Patient liaison group overview

The PLG (patient liaison group) acts as an informed patient view on matters of interest to the medical profession and to patients.

Location: UK
Audience: Patients and public
Updated: Monday 8 July 2024
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The PLG (patient liaison group) represents patients within the BMA, informs BMA policy, and provides an informed patient view on matters of interest to the medical profession and to patients.

It also highlights areas of patient concern to the BMA, and works alongside BMA committees on behalf of patients, including BMA council, the general practitioners committee and consultants committee.

PLG members come from a range of backgrounds and draw on their knowledge and experience as patients, carers and professionals working in a range of health-related fields.


Our priorities

  • Act as a critical friend on issues that concern patients.
  • Initiate constructive and robust challenges to decision making and policy development.
  • Ensure BMA policy development and related activities include patients' perspective, interests and concerns.
  • Help the BMA understand how its decisions will affect patients and carers, and raise awareness of the needs of all patient groups, especially the vulnerable and disadvantaged.


Symposium 2024

PLG symposium

On Wednesday 1 May 2024, the PLG symposium brought together speakers from across disciplines and backgrounds to share their expertise and experiences on valuing diversity, co-design and intersectionality in health policy formation. The symposium included keynote speakers, panels and breakout group discussions. It brought together people with lived experience and professionals from different sectors and disciplines to discuss the topic.

Read the PLG symposium 2024 report.


Self-care guidance

Self-care encompasses the things individuals can do to protect their own health and manage illness. To help improve patients' understanding of self-care, the PLG has developed a 'question and answer' resource.

Download our self-care guidance


Doctors' titles

The BMA is committed to improving the patient experience. As part of this, PLG has developed a resource for patients to help clarify 'who’s who' in a medical team.

Download our guidance to doctors' titles and roles


Patient and public involvement

Engaged and involved patients are key to achieving a healthcare system that is responsive to their needs and values.

Download our patient involvement toolkit for GPs



Our people

PLG members come from a diverse range of backgrounds, including some with direct patient-based links. The group has seats for eleven lay members and five doctor members who work on a voluntary basis.

Chair: Christine Douglass

Deputy chair: Sue Gallagher



Emma Beeden
Kieron Blake
Sue Gallagher
Richard Grimes
Charlotte Paddison
Susan Prosser
Rowena Skinner
Naheed Tahir

Our meetings

The PLG meets three times a year to discuss the latest issues affecting patients. The meetings are open to PLG members only.

Meeting dates:

  • Tues 8 October 2024 (hybrid)
  • Fri 17 Jan 2025 (virtual)
  • Thurs 29 May 2025 (virtual)

All meetings take place either virtually or at:

BMA House
Tavistock Square

For more information email [email protected].


Previous Symposiums


The 2023 annual PLG symposium took place on Wednesday 26 April and was entitled ‘Avoiding the harm of imprisonment: equity in the CJS, with a focus on women’. The symposium sought to explore health and social inequities within our criminal justice system with a particular focus on women. The event brought together people with lived experience and people working across the field to discuss this important issue.

Read the report


How to join

Getting involved with the PLG gives you the opportunity to shape the BMA's views on key healthcare issues, ranging from patient confidentiality and NHS reforms to organ donation and social care.

There are a few routes into the PLG: 

Open recruitment of lay members
  • Seats/term - the PLG recruits up to 12 seats for a three-session term, renewable for a further term of three sessions.
  • Timeline - applications open around springtime every three years. The recruitment process usually involves a written application and an interview.
  • Eligibility - any patients, careers and lay members who have an interest in health and social equity, diversity and inclusion.
Open recruitment of doctor members
  • Seats/ term - the PLG recruits one grass-root doctor member for a three-session term, renewable for one more session on two further occasions.
  • Timeline - applications open around springtime every three years. The recruitment process usually involves a written application and an interview.
  • Eligibility - any BMA doctor member who shall not have served on the UK or a national council preceding two years or be a candidate for elections to such groups.
Appointments from other BMA committees

One representative from each of the following for a one-session term:

  • UK council
  • junior doctors committee
  • medical ethics committee.

If you wish to join the PLG through the open recruitment process, posts are advertised in our Working at the BMA area throughout the year.

Should you wish to join via any of the relevant committees, please see any running elections on their respective pages. 


Get in touch

If you have any questions or would like to find out more about the work of the PLG, email [email protected].

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Stand for a BMA committee and be part of this change.

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