Armed forces committee overview

The AFC (armed forces committee) represents the interests of all BMA member doctors in the armed forces.

Location: UK
Audience: Armed forces doctors
Updated: Monday 20 July 2020
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​The AFC (armed forces committee) represents the serving doctors and civilian doctors in the armed forces and the reserve armed forces. The committee considers matters relating to the medical branches of these forces, to ensure that medical officers are not disadvantaged in relation to their civilian and military counterparts.

The committee:

  • produces evidence to ensure members are compensated fairly
  • organises an annual conference for members based on a particular theme
  • lobbies ministers, MPs, peers and the press on issues of concern to armed forces doctors
  • builds a strong working relationship with the surgeon general's department
  • represents civilian doctors working for the defence medical services (elected negotiators meet with the Ministry of Defence biannually).

 

Our priorities

IT systems

The AFC has been lobbying for an up-to-date IT system that's fit for purpose and benefits both colleagues and patients. Some actions that are being taken by the AFC include:

  • working with the director general’s department on resolutions to the ongoing IT failures experienced by armed forces doctors
  • assisting with the improvements to the military IT systems reporting facility
  • reporting IT failures through designated reporting channels.

Supporting CMPs (civilian medical practitioners)

There are several objectives to supporting CMPs and these are focused on:

  • CMPs undertaking senior medical responsibilities
  • out-of-hours terms and conditions for overseas CMPs
  • pay and contracts
  • nurse practitioner pay
  • trade union recognition.

Supporting reservists

The AFC has been lobbying to reform the way the daily rate of pay is calculated for reserves, to help increase recruitment and retention.

Pensions

It’s important armed forces doctors are supported and receive their appropriate pension entitlement. To achieve this, the AFC will collaborate with a working group on member pension issues, clarify issues around annual and lifetime allowances, and seek external guidance on pension issues for forces members.

​Supporting junior doctors in the armed forces

The two main priorities in supporting junior doctors is to encourage exception reporting and to support FY2 doctors completing A&E placements, ensuring they receive the correct training and support.

 

Our people

Chair: Dr Glynn Evans
Deputy chair: Dr Sarah Hollis

Members of the armed forces in the UK pay a concessional rate on their BMA membership. To take advantage of this rate, please update your BMA details online. If you have any questions about your membership, please email [email protected].

Constitution

Members ex officio

  • The armed forces representative on council, if not otherwise a member.
  • A representative from the Ministry of Defence, as adviser and without the right to vote.

Members elected or appointed by the representative body

Two (to sit on the committee for two BMA sessions) who are serving officers, reservists, or former regular officers, of which only one may be retired from the service. Those who were conscripted into the armed forces under the terms of national service may not stand for election to the armed forces committee.

Members elected or appointed by council

Two (to sit on the committee for two BMA sessions) who are serving officers, reservists, or former regular officers, of which only one may be retired from the service. Those who were conscripted into the armed forces under the terms of national service may not stand for election to the armed forces committee.

Otherwise elected or appointed

  • All members elected and/or appointed under this section will sit on the committee for a term of two BMA sessions.
  • Two appointed by the British Dental Association.
  • Eight regular officers elected by all serving BMA members (at least one from each service, at least one to be a hospital consultant, at least one to be a general practitioner and at least two trainees).
  • Three reserve officers, one from each of the three branches of the armed forces, elected by BMA members in the reserve services.
  • One elected representative of all civilian doctors employed by the Ministry of Defence.
  • One medical student.
  • The armed forces representative on the registrars subcommittee of the general practitioners committee.

Our meetings

The AFC meets three times a year to discuss the latest issues affecting doctors employed in the armed forces. Only committee members may vote at meetings; however, BMA members and non-members are welcome to attend via the BMA committee visitors scheme. If you would like to attend a meeting, please contact us [email protected] to register your interest.

Dates for the 2020-21 session:

  • Tuesday 6 October 2020.

All meetings take place at:

BMA House
Tavistock Square
London
WC1H 9JP

For more information email [email protected].

 

Conference

This event has been cancelled due to COVID-19.

 

Elections

Elections via the ARM

All BMA members in the UK may stand for election to the Armed forces committee via the ARM

Elections to the vacant seats will open for nominations at 12 noon on Thursday 16 July 2020 and will close at 10am on Tuesday 15 September 2020.

The ballot will open to ARM delegates only at 12 noon on Tuesday 15 September 2020 and will close at 1pm on Friday 18 September 2020.

Results will be announced on our website on Friday 18 September 2020. Candidates will be emailed directly. 

Direct elections

All armed forces doctors who meet the criteria specified in the election guide may stand for election to this committee. 

Elections opened for nominations at 12 noon on Monday 13 July 2020 and will close at 12 noon on Monday 10 August 2020.

The ballot will open to all armed forces doctors at 12 noon on Tuesday 11 August 2020 and will close at 12 noon on Tuesday 25 August 2020.

Results will be announced on our website on Wednesday 26 August 2020. 

Take part in the election

 

Get in touch

If you have any questions or are interested in finding out more about the work of the AFC, please contact [email protected].