Medicopolitical Digest

The BMA's annual representative meetingConfidence expressed in GMCNon-standard grades should be “black boxed” in the BMJDoctors may not be wholly autonomous

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.317.7152.214 (Published 18 July 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:214
  1. Linda Beecham

    The BMA's annual representative meeting

    NHS changes should be tested

    At its first annual meeting since the publication of the NHS white papers the BMA has called for no restructuring of the NHS or major changes to go ahead without prior testing and evaluation. Dr Brian Keighley (Forth Valley) said that the government must not fall into the trap of previous administrations. Most doctors in the hall had seen two or three major changes based on the political flavour of the time and they should be properly evaluated.

    The BMA's annual representative meeting was held in Cardiff from 6 to 9 July. It was chaired by Dr Jane Richards, a former GP in Exeter. She will be succeeded next year by her deputy, Professor Brian Hopkinson, a consultant surgeon in Nottingham, with Dr George Rae, a GP in north Tyneside as his deputy. Sir Alexander Macara's last address to the ARM as chairman of council was reported on 11 July (p 98). An interview with the new chairman of the BMA council, Dr Ian Bogle, is on p 166.

    But Dr David Brownridge (local medical committee (LMC) conference) pointed to the agreement between the government and the General Medical Services Committee (GMSC) on primary care groups (PCGs). This was not received with universal acclaim and there was no mention of pilots. The negotiators should have made proper pilots a major negotiating skill. He was supported by Dr David Cairns (council) who said that first trusts and now PCGs had been imposed.

    Both were roundly opposed by the GMSC chairman, Dr John Chisholm. “We are committed to evidence based policy making but where we see that something is wrong we want to get on and change it,” he said. He feared that the motion could be interpreted in the future to use pilots to delay necessary change.

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