PRESENT: Dr E Forrest, Dr C Bell, Dr A Guha, Dr R O'Kell, Prof R Jones, Dr P Mullen, Dr D Gray, Dr A Florence, Dr R Ahearn, Dr J Chambers, Dr A Guha, Dr A Murray, Dr B Phillips, Dr W Roberts
Dr J Crooke, Dr T Hankin, Dr J Fazakerley, Dr F Potter, Dr I Tweedie, Dr S Ridler, Dr C Cowan, Prof M Leuwer
2. The Minutes of the Committee Meeting of 20th November 2006
The minutes were agreed as being accurate and correct.
3. Matters arising from the Minutes
This item was put on hold until 2008.
David Gray said that the MSA had given £20,000 to the LMI for the refurbishment of the anaesthetic suite. Half of this sum had been given on behalf of the LSA. He would not be asking the LSA for the balance of £10,000 until he had seen the accounts for the refurbishment.
4. Revision of the Constitution
Ron Jones and Ewen Forrest had met prior to the committee meeting to revise the constitution and Ron Jones went through the new document. The principal revisions were as follows: firstly, the trustees shall be the officers of the charity; secondly, the make-up of the committee would change with two vice-presidents and eight ordinary members, which would reduce and ideally eliminate the requirement for co-option of additional members. The term of office for each member would be four years. Finally, for the sake of probity, it was a Charity Commission requirement that two signatories are required on every cheque. The committee agreed that this should apply to any cheque greater than £500. The changes to the Constitution were agreed by the committee who expressed their gratitude to Ron Jones and Ewen Forrest for the work they had done on this item. The new Constitution would be put before the AGM in May and, assuming its approval, would be forwarded to the Charity Commission.
Because Tony Gilbertson and Anne Florence would no longer be trustees, Ron Jones proposed that they should become life vice-presidents as they had both given a substantial amount of time and commitment to the Society and they would then be able to remain on the Committee if they wished. In response to this, David Gray questioned whether the Society would be setting a precedent that may lead to the Committee being filled with older, non-contributing members. Arpan Guhar said that there was certainly a perception that the Committee and the Society as a whole, was rather old-fashioned and stuffy. However, that perception was beginning to change. John Chambers finished the discussion by thanking Ann Florence and Tony Gilbertson for their long commitment as trustees and did not think a precedent was being set by the proposal, which would be put before the AGM of awarding them life vice-presidencies.
4. Nomination of Officers and Ordinary Members for 2008-2009
Professor Hunter had agreed to be the President for the session with John Chambers as the immediate past-President. Ian Tweedie and Ewen Forrest agreed to remain as Honorary Treasurer and Secretary. Drs Riding and Bush had tendered their resignations from the committee but would be welcomed back if they changed their minds. The four ordinary members from this year, Drs Bell, Fazackerley, Hankin and Potter would remain as ordinary members. With the revision of the constitution, four further ordinary members were required. It was decided that Pat Mullen would be the fifth, Arpan Guha, the sixth, David Gray, the seventh as the representative of the regional training body and Simon Ridler, the eighth as the representative of the members in training. It was also agreed to co-opt Roger Okell onto the committee for a further year. Ewen Forrest would write to other members who no longer had a place on the committee to thank them for their service to the society.
5. Finalisation of the Programme for the session 2007-2008
Ewen Forrest went through the programme which is as follows:
Wednesday 10th October 2007: Joint Meeting with MSA – Bill Bickerstaffe
Friday 9th, 16th or 23rd November 2007: Ultrasound Guided Regional Anaesthesia – Dr Barry Nicholls, Taunton - confirmed
Thursday 10th January 2008: Joint Meeting with LMI – Cardio-pulmonary Exercise Testing – Dr Jonathon Wilson, York - confirmed
Friday 29th February 2008: Trainee’s Prize with Post-Fellowship Meeting in the afternoon
Thursday 13th March 2008: Joint LSA/MMS meeting, Warrington
Paediatric Anaesthetic Theme, Paediatric Fluid Balance – Frank Potter – confirmed
Friday 9th May 2008: AGM and Presidential Address – ‘Almost Out of Gas’,
The only discussion was about the Trainees Prize meeting. The feedback was given, in the absence of Simon Ridler, by Raymond Ahearn, who had attended the afternoon session. At this meeting ten presentations had been reduced to six, following a ballot. Christine Bell reported that a trainee from Glan Clwyd hospital had commented that his perception was that success depended upon how many people you knew in Liverpool. She also thought that an afternoon meeting may lead to a poor attendance by trainees in the evening. Arpan Guhar, as one of the judges, reported that he had had good feed-back from trainees and John Chambers said that all the presentations were polished, which may have been aided by the afternoon’s rehearsal. Roger O’Kell voiced his concern that the trainees were not necessarily presenting their own work. Arpan Guhar added that, as twelve months was a short time for a Fellow to start and complete a project, it had to be accepted that the majority of the presentations would be part of a group research project. Pat Mullen asked whether the whole audience could judge in future meetings, and this might encourage greater attendance. After significant discussion, it was decided that the current system should be retained as this was felt to be the fairest to competitors. The joint meeting had been a success and the only comment was about the quality of the facilities. A change of venue, such as the Daresbury Hotel was suggested and it was agreed that this option should be investigated for the next joint meeting in two years’ time.
In the absence of Ian Tweedie, Ewen Forrest briefly went through the finances, the details of which had been given to him by Ian Tweedie. Since the Slim Volume Symposium, which had given the finances of the Society a major boost, there had been a significant reduction in the end of year balances due mainly to exceptional expenses. These included the purchase of the Jackson Rees medals for the Trainees’ Prize and the large donation to the LMI. In alternate years, there would be the exceptional expense of the joint meeting with Manchester, which this year had cost £4,000. This had partly been recouped by some sponsorship at the meeting. David Gray felt that we should in future charge for all delegates at this meeting, and the fee could be varied depending on whether delegates were members or non-members of the respective societies. Ewen Forrest replied that this would significantly increase the administration of the meeting but agreed that he would speak to his Manchester colleagues about this issue. Ewen Forrest also said that he hoped that income and expenditure would be in balance with the slow increase in membership of the Society, but in the next couple of years, a decision would have to be made about either increasing the annual subscription or charging for the joint afternoon meetings with Manchester. He did, however, feel that we could increase the amount of sponsorship of meetings, of which there had been none in 2005 and 2006.
7. Any other business
David Gray asked the Committee for its endorsement to allow him to look at the feasibility of the amalgamation of the MSA and the LSA. He explained the background for this proposal because, in the last year, the MSA had seen a significant decline in applications for its flagship courses, particularly the primary course for various reasons. The MSA was currently the course provider for the Deanery School, and this would help to maintain the financial stability of the MSA. However, there were many uncertainties in the future, and he wondered whether the amalgamation of the two bodies may improve their chances of survival in the future.
John Chambers thought that this had previously been discussed and ruled out, and although David Gray did not think that this was the case, he also added that times had now changed. David Gray said that his approach to the Committee was out of courtesy and by agreeing to a feasibility study, only options were being explored and no decision would be needed until he reported back to the committee.
There was no further business and the meeting closed at 20.30.