Bma Row!

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A section of the delegates at the Torquay  conference
A section of the delegates at the Torquay conference

AT a stormy morning session of the BMA Annual Representative Meeting yesterday, Birmingham BMA demanded the resignation of the chairman and deputy chairman of the Junior Doctors Committee (JDC).

Motion 595 from Birmingham division stated: ‘In the light of their failure to honour the commitment given to the JDC, not to oppose legal action by RemedyUK, this meeting calls for the resignation of the chair and deputy chair of the UK JDC.’

Fay Wilson, Secretary of Birmingham division, moving the motion, said that junior doctors felt ‘deceived and deserted and stabbed in the back by the BMA’.

Seconding the motion, Stuart Kay, from GPC (General Practice Committee), said: ‘Surely members of the JDC were aware of the widespread unhappiness in the role of the Juniors’ leadership and the BMA in the Medical Training Application Service (MTAS) process.’

He said: ‘Yesterday the BMA involvement in the process was portrayed as something just short of a triumph . . .

‘Sometimes if a process is so flawed, so unfair and so detrimental to the interests of our members, negotiators have to walk away from the table. . .

‘Junior doctors not involved in medical politics blame their leadership and their role in MTAS . . .

‘Yesterday Sam Everington supported the role of the BMA in this mess, I don’t know why. We should be apologising to our junior colleagues.’

Andrew Rowland, deputy chairman of the JDC, Hamish Meldrum, chairman of the GPC, and Sam Everington acting chairman of the Council, spoke against the motion, saying JDC had worked very hard and the profession should unite.

Although the motion was lost with 29 per cent of the meeting voting for the motion and 71 per cent voting against, it represented a significant vote for the resignation of the JDC leaders.

Agenda Committee motion 255 said that ‘this meeting is appalled that JDC, CCFC (Central Consultants and Specialists Committee) and BMA warnings of the potential failure of MTAS were not heeded’.

A Junior Doctor Representative from Plymouth spoke passionately in favour of subsection 9 which demanded the resignation of the chairman and deputy chairman of the BMA council.

‘We have had a good cause since 2004. Who has been uniting us in this time? What have we achieved? We needed strong leadership from the top. . . We did not get this from our former chairman James Johnstone, nor did we see evidence from his deputy currently acting chairman.

‘As a result junior doctors were left searching for leadership at this difficult time. They found this not at the top of the BMA, but in a new group called RemedyUK.

‘Dr Everington said we are at a crossroads. I disagree, we are at a precipice, staring into the abyss of irrelevance. Irrelevant as our union allows the government to ride roughshod over the profession. . .

‘We need a leader who can restore the faith of the profession in the BMA.’

The Agenda Committee motion on Modernising Medical Careers (MMC) was passed. It calls for a fundamental review of MMC, is opposed to creating a subconsultant grade and by implication supports competency training.