Posted by: Witch Doctor | September 15, 2011

Waiting patiently for The Academy


The Guardian refers to an open letter sent by a group of doctors to all the Presidents of the Medical Royal Colleges asking them to speak for the medical establishment and demand that the Health and Social Care Bill, that has currently completed its trip through the House of Commons, is withdrawn by the government.

The letter referred to is here.

There is an independent corporate body and charity known as The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges. Their stated role is as follows:

“The Academy’s role is to promote, facilitate and where appropriate co-ordinate the work of the Medical Royal Colleges and their Faculties for the benefit of patients and healthcare. The Academy comprises the Presidents of the Medical Royal Colleges and Faculties who meet regularly to agree direction.”

You would have thought that there would have been some comment and link on their home page leading to information on The Health and Social Care Bill that has recently passed through the House of Commons and is about to commence its trip through the Upper House before it becomes law.


So the Witch Doctor asked My Black Cat to see if she could pick up a trail on their website.

She tried to do a search for:

“Health and Social Care Bill,” but the term was too long. It would only accept “Health and Social Ca”

There were four results. None of them were relevant to the HSCB.

So she did a search for “HSCB”

Results: NONE

She then searched for “Health Bill.”

Results: NONE

“Health Reforms?”


“Health Care Reforms?”


“NHS Bill?”


However, there was an Academy Council Meeting on 25 July 2011. One of the headings on the agenda was “NHS Bill”

“NHS Bill

“The Academy recognised that the work of the NHS Future Forum and the Government response had resulted in improvements to the Bill in a number of areas. However, there still remained areas of concern.

It was agreed that there was a need to seek further amendments or assurances in certain areas. The areas on which to focus should be:

Potential increased bureaucracy and structures
Regulation and appointment of public health professionals
Time off for College and wider work for the NHS.

The Academy agreed that it will use part of its policy away-day in September to determine the approach to key issues and any possible amendments.”

This seems a very bland statement. There is no mention for example of The Secretary of State for Health’s “Duty to provide” being removed from the Bill.

Do they not care about that?

Had they not noticed the change?

And, glory be, they have no sense of urgency whatsoever! They will “use their policy away-day in September to determine the approach to key issues and any possible ammendments.”

What use is that?

Are they daft, My Black Cat?

Did they not know the final reading of the Bill in the commons was on Wednesday 7th September?

How laid back can you get regarding the future of the NHS?

Wonder if they’ve had their “away day” yet My Black Cat, and whether they all bonded and played funny management games together.

And whether they managed to get round to discussing the Health and Social Care Bill while they were away on their day.

Hey, My Black Cat, it takes a witch to scour around the Academy of Royal Colleges Website to find out what they are really about.

The search should have been for “NHS and Social Care Bill”, My Black Cat. You might have found something then.

There was an Academy Meeting on 28 March 2011.

It seems there is a reason why they didn’t say too much about The Bill on its passage through the Commons.

They didn’t want to.

They just didn’t want to.

They intend to say what they want to say to The House of Lords.

“Government Health Policy and the NHS and Social Care Bill

“The Academy noted the progress of the Health Bill in parliament and the various comments made by the Government including now making reference to “clinician commissioning” and “any qualified provider”.

It was agreed that further Academy work should concentrate on the Lords stage of the Bill and for Colleges to all seek to support a small number of identified amendments. The Academy will produce a written brief for the Lords stage on the key amendments and issues and organise a meeting for interested Presidents with Peers.”

We are all waiting expectantly.

Since we are expecting great things from the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges when “interested Presidents” speak to the Peers.

We trust all the Presidents will be interested in the future of the NHS.

Don’t we, My Black Cat. And we hope they are interested enough to find out the views of the members and fellows of their respective colleges.

Perhaps we should hold on a while before we turn the whole of the medical establishment into frogs. However, if we decide the spell is necessary, we will start with The Presidents.

Eh, My Black Cat?

redapple.jpg a red apple ……………………

The Witch Doctor – Link to a random page





© Dlundin |


  1. Worrying stuff Witch Doctor. It is apparent that it not only The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (despite the occasional squark) who are burying their heads in the stand.

    Your post inspired mine when I recalled a previously read article re possible/probable industrial action re puplic pension reforms.

    A fight for pension rights but not the NHS it seems.


    Anna :o]

  2. PS They could also be burying their heads in the sand!

    Anna :o]

  3. This seems to be the position at the moment Anna.

    I have no recollections of UK NHS doctors ever striking apart from many years ago when their industrial action amounted to refusing to sign sick lines and other administrative issues. It would certainly be very easy to target a multitude of administrative tasks nowadays without any patient suffering, indeed it could be designed in such a way that patients would gain. But any action should surely be over the HSCB, not pensions. Anyway who knows what arrangements there will be for pensions 10 years down the line when global companies take over large chunks of healthcare and the NHS becomes meaningless. Carts before horses perhaps?

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