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Doctors call NHS crisis summit


The BMA has called an emergency meeting of its representatives to solve the crisis in the NHS.

BMA council last week voted in favour of holding an SRM (special representative meeting) on 3 May to debate pressures in the health service.

Representatives will also discuss how to address low morale and high levels of workload across the medical profession.

BMA representative body chair Ian Wilson said: ‘The BMA is calling an emergency meeting of its representatives in response to the crisis in funding and capacity in healthcare, and the effect these have on patient safety and doctors working to help patients.

‘At a time of unprecedented pressures on healthcare and on those who deliver it, it is time to hear from the clinicians and the evidence-based solutions the public needs, not political choices or dogma.

'This will be an opportunity for doctors to highlight their concerns and outline those solutions.’


Further action

The SRM comes as the junior doctors committee voted to step up industrial action next month.

The nature of the action is due to be announced this week.

In a message to members, BMA junior doctors committee chair Johann Malawana said: ‘We know that no doctor wants to take such action, but the refusal of the Government to get back around the table forces us down this road.’

The fourth period of industrial action is due to start at 8am on 6 April and is over the Government’s decision to impose a new contract on junior doctors in August.

The latest action comes as two other main branches of practice face unprecedented challenges — for consultants, a new contract is due to be announced in the near future, while GPs are voicing concerns about workload and patient demand via the Urgent Prescription for General Practice campaign.


Student anxieties

Meanwhile, medical students have expressed anxieties about what the future holds for them.

The BMA has issued advice to trainees to accept foundation programme offers.

The move follows a number of concerns from student members about whether accepting offers would be deemed to give consent to a new imposed contract or undermine junior doctors' opposition to the proposed changes.

There is also growing concern among doctors about how ministers will fund their plans to expand seven-day services.

The BMA has consistently campaigned for answers to this question.

The SRM will comprise members of the BMA representative body, the main policymaking arm of the association, which usually meets once a year. At other times, BMA council has responsibility for devising and implementing policy.

The meeting takes place on 3 May in London, 10am-5pm. All members of the RB were emailed on 18 March to inform them of the date.  Further information about the meeting will be released shortly.

If you have any questions about the SRM, please email [email protected]



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