Many, many things have been different in 2020 – and the upcoming virtual Scottish LMC conference on Friday 4 December will be just one of the many new experiences for all of us.
But while we won’t be gathering in person this year, what will still be true is that the day remains a pivotal chance to discuss, debate and shape the future of the GP profession in Scotland.
So, let’s start with the different bit. As we are all getting used to now, the conference will be virtual, and staged over Microsoft teams due to the current COVID-19 restrictions. No doubt that no matter how much we have become used to meeting via our computers, this will throw up some particular challenges.
However, the team at BMA Scotland have put in much hard work to provide us with a structure and online forum we hope will work and facilitate the kind of productive day we all want to see.
I hope those of you that will be joining us will be able to engage and participate fully – if perhaps in a different way to usual.
While that will be relatively new to us all, the structure of the day won’t be. It will continue to offer an important opportunity for GPs across Scotland to influence the policy of the BMA SGPC (Scottish GP committee).
It is a chance to ensure the SGPC negotiators understand your priorities and concerns and a chance to provide your thoughts and ideas to improve general practice for the future. The motions you submit, and the policy formed are also communicated to stakeholders, including Scottish Government and the NHS health boards.
Just like in conferences past, the cabinet secretary for health and sport, Ms Jeane Freeman MSP, will be joining us to address conference and answer a few of your questions. This year these will need to be submitted in advance of conference by 12 noon, Wednesday 2 December. This will be done via LMCs – and details will have been in your delegate packs.
We will then debate motions on a wide variety of topics, starting with contract and negotiations and public messaging. There are also motions covering, eHealth, funding, primary/secondary care interface, immunisations and a range of issues affecting general practice. The full agenda can be viewed here.
There will also be time for the SGPC negotiators to answer your questions which, this year, will be submitted in advance of conference by 12 noon, Wednesday 2 December. Again, information on this should be in delegate packs.
Whether you’re a regular or new participant, I hope you enjoy conference, despite the rather unusual circumstance and will use the opportunity to get involved, either by proposing one of your LMC’s motions or by contributing to the debates.
If you are interested in attending conference, please get in touch with your LMC secretary firstly to see whether any spaces are available from your LMC allocated places.
Personally, I am delighted to chair conference this year and I would like to thank the agenda committee for their support in putting together what we hope will be an interesting programme. I very much look forward to seeing you at conference (virtually of course!) and hearing your views.
Dr Teresa Cannavina, chair of Scottish local medical committee (GP) conference 2020
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