Annual Scientific Meeting
The keynote speakers were Sir Anthony Newman Taylor and Professor David Coggon who gave a joint presentation on Sir Richard Doll’s contribution to occupational health. Sir Richard is of course known for his highly influential work on smoking and cancer, but the speakers focused on his less commonly known but equally ground-breaking work in health and work. Sir Anthony and Professor Coggon described Sir Richard’s meticulous research, which had far-reaching consequences, on the effect on workers’ health of asbestos, ionising radiation, nuclear weapons testing, gas, nickel and tin, amongst a range of seminal studies. Professor Coggon referred to Sir Richard’s part in the establishment of the British Occupational Health Research Foundation, and his regret that the Foundation was now having to close due to lack of funds, and concluded that Sir Richard Doll had done ‘more to protect the health of people at work than any of us could hope to achieve’.
Two more important presentations were about revalidation. Sir Peter Rubin, Chair of the GMC, spoke about the reasons for revalidation, its importance and how he saw it working. This was followed by Dr Rob Thornton, speaking for the Faculty, about the recently concluded revalidation pilot and the Faculty’s forthcoming obligation to provide a a Responsible Officer, who will be available to those doctors for whom there is a ‘prescribed connection’ with the Faculty.
The programme also included a mix of informative and highly relevant sessions including:
Annual General Meeting
Presided over by the President of the Royal College of Physicians, Sir Richard Thompson, the AGM comprised the presentation of the annual report and accounts for 2011, an overview of the year from the Faculty President, Dr Olivia Carlton, the presentation of certificates and prizes and the announcement of new Board members and officers.
The President reflected on some of the highlights of 2011, including the presentation of the first SEQOHS certificates for accredited occupational health services, and looked forward to work in 2012 and beyond, encompassing the strategic review which is underway and the planned focus on quality improvement work. Dr Carlton made a special point of thanking both the huge number of members who contribute to the Faculty’s work throughout the year and the Board members who are stepping down, namely Dr Philip McIlroy, Dr Steve Ryder and Dr Marjorie Greasley, as well as the Treasurer, Dr Simon Sheard, who has completed six years in the post.
The Treasurer, Dr Simon Sheard, reported the Faculty’s finances to be healthy, after a difficult period, and said that the Faculty would continue to exercise great care both to optimise income from various sources and to control expenditure.
The Registrar, Dr Raymond Johnston announced that the newly elected Board members would be Dr James Ford and Dr Imran Ghafur and that Dr Ioana Kennedy had been re-elected.
Dr Mark Hilditch had been nominated unopposed as the elected representative of Scotland; and, as there were no nominations for the post of elected representative of trainees, the Board agreed to co-opt the current incumbent, Dr Hazem Gallagher-Alagha until August, and to re-advertise this role, shortly.
The Faculty President presented the certificates for Honorary Fellowship, Fellowship and Membership and the prizes for examinations. Full lists of these are available in the annual report. Mrs Lyn Howe presented the Wilf Howe Memorial Prize to Dr Michael Donoghue, in recognition of his work on deployment of Diphoterine for alkali chemical splashes to the skin at alumina refineries. The Registrar announced that the Mobbs Corporate Health Fellowship had been awarded to Dr Virginia Paul-Ebhohimhen to undertake an internship with the Occupational Health working group of the World Health Organisation in Geneva.