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Message from the Chairman

The Joint Medical Consultative Council provides a valuable forum for doctors to discuss issues of topical interest and to engage with the Department of Health and other regulatory bodies such as the General Medical Council (GMC), the Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards (ACCEA) and the Monitor.  The Councilís broad membership enables it to offer informed comment on a range of issues affecting the delivery of health care, the maintenance of clinical and professional standards, medical education and research.

The full meetings of the Council are held per session (July - July) and offer the membership the opportunity to debate current policy developments and suggest areas for improvement.  During the afternoon sessions of these meetings, the Council is joined by representatives of the English Department of Health.  This provides the NHS Medical Director and his team with an opportunity to seek the views of senior representatives of the profession with regard to the Department's policies and planning. Crucially, it also provides the Department of Health with direct feedback about the operation of health services across England and the devolved nations.

In addition, the afternoon session has been used to debate strategic developments in greater depth.  Issues considered in the recent past have included the European Working Time Directive, Revalidation, the Health and Social Care Bill 2011, the healthcare workforce, the GMC's Good Medical Practice Framework for appraisal and revalidation and Clinical Excellence Awards (CEAs).

Within the past year the Council has, and continues to do so, fully engaged with the Department of Health on the NHS White Paper and resulting Health and Social Care Bill proposals, engaged with the GMC on developments with regard to revalidation and is collaborated with partner organisations, including the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC), the British Medical Association (BMA), the Medical Defence Union (MDU), the Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland (MDDUS), the Medical Protection Society (MPS), the GMC, NCAS and NHS Employers, the Practitioner Health Programme (PHP) and the London Specialised Commissioning Group.

These arrangements help to ensure that the JMCC is kept abreast of developments in the provision of health care throughout the UK and enable the Council to make a valid contribution to the development of national health strategy.

Dr Alan Russell (chairmanjmcc@bma.org.uk)

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