On November the 8th 2017, the Certification Office approved the application to add the “Confederation of British Surgery” (CBS) to the UK’s list of recognised trade unions. For the first time there will be an organisation, a trade union, recognised in UK law which is committed exclusively to surgeons and their related teams and families.
The declared aim of the CBS is to look after the professional and employment interests of surgeons and their teams irrespective of Surgical Royal College or Surgical Specialty Association affiliation. As such, CBS would be able to involve itself in matters relating to terms and conditions of service, contracts of employment, litigation, insurance and other matters from which the Surgical Royal Colleges and the numerous Surgical Specialty Associations are excluded on the basis of their charitable status and the ‘public benefit’ concept which this entails.
The CBS is emphatically and specifically not in competition with the Surgical Royal Colleges or Surgical Specialty Associations, as these have remits relating to clinical standards, education and membership activities and are not permitted to act, in any way, as a trade union.
It is our hope and intention that members of the Confederation will have access to appropriate cover and advice relevant to working in the unique and often stressful surgical environment. We aim to provide exclusive benefits to surgeons, extended members of the surgical team and their families. In protecting and supporting surgeons and their teams in the workplