Introduction was given by Chair of conference by Anthea Mowat followed by Dr Mark Porter’s final speech as Chair of Council see

Transcript            Dr Mark Porters speach

Video                       Chair of BMA Council Speach


ARM MOTIONS PASSED  (edited & comments by me in italics)


Motion 11 Proposed by Dr Chaad Naepaul of THE EDGWARE & HENDON DIVISION):

That this meeting deplores the current blame culture in the NHS and:- i) believes that the woeful government underfunding of the NHS coupled with continued austerity cuts is the greatest threat to quality and safety in the NHS; ii) believes that the crisis in NHS hospitals has been consciously created by the government, in order to accelerate its transformation plans for private sector takeover of health care in England; iii) firmly believes this scapegoating is a deliberate attempt to distract the public from an under-funded service under severe and intense strain.

Motion 12 Proposed by Peter Bennie THE SCOTTISH COUNCIL):

That this meeting:- i)   supports the principle of integration of health and social care;  ii)  calls on politicians from all parties UK-wide to stop raising false expectations regarding what integration can achieve when it comes to reducing the admissions of elderly patients to hospital; iii) calls for government to provide enough hospital beds and social care to meet the demands being placed on these services; iv) calls for government to acknowledge that this cannot be done properly without adequate additional funding;  v)  calls for government and NHS lead bodies to have an open dialogue with the public and patients about what services the NHS should provide for the funding available and what services can no longer be provided by the NHS

Motion 13  Proposed by Philip Banfield THE CLWYD NORTH DIVISION):

That this meeting reminds governments and healthcare organisations that they serve and are accountable to patients and the public. This meeting calls upon healthcare organisations to:- i) conduct business in public, with open and free access to reports and papers so that appropriate scrutiny can be undertaken; ii) provide verifiable evidence for changes to practice and / or services before decisions are made; iii)stop extrapolating claims beyond evidence and applying hyperbole to justify their actions without appropriate evaluation; iv)publish full accounts where services are paid for through general taxation in order to provide public accountability.



Motion 16 Proposed by Rob Bleeke THE WELSH COUNCIL):

That this meeting recognises the acknowledged links between poor medical engagement with risks to patient safety and poor outcomes for patients and:- i) recognises that promoting greater medical involvement in the design and planning of healthcare is crucial in ensuring that improved patient

Motion 17 Proposed by Hannah Barham-Brown JUNIOR DOCTORS CONFERENCE:

That this meeting notes with concern the increasing numbers of patients resorting to crowdfunding their own wheelchairs due to delays and cuts in wheelchair services, and the recent suggestion from Muscular Dystrophy UK that a ‘postcode lottery’ pervades such services across the country. We call on the BMA to work with NHS England, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services and other relevant bodies to ensure that would-be wheelchair users have timely access to chairs suitable for their individual conditions. ices are properly designed and effectively implemented; ii) calls for radical change of the management culture in the NHS from the current hierarchical focus on narrowly based targets towards a clinically based system adapted to the needs of patients; iii)calls for all NHS organisations to agree and sign up to a new medical engagement charter that will facilitate the positive involvement and engagement of doctors who are willing to work in close cooperation with other clinical and non-clinical healthcare staff.

Motion 19 Proposed by Phillip De Warren-Penny THE SOUTH WEST REGIONAL COUNCIL:

That, with regard to referral management systems, this meeting:- i)   notes with concern that many Clinical Commissioning Groups operate referral management systems to constrain referrals of patients to acute care; ii)  notes that these systems have the potential to undermine sharing decision-making and to harm patients by delaying their management; iii) deplores the blanket application of referral management policies; iv) calls on the BMA to publicise tick-box referral management systems as rationing; v)  calls upon the BMA to lobby for the abolition of referral management systems.

 Motion 20 Proposed by Robert Scott-Jupp SALISBURY DIVISION:

That this meeting supports the concept published in the GPC document “Quality First” that one specialist should be able to use their professional acumen to refer directly to another specialist and asks for its promotion and implementation by NHS England and the devolved departments of health.

This is an important motion relevant to Hospital Doctors and Primary Care



Motion 23 Proposed by John MacKInnon THE SOUTH EAST COAST REGIONAL COUNCIL):

That this meeting is concerned about the health and wellbeing of our medical colleagues particularly; stress, fatigue, burnout, substance abuse and low morale. This meeting:- i) congratulates the BMA and the Royal Medical Benevolent Fund on establishing the pilot DocHealth programme and supports an extension, following successful evaluation of the pilot; ii) calls for the establishment of a comprehensive workplace policy and code of conduct, within the framework of health and wellbeing, to help prevent and reduce the risk of harm caused by alcohol and substance misuse amongst employees; iii)calls for a fully functional and resourced occupational health service for all NHS staff; iv)calls on the government to raise morale amongst NHS staff.

This is an important motion relevant to all Doctors. Ian Wilson is involved with DocHealth

Motion 24 Proposed by Zoe Greaves NORTH EAST REGIONAL COUNCIL:

That this meeting recognises that in an increasingly stretched and resource-starved health service, doctors are increasingly asked to work beyond their capacity, and that in so doing mistakes, errors and oversights become inevitable.  We call on the BMA to lobby the GMC to amend its guidance to acknowledge that even good and competent doctors may cause harm to patients when working in such an environment, and to acknowledge that such mistakes can be a product of the environment and not the fault of the practitioner.

