There has never been a more important time to get more involved in the work of the BMA.
Pay restoration, workforce planning and pensions reform are all high on the organisation’s agenda, and the more doctors’ voices campaigning on these issues the stronger the message will be.
Nominations have opened for election to the BMA’s regional councils in England, and this is your opportunity to stand up for colleagues across your region.
The regional council is the only pan branch-of-practice committee in a region. It has the responsibility to support and enable regional branch-of-practice committees and coordinate political activity and campaigns.
Don’t take my word for it alone. Here is what some regional council members told us about what they have enjoyed most about being involved in their regional council.
‘Getting to know what is on the minds of our members in the region – what matters to them, what is working, what isn't going so well and what needs to be done to make things better.
‘Getting to meet other passionate representatives in the region – members who are committed to giving local issues a forum.
‘The cross branch-of-practice working, the insight into different parts of the NHS and BMA, the camaraderie, the genuine friendship, the support of the industrial relations officer and local team, the expansion and improvement of my knowledge and the sense through the pandemic that we were the regional front line of the BMA.’
Regional council members told us they were proud to have been involved in helping frame debates such as on pay restoration and setting BMA policy at the annual representative meeting. Our members in Yorkshire are developing a network of elected women and represent the region in debates at national level.
As one of them says: ‘It's an exciting time to be getting involved as a representative.
‘Our members have issues that are pressing and activism is growing to give these concerns a voice. Standing for your regional council is a great opportunity to connect with local, grassroots members and give their concerns a voice.’
Recent graduates and medical students are also encouraged to get involved on a regional level. One medical student said joining their regional council helped them ‘understand the dynamics of the medical staffing structure’, ‘clarify the primary and secondary care divide’ and ‘create relationships and friendships that will last a long time’.
How to get involved
Any BMA member from within the region can nominate themselves for election for one of 23 seats to serve a three-year term ending in summer 2025.
Online nominations, which can be made via the BMA election page, are open and will be until noon on 15 August. From noon on 16 August, the voting period will begin and it will last until noon on 12 September. Voting is online and by single transferable vote.
Results will be available from noon on 13 September, after which elections will be held for the executive officer posts for the new regional council from the members elected.
Members, particularly those changing region, are also reminded to make sure their details are up to date. This can be done here at any time.
Elaine McAvoy is regional coordinator and industrial relations officer for Yorkshire regional council