No shrinking violet

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 04 January 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:12

Paul Miller has taken over in the hot seat as chairman of the revamped BMA consultants' committee after the recent fracas with the government over the proposed consltants' contracts. Mark Gould spoke to him

It's somewhat apt that a psychiatrist has been elected to lead the BMA's Central Consultants and Specialists Committee, given the levels of acute mental anguish engendered by the new consultants' contract.

But Dr Paul Miller, a 39 year old consultant psychiatrist who was born and bred in Sunderland and who works at the city's Cherry Knowle Hospital, plays down the damage done to the BMA by the rejection of the consultants' contract in England and Wales and its acceptance in Scotland (7 December, p 1322).

Surely the BMA is in turmoil?

“I don't see such a huge problem. It certainly has been portrayed as a big split, but I think the end of the process is likely to be that Scotland as well as England, Northern Ireland, and Wales eventually come to the same outcome.

“Either an acceptable contract gets negotiated in Scotland that most people [in the rest of the United Kingdom] would be happy with or Scotland doesn't get an acceptable contract. Either way we remain on the same side.”

Flaws in negotiations

However, Dr Miller, who has distanced himself both from consultants advocating the contract and those signing up to the “no” camp, says …

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