Report “A promise to learn a commitment to act” mentioned by Dr Mark Porter See


Motion 25 Proposed by Andrew Mowat THE LINCOLN DIVISION

That this meeting demands that the UK government act to avert future crises in workforce availability including reviewing the Shortage Occupation List and investments into specialties at particular risk including: – emergency medicine, general practice and paediatrics.

Motion 26 Proposed by Lucie Crocker JUNIOR MEMBERS FORUM:

That this meeting mandates the BMA to work with relevant bodies to ensure that where extended role practitioners (ERPs) and doctors share clinical duties:-  i)   there is an evidenced need to recruit an ERP; ii)  the training needs of both groups are fully considered and clearly defined; iii) both groups have appropriate supervision, responsibility and safeguards in their roles.


ARMED FORCES                                                                                     

Motion 33 Proposed by Kevin Gallagher ARMED FORCES COMMITTEE:

That this meeting is deeply concerned by the persistent and increasing faults with the Defence Medical Information Capability Programme (DMICP), which affect patient safety and undermine the professionalism of clinicians. We call on the BMA to lobby the Ministry of Defence to take urgent action to rectify the following issues:- i)   insufficient number of available IP addresses resulting in delayed start-up or an inability to access the system entirely without frequent software crashes or total loss of IT; ii)  failure of the system to load previous history, as well as save current consultations; iii) system failure with regard to printer integration, leading to potential patient safety and confidentiality issues; iv) lack of secure integration with NHS IT systems.

Motion 34  Proposed by Brendan McKeating ARMED FORCES COMMITTEE:

That this meeting requires the BMA to request that Defence Medical Services research is fully supported to ensure that military clinicians are able to provide the best medical care to patients on and off operations, both now and into the future.


NHS FINANCES / FINANCING                                                              

Motion 36 Proposed by Geoffrey Lewis THE LEICESTERSHIRE & RUTLAND DIVISION):

That this meeting demands governments urgently rectify the severe and chronic underfunding of health and social care which:-  i)   places extreme pressure on services and the workforce; ii)  puts at risk services to patients and the health of the public; iii) undermines sustainable, publicly provided, universal healthcare; iv) is not addressed by the unrealistic savings of sustainability and transformation plans

Motion 38 Proposed by Mary McCarthy THE SHROPSHIRE DIVISION

That this meeting calls on UK governments to commit to funding the NHS to at least the average levels spent on healthcare by comparable leading European countries.

Motion 40 Proposed by THE CORNWALL DIVISION

That this meeting believes that NHS funding allocations should take account of:-  i) the increased costs in rural areas of providing, and for patients of accessing, NHS services; ii) the increasing costs of financial compensation for clinical negligence consequent on the changes to the discount rates.



Motion 41 Proposed by Russell Walsh THE SCUNTHORPE DIVISION:

That this meeting believes that sustainability and transformation plans have not produced a sustainable funding model for the NHS in England, and the BMA calls for:- i)    the maintenance and improvement of the quality of patient care to be the absolute priority; ii)   patients and the public to be consulted on realistic, evidence-based STPs; iii)  there to be no further reduction in inpatient beds until after a comprehensive assessment of the clinical needs of the local population; iv)  clinical education and training to be protected and promoted; v)   any service reconfiguration to be clinician-led;  vi)  at least one doctor appointed by regional councils to be engaged in a meaningful clinical forum with each STP;  vii)  lost viii) STPs to be fully funded to achieve true transformation.

Note two publications are available on BMA website


That this meeting condemns the woeful manner in which STPs have been progressed, turning them into vehicles to try to legitimise further cuts to vital NHS services, and proposes STPs are abandoned.

Overwhelmingly carried



That this meeting approves the bye-law amendments to the membership and election to UK council in the manner shown in appendix III of document ARM 1A. [NB: 2/3 majority required].

Proposals passed include expanding council to have better regional representation and allowing for increased number of female representatives.

BMA STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION                                                    

Motion 45 Proposed by CORNWALL DIVISION:

That this meeting wishes to see increased BMA policy feedback and engagement locally and asks the BMA to consider a move to an element of regional representation on council.

Motion 46  Proposed by Andrew Mowat THE LINCOLN DIVISION:

That this meeting congratulates the association on its ‘Living Our Values’ campaign, and urges the BMA to:- i) produce a code of conduct for all members and representatives; ii)review how the articles and byelaws should be amended to support members working together constructively.


That this meeting congratulates the association on the progress made through the Member Voice and Democratic Structures review, and calls for:- i) the treasurer to report to the 2018 ARM on the outcome of the recently-begun pilot of direct reimbursement of divisional expenditure through Concur; ii) the treasurer to report on the lessons learned from phases 1 and 2 of the local engagement pilots;


That this meeting believes that retired members need more recognition in the structures of the BMA if their potential is to be realised and their membership retained.

Reports were received from

The BMJ publishing group chair (Joseph Lippincott) / chief executive (Peter Ashman).

The BMA Armed Forces Committee chair (Glynn Evans).

The BMA medical academic staff committee co-chairs (Peter Dangerfield and Michael Rees).

Speeches and hustings took place for the candidates in the election of treasurer

Candidates were invited to make a speech in support of their nomination.

This was followed by a hustings Q and A.