LMCs have expressed concern over the suspension of the England GP Committee chair, stating that it is ‘contradictory’ to the efforts to tackle ‘institutional sexism within the BMA’.
At today’s England LMC conference, delegates noted ‘with concern’ the ‘optics of this action being taken against a colleague in the final stages of pregnancy’, with Dr Farah Jameel about to imminently go on maternity leave.
Delegates also found the ‘lack of transparency around the circumstances unacceptable’ and ‘at odds with the BMA’s own values’, and concluded that LMCs have ‘no confidence’ in the BMA’s member resolution process.
The motion was discussed behind closed doors but Pulse understands it passed ‘narrowly’ and in all parts.
Pulse revealed at the start of the month that Dr Jameel was not currently performing the duties of GPC chair.
We later revealed Dr Jameel is currently on temporary suspension following complaints made by two staff members.
She is currently going through the complaints procedure, but has not yet been found guilty of anything.
The GPC England chair was described as ‘naughty’ and ‘petulant’ in emails from within the BMA, while casting doubt on how it is addressing sexism, an email leaked to Pulse in June.
Rachel Podolak and Neeta Major, co-CEOs of the BMA, said: ‘Any case referred to the Resolution Process is confidential until the process has reached a conclusion, and we do not comment on any specific active investigations.
‘It is important to stress that Resolution Process was developed by members for members and the confidentiality in the process is there to protect members and staff. BMA Council has overall responsibility for the process, which is regularly reviewed and we welcome feedback to ensure we are getting things right.
‘We continue to make progress against the recommendations of the Romney Review. Changes have been made to the resolution process in response to the Romney Review, and the effectiveness of these changes is being kept under review.’
Motion in full
That conference registers its deep concern that at this time of great instability in general practice the elected chair of the GPCE has been disallowed to undertake her duties by the BMA and:
i) notes with concern the optics of this action being taken against a colleague in the final stages of pregnancy
ii) believes this episode to be contradictory to the recommendations of the Romney report into institutional sexism within the BMA
iii) find the lack of transparency around the circumstances unacceptable and at odds with the BMA’s own values
iv) has no confidence in the “Resolution Process” for BMA members