Strategy Day 2018 Event Roundup
A Consultant's Perspective
BAPRAS are to be congratulated for having the insight to connect directly to its membership, and at a time when our specialty and medicine as a whole is rapidly evolving.
The format of the day with facilitation worked well, and the ‘big themes’ for both trainees and consultant members were identified early. From the consultant angle, the de-commissioning of services that are ‘bread and butter’ for plastic surgeons, and the knock-on effect on both our day jobs as well as our ability to train the next generation was a concern. Will the next generation of trainees be slaves to the private sector in which the majority of this future work may be undertaken, and what could the long term consequences be? The role of BAPRAS and it’s ‘USP’ in the context of other organisations such as BAAPS, and the individual specialty associations such as BBA and BSSH will be a key issue over coming years in terms of it having its own firm vision of its own Identity and relevance to us - a collective of sub-specialists. Prioritising its interface with other organisations such as the GMC and the public/media will also be important.
In terms of more general issues, I am pleased that under the subject area of ‘work-life balance’ my comments that a career change to Radiology were taken in the light-hearted manner intended, and underscored the well-humoured nature of the meeting! Importantly, it is clear that there has been a dramatic and continuing re-balancing of gender equality at both consultant and trainee level, and there is no doubt that BAPRAS can think of ways to continue to facilitate more flexible ways of working and providing opportunity across the board.
Overall, I think the day helped a great deal in terms of putting the big issues on the table, but there is only so much that can be achieved in a day - the solutions will not be easy. The main challenge for BAPRAS is how it stays relevant in an increasingly specialist world. I have no doubt under the experienced, insightful and dedicated ‘listening’ stewardship of Ward & Henley and council over coming years that the Association can navigate these issues. My own view is that British Plastic Surgeons have been leading pioneers globally in the evolution of the specialty, and we must not forget this in terms of the levels of ambition and resource we bring to bear on these issues that will directly impact our ability to improve the quality of life of our patients for years to come.
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