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Feature Medical Politics

Next steps for the BMA: will new leadership deliver much needed change?

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 09 October 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l5883
  1. Abi Rimmer
  1. The BMJ
  1. arimmer{at}

Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, and Tom Grinyer, who joined the organisation as chief executive in July, tell Abi Rimmer how new changes will lead to a more democratic organisation and tackle inequalities

The past 12 months haven’t been an easy time for the BMA, with challenges over expense practices, allegations of sexist behaviour by committee members, and an ongoing decline in membership. However, with a chair of council committed to change and a new chief executive at the helm, the organisation is looking to improve the way it works and to reinvigorate its interactions with members.

Chaand Nagpaul, the BMA’s chair of council,1 says he realised that the organisation needed “a renewal” when he took on the post in 2017 and that he’s keen to push reforms through. Tom Grinyer, who was chief executive of the Royal College of Anaesthetists before becoming BMA chief executive in July, wants to see the association put its members at the heart of its work.

Sexism complaints

The work of reforming the organisation has received added impetus this year, in the wake of particular challenges. In March two senior committee members spoke out about sexist comments they had received from colleagues during the conference of local medical committees.2 In April the BMA commissioned a review of the allegations, which has been conducted by Daphne Romney QC.3

Grinyer says that this report is being finalised. “Chaand and I both hope to be in a position to report it as soon as possible and, whatever the cultural or other issues, to be in a position to use the report to move forward and deal with them,” he says.

The week after the committee members spoke out about their experiences, The BMJ reported that the association had come under fire from members of …

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