Sue Falkingham BAA President 2017-2018
11th December 2017
This is the final blog for 2017 and I want to highlight one important document consultation to ensure you are aware of it and what BAA are doing in response to it.
Currently the 4 Governments that make up the UK are consulting on reforming Health Care Regulation. As BAA President I met with BSHAA and NCHA representatives this week to discuss our responses to the consultation. Although we will not make the same response it’s interesting to see how much more aligned we are on the future of regulation than we have ever been. HCPC is the second biggest register of healthcare professionals in the U.K. but the audiology voice is small compared to other professionals so a general alignment of the issues across the sector will hopefully make our voices stronger.
RCCP will be responding to the consultation as well as this affects those that are statutory or voluntary registered, and indeed those not registered at all.
This is potentially an opportunity to get all professionals working in Hearing Healthcare on a statutory register and as such an important document to read and respond to. You are able as a Healthcare Professional to make your own individual response.
Think how much simpler would it be for a member of the public to see who they need to contact to check their healthcare professional is registered if there was just one place to look. The regulation consultation has a number of aims but one of those is that simplification and alignment of registers.
This would not change the fact that there are many roles that are carried out by our profession and our own Scope of Practice and professional behaviours would still define our ability to be suitable for a particular role. There is always a chance that this consultation will lead to less regulation of Healthcare Professionals and more voluntary registration so it is important that we respond and make it clear that our preferred outcome would be statutory regulation for all.
The response date to this consultation is 23rd January and you can read and respond from this website link: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/promoting-professionalism-reforming-regulation
I’d like to tell you as well about a completely different letter BAA received in the last few weeks. We have received a letter from Jos Millar, some of you may remember BAA have an award named after him. Jos is in his 80s now but as an Honorary member of BAA still receives our magazine and his award goes to the best magazine article of the year, so very fitting. He wrote to say how much he enjoyed the magazine and wanted to pass on his congratulations to the award winners past and present. It was great to get a letter that was just so positive and showed that the passion audiologists have is not confined to their working lives. I think it leads me to the phrase, once an audiologist always an audiologist. I’ve enjoyed writing back to him and the fact that I had to use a letter not an email communication was part of that.
We spend a lot of time, effort and thought about how we communicate effectively with members of BAA and sometimes I wish that in our world of instant updates, websites and Social Media we could take a step back and wait for the snail mail that always makes me smile when I receive a card, magazine or a note on paper. The time it takes to write those things might make us all communicate with more thought and less reactively than we sometimes do with instant communications.
So as I sign off for a long festive break, (one of the benefits to not having a clinical role currently), I look forward to a New Year with new challenges for our profession.
My favourite Christmas song and the one I will line up to play immediately I leave my office on 16th December is the classic – Driving Home for Christmas, I spend a lot of time in my job driving around the U.K. or sat in tailbacks I’ll share a link with you https://youtu.be/DDt3u2Ev1cI
The Lyrics I’m enjoying and the bit I sing loudest are:
Driving in my car, I'm driving home for Christmas Driving home for Christmas, With a thousand memories.
Every year brings memories and this year with two trips to Armenia taking part in a Starkey Hearing Foundation Mission bringing hearing aids to 1600 people and taking over as BAA President there are certainly a thousand memories.
Have a safe and happy festive season. More updates in the New Year.
As always please feel free to contact me or any of BAA Board using firstname.lastname@example.org
27th November 2017
This has become a popular way to keep BAA Members up to date with the activities of the BAA President and this year I hope to expand it to include the activities of the wider BAA Board.
The first task of an incoming BAA President is to thank the previous President during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) at BAA Conference. I once again want to thank Michelle Booth for her work over the last year. She leaves BAA in a much better place than it was and will be an active Immediate Past President.
That brings me to the changes to BAA structure that were voted for at the AGM. We have changed the Constitution to Articles of Association. The biggest change is that the Presidential Term is now 2 years, this also extends the Vice President and Immediate Past President roles to 2 years also. This has been made possible by our appointment of a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for BAA who has over the past year put in place with Michelle many new governance procedures within BAA. The changes to Board Directors Job Descriptions and the increasing role of Past President and Vice President allow the President to cope with a 2 year term whilst still maintaining their own 'day job'.
The first meeting of the new BAA Board welcomed 5 of the 6 new Board members to the existing team and the details of the roles they will do are below. Our first day together developed the Board and communication strategies that will help us be efficient and communicate well with each other between board meetings.
Over the next few weeks each Director will introduce themselves on the Board Roles page and also introduce themselves to their teams.
Today we have received the Draft NICE Guidance for Hearing Loss in adults: Assessment and Management. The full guidance is expected to be published in May 2018 and BAA have been a stakeholder in the document. You can read the document here: NICE Guidance BAA Board will be working on a response to the draft.
As this is my first blog I wanted to share the closing remarks I made at BAA Conference as I accepted the role of President. If you haven't read them they are here: Closing Words
As ever if you want to contact me please email me at email@example.com