legislation has passed and they will be regulated as from later this year by the GMC. Responding to the consultation is time consuming but I would encourage colleagues to consider devoting some time to it.



You pension should be increasing in line with inflation as from the April payment and we have become aware of a number of retired members who are not getting their pension increases. Please do as a matter of urgency contact the pensions department for help if it is not.

Some who have retired in recent years may be affected by the implementation of the McCloud remedy and the opportunity to revisit how your pension is calculated. If you are affected you should be getting statements from your pension provided (each of the devolved nations is separate) to help you understand this. Please do not ignore them when they come.


NHS emeritus consultants pilot

We are hoping to meet and discuss this further with NHS England in the near future and would be very keen to hear any experience members may have had with the pilot. Please do let us know. NHS emeritus consultants



These will be held in Belfast this year and all of you are entitled to attend the AGM virtually which will be on either the 24 or 25 June. Please consider putting these dates in your diaries. A number of us, me included, will be attending to represent the interests of retired members. There may be matters of import to retired members raised at the AGM.


BMA retired members committee

Three members of the committee have been elected at conference, Catherine Royce and John Hughes have been elected to serve from the end of the BMA annual representative meeting this year until the same time in 2026, congratulations to them.

I have been re-elected to continue on RMC for the same period. While still currently members of RMC, Nicola Mann and Thomas Kinloch will leave the committee and we should note our thanks for the work they have put in supporting it.

It was particularly pleasing to see that we had enough nominations to require an election this year and let us hope the enthusiasm continues in the coming years as further seats come up next year. The committee will need to elect its chair and deputy chair in due course at the start of the next session.


Technology support

Requests that we consider doing something about this was raised by some members at conference and it is a matter which needs some mastery to ensure that members are able to participate fully in BMA Activities which are now often provided on line.

Discussions are ongoing and are positive and we hope to have more definitive information in the near future. If this is something you would like to participate in we would be happy for you to register your interest and indeed in addition any particular issues you have.

As always if there is anything you want us to consider, do or respond to please do get in touch we are always pleased to hear from you.


BMA retired members committee