ARM 2020

Due to the ongoing pandemic, this year's ARM was held virtually, with committee elections and motion debates taking place on Tuesday 15 September.

Location: UK
Audience: All doctors
Updated: Monday 28 September 2020
Hand and voting card article illustration

The impact that COVID-19 has had on the NHS and the country has been unprecedented, which is why this year’s ARM is so important. It has been more vital for our profession to have a voice, to express their concerns and for the BMA to act upon them.

ARM 2020 webcast

If you missed the live event, you can still watch it back.

Watch ARM 2020


Highlights from the day

ARM 2020 virtual event
ARM 2020 virtual event

Chair of council speech to ARM

BMA chair of council Chaand Nagpaul spoke at the annual representative meeting on 15 September.

Read more


Presidents in conversation

BMA past president Prof Raanan Gillon and BMA president Prof Sir Harry Burns in conversation.

Listen on SoundCloud


BMA photo competition

During August 2020, the BMA ran a photography competition, Capturing COVID, to find out what the pandemic has meant to doctors across the UK. We sought photographs that capture COVID for doctors.

The winners of the competition have been announced to coincide with ARM. Each will receive a printed and framed copy of their photography and we will make a donation to the BMA’s COVID fund in their name.


ARM 2020 resolutions

Key reports and presentations

In the lead up to ARM, we published reports and presentations from all committees, national and regional council and policy groups.

See the reports


BMA Victor Horsley scientific sessions

The BMA hosted a series of virtual scientific lectures for BMA members, which took place from Wednesday 16 to Thursday 17 September 2020.

Find out what took place at each session below.

Gambling disorder: from clinic to politics, a UK perspective

If you missed this session, you can watch it back.

Speaker: Professor Henrietta Bowden-Jones, Consultant Psychiatrist

Date and time: Wednesday 16 September, from 12.30pm to 2pm

The covered:

  • the definition of the clinical characteristics of a gambling disorder
  • an outline of Professor Henrietta Bowden-Jones work in setting up the National problem gambling Clinic
  • an outline of the recent expansion by NHS England of the protocols used in order to plan for the 15 extra NHS funded clinics opening throughout the UK
  • a focus on the current political landscape linked to gambling and discuss the need for a public health approach in order to protect the vulnerable.
The Gut Microbiome

If you missed this session, you can watch it back.

Speaker: Professor Fergus Shanahan, Chair, Department of Medicine and Director, APC Microbiome Ireland, University College Cork

Date and time: Wednesday 16 September, from 6pm to 7.30pm. 


Humans have evolved with tiny creatures (microbes) residing in and on the body. These include bacteria, fungi and viruses, collectively referred to as the microbiota and the genetic information contained therein is known as the microbiome.

The microbiome has been likened to a virtual organ, essential for immunity and for the maturation of internal organs, including the gut, brain and neuroendocrine system. Moreover, the high prevalence of chronic immune, allergic and metabolic disorders in socio-economically developed societies is attributable, in part, to missing microbes, lost in a modern lifestyle.

Advances in microbiome research show how microbes influence human health and risk of disease. Three areas are particularly noteworthy. Firstly, the microbiome is a source of predictive biomarkers for health (including healthy ageing) and disease (including risk of colon cancer).

Secondly, the microbiome can be manipulated for health benefit, most notably by diet, but also by strategies ranging from microbiome transplantation to phage therapy.

Thirdly, the microbiome can be ‘mined’ for new drugs and functional food ingredients, including smart antibiotics, immunoregulatory molecules and even growth factors.

Lessons from these success stories of microbiome medicine will be explored and simple strategies for how we can maintain our microbes will be addressed. Microbiome health is for everyone!

Controlling epidemics

If you missed this session, you can watch it back.

Speaker: Professor David Heymann, Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Date and time: Thursday 17 September, from 12pm to 1.30pm

Synopsis of talk

Over the years the public health community has learned much about outbreak detection and response, and about the need for strong public health and health care systems to control and mitigate the impact of outbreaks.

There has also been much learned about the importance of community involvement in these actions, but two of the lessons not yet fully learned have been how political, public health and clinical management systems can best work together towards the same clearly identified goal of preparedness and response; and how working together within the human health, animal health and environment sectors can eventually help prevent outbreaks at the source.

ARM fringe events

Active Allyship

Working together for gender equality

Thursday 17 September 2020: 6 – 8pm

GMC event

Wednesday 16 September 2020: 8-9am

Online Event

Network of Elected Women

Online Launch of the BMA Network of Elected Women (NEW) - Thursday 10 September 2020, 6pm - 7.30pm

The BMA’s Network of Elected Women (NEW) will be a BMA-wide group which will allow elected women members to provide peer support and guidance to one another, to share educational activities which support women to apply for disciplines and roles in which they might feel less qualified, and to develop strategies for building strong female leadership at the BMA.

This launch event featured a welcome to the network, an overview of its intended aims, and a Q&A session and discussion panel.


ARM elections are now closed. 

The next elections will take place in 2021. 

ARM app

The agenda, briefings, policy and virtually all the information you could need about the meeting, can all be accessed via the ARM app.

Download the app

Event code (if required): arm-20202

Content will be added regularly before and throughout the meeting and beyond with post-event updates and details on the ARM fringe events.


ARM 2020 agenda and appendices

Proposed article and bye-law changes

The presentations below provide more detailed information from the Organisation Committee on the proposed changes to the articles and bye-laws of the association.

Representatives were asked to use this information to help them consider the motions for these changes (set out in agenda ARM 1A/AGM3 and appendix iii ARM 1A).

Presentation on the proposed article changes

Presentation on the proposed bye-law changes



The BMA's 188th annual general meeting was held virtually on Tuesday 15 September 2020.

Find out more


Physician assisted dying debate

Following feedback from the Representative Body, the debate on physician assisted dying will be held during the 2021 ARM. Read our statement.


Annual representative meeting

Contact us if you have a question about: 

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