The British Medical Association (BMA) Annual Representative Meeting has formed new policies on protecting vulnerable children at its meeting in Liverpool this week.
I made speeches proposing the following motions which stemmed from my Churchill Fellowship report, Living on a Railway Line, and am delighted that all parts of the motions were carried and have now become BMA policy.
That this meeting supports an enhancement of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Pro-bono Medical Panel (“Panel”) to cover child protection issues, and:-
i) notes that the BMA were involved in the creation of the original Medical Pro-bono Panel (carried unanimously)
ii) mandates the BMA to work with appropriate stakeholders to try to secure this enhancement to the Panel (carried unanimously)
Motion 639 (amended 348)
That this meeting is very concerned about the adverse effects of child abuse, including child sexual exploitation, and:-
i) condemns the abuse or maltreatment of children in all circumstances (carried unanimously)
ii) highlights the need for communities to do more to support and protect children (carried unanimously)
iii) calls for standardised child protection training programmes for all professionals dealing with children and families (carried with an overwhelming majority)
iv) calls for a Health Needs Assessment to be undertaken in relation to child maltreatment in the UK; (carried with an overwhelming majority)
v) in principle, supports the introduction of “Mandatory Reporting” child abuse legislation and insists that any introduction is scientifically evaluated (carried)
vi) recommends that organisations working in the community on child abuse prevention programmes should incorporate material related to Adverse Childhood Experiences (“ACEs”) (carried unanimously)
vii) insists that, following the introduction of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, statutory guidance, education and training for appropriate professionals, must be provided (carried unanimously).
What happens next is that BMA Council will meet to discuss how best to implement these new policies over the coming year.
I’m delighted at the result of the above votes and look forward to working with the BMA over the next year implementing the policy that has now been created. I’ll be posting separately the proposal speeches that I gave on each of these motions which can be accessed here:
(Scroll down to Motions 348 and 439 in the Timeline box and click on them. Click on play in the box to the left).
No matter what anyone tells you, words and ideas can change the world. The words and ideas expressed at the BMA annual meeting which result in motions being carried, result in new policy being formed by the BMA which results in implementation efforts with the ultimate aim, using the two cases above as examples, of securing changes to better protect children and young people in the future.
This week’s policy-setting conference was just a start. It is the work on these policies, the implementation of them and the outcomes of that implementation that really matter, but in the end I’m hopeful of success.
Watch this space…