Medicopolitical Digest

Scottish council elects new chairmanLittle support for new Scottish manpower bodyJuniors want payment for work intensityWMA will support former secretary general of Nigerian Medical AssociationBMA tackles major issues at political fringe meetings

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.311.7008.814 (Published 23 September 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:814
  1. Linda Beecham

    Scottish council elects new chairman

    The BMA's Scottish council has elected Mr Arthur Morris as its new chairman. Mr Morris, who is a consultant plastic surgeon in Dundee Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, told the council last week that he foresaw a critical time for the NHS. There was certainly a clearer line of command in the NHS but who, he asked, was pulling the policy strings. “Is it the secretary of state? Is it the NHS chief executive? Is it the civil servants, the purchasers, or the fundholders? It is certainly not the patients.”

    Working for Patients, Mr Morris said, was supposed to devolve decision making to the periphery. Yet central directives, such as waiting time targets were distorting local strategy planning and cut across clinical priorities in patient care. He referred to conflicts that had been created. For example, the reforms to improve junior doctors' hours had coincided with career restructuring in specialist training and both had increased consultants' workload at a time of increasing patient demands. The new Scottish chairman applauded the move for more treatment to be provided in primary care where appropriate but not bed closures in advance of adequate facilities being provided in the community. Both examples illustrated the strain that health care resources could suffer if changes were not introduced in a planned and coordinated manner.

    Little support for new Scottish manpower body

    Representatives of Scottish doctors will take the opportunity at their forthcoming meetings with the Scottish secretary, Mr Michael Forsyth, and the health minister, Lord James Douglas-Hamilton, to express their concerns at the proposal to set up an advisory group for planning …

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