By: 1 March 2013

The Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain & Ireland (AAGBI) in conjuncture with the Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) have issued a statement condoning the work done by specialist societies in the work they do to advance and promote patient safety, education and research.

They endorse the letter from the four Chief Medical Officers, the Chair of the General Medical Council and the Medical Director of NHS England, urging NHS employers to be understanding to requests for absence by doctors, to carry out national work in aid of these societies, believing that will benefit the UK’s healthcare system.

The AAGBI and the RCoA reason that supporting doctors to support specialist societies will greatly benefit patients throughout the NHS, by enhancing safe medical care. Furthermore, these two associations call for work performed by societies to be recognised by employers and doctors’ involvement to be included in their job plan.

Restrictions on time allocated in job plans based on Supporting Professional Activities (SPA) should be reconsidered and reversed, say the AAGBI and RCoA, to aid the good work of specialist societies.