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BMA to vote on Covid inquiry and industrial action on pay



Doctors meeting for the BMA’s annual representative meeting will be vote on motions concerning the Government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and doctor pay in its first virtual conference.

One of the motions scheduled for debate on Tuesday 15 September, says there ‘must be a public inquiry into the UK governments’ management of the Covid-19 pandemic in order to be better prepared for and to be able to follow best practice during any future overwhelming health crisis’.

It proposes five remits for the inquiry including PPE provision; the testing strategy; and wellbeing of health and care staff during the pandemic.

The ARM will also vote on a motion to acknowledge the ‘significant work of UK doctors and medical students in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic and that this work was performed on a background of sustained real-terms pay erosion for doctors in the UK’.

The motion proposes to ‘survey members as to what actions they believe the BMA should take next, in regard to tackling this real-terms pay erosion, including the option of industrial action’.

Delegates will also debate whether the pause in appraisal and revalidation has resulted in ‘any detriment to patient safety or standards of care’ and whether to ‘demand’ a ‘reduction in the GMC regulation imposed by annual appraisal and five yearly revalidation to encourage experienced clinicians to retire later’.

It comes as the BMA’s GP Committee has warned the Government that GPs were ‘incensed’ at the unequal pay uplift they were awarded this year.

The GPC has also warned against the reinstating of GP bureaucracy during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.

Motions in full

Motion by THE AGENDA COMMITTEE (TO BE PROPOSED BY LINCOLN DIVISION): That this meeting insists that there must be a public inquiry into the UK governments’ management of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to be better prepared for and to be able to follow best practice during any future overwhelming health crisis. As a minimum it should cover in its remit:-

i) the mismanagement of care homes;

ii) the purchase, delivery, quality control and guidelines for PPE;

iii) the testing strategy;

iv) health & care staff wellbeing;

v) the timing of interventions and the timing of the easing of restrictions.

Motion by THE AGENDA COMMITTEE (TO BE PROPOSED BY YORKSHIRE REGIONAL COUNCIL): That this meeting acknowledges the significant work of UK doctors and medical students in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and that this work was performed on a background of sustained real-terms pay erosion for doctors in the UK. We call on the BMA to:-

i) survey members as to their opinions of the pay recommendations suggested by the DDRB in their 48th report (2020);

ii) survey members as to what actions they believe the BMA should take next, in regard to tackling this real-terms pay erosion, including the option of industrial action;

iii) to demand significant above inflation pay rise to compensate for a decade of freezes and sub-inflation pay rises;

iv) to formulate an action plan in case doctors are not offered a fair pay settlement;

v) withdraw from the DDRB before the end of 2020.

Motion by THE AGENDA COMMITTEE (TO BE PROPOSED BY NORTH WEST REGIONAL COUNCIL): That this meeting:-

i) believes the pause in appraisal and revalidation has not resulted in any detriment to patient safety or standards of care;

ii) calls on the GMC to publish guidance stating that revalidation and appraisal to be meaningful and robust would require a minimum of 1.5 sessions in a job plan;

iii) demands a reduction in the GMC regulation imposed by annual appraisal and five yearly revalidation to encourage experienced clinicians to retire later.

iv) demands a proper independent audit of the processes of appraisal and revalidation to examine any alleged benefits and detrimental effects.

Source: BMA