Sunday, 6 May 2007

Orthopods do not mince their words

"There cannot be anyone here who is unaware of the complete chaos that has resulted from this arrogant, ignorant and mendacious government's indecent haste in its efforts to rush through the implementation of MMC despite the remonstrations of our various representative bodies.

Unfortunately, the association of our College with this scheme has in the eyes of many fellows been viewed in poor light and many, particularly our members, feel let down. The price of co-operation is now plainly evident.

The appearance of PMETB we regard as an ominous development and a challenge to the independence and governance of the royal colleges. It can be no more than a poorly disguised attempt to bypass the offices of those colleges.

We believe that the College and its fellows should dissociate themselves from this organisation and take no part in its affairs.

We implore the president to request all or any fellows presently on that board to resign.

We ask what form the College will take once the government has taken over the training and standards of surgery. The College will be subject to the whims and dictates of the government, simply a tool of its policies. It will be disempowered by the board, surviving perhaps to be no more than a society of surgeons.

Does anyone of this assembled company really believe that the government seeks to improve on surgical training and standards? Is it really interested in perfection, in the craft, surgical expertise and care, for the ultimate benefit of patients?

This meeting proposes that the Royal College severs its links with PMETB as soon as possible with appropriate disclosure to the media. "

This is a motion that is due to be recieved at the Annual General Meeting of the Royal College of Surgeons in June 2007. The President has already hinted at the malignant nature of PMETB:

"You may be aware of the Independent Review into MMC, announced earlier this week by the Health Secretary to be chaired by Professor Sir John Tooke. I am attaching the terms of reference for information. He telephoned me several days ago and I had the opportunity to discuss the review with him. I have written to him today, expressing my concern that there is no specific mention of the role of PMETB in the terms of reference. I have asked him to confirm that PMETB’s involvement to date and its future is addressed in this review. I will expect changes to be made before we can offer our support."

The message is clear. PMETB is simply a vehicle used by the government to take over medical training so that they can railroad through yet more useless policy. It is obvious that training standards will be devastated if this coup is not resisted. The choice is a simple binary one and it is disappointing that this was not realised sooner.

Any form of co-operation is used as consent for any new railroaded reform, even if in reality that co-operation amounted to vociferous remonstrations that were brushed aside. The choice is this:

Either continue to co-operate and remonstrate; then PMETB will continue to take over training while standards are destroyed and patients suffer thanks to more woeful government policy

Or unilaterally withdraw all co-operation in order to save what power the colleges have left so that training standards can be maintained and policy can be based on something other than brainless ideology

I know which I would choose.

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