At the Extraordinary General Meeting on 8th March, members and fellows expressed a range of views on the legislation and raised serious concerns about its consequences for surgical care. The President would like to seek views more widely and has written to members and fellows about a forthcoming survey of the membership to understand in more detail how the College can support the membership during the implementation of the reforms for the benefit of surgical patients.
Update from the President, emailed to all members and fellows on 20th March 2012:
Dear Members and Fellows,
Since the publication of the Health and Social Care Bill in January 2011 the College has engaged with members and fellows, asking on five previous occasions for their views, concerns and comments on the Bill. At the Extraordinary General Meeting on 8th March, 176 attendees debated and voted on a five-part motion. At the meeting, there was a constructive debate on the Bill with members expressing a range of views on the legislation and highlighting serious concerns about its consequences for the NHS and patient care.
The most high profile part of the motion was the proposal for the Royal College of Surgeons to call for withdrawal of the Health and Social Care Bill. The motion was defeated by 99 against to 76 in favour. However, a separate motion stating that “the Bill, if passed, will damage the NHS and widen healthcare inequalities with detrimental effects on education, training and patient care” was carried. Many Members of Council were at the meeting and heard the views expressed. The results of the EGM are advisory to Council who will consider the views conveyed very carefully and discuss how best to influence the Department of Health and support members and fellows during the implementation of the NHS reforms so that patient care can be protected and improved.
In order to obtain views from the membership as a whole and to support further discussions, we will be carrying out a survey later this week to look at areas that still remain of concern. Members and fellows will have around two weeks to complete the survey so the results can be considered at the next meeting of Council. Please look out for this survey in your inboxes later this week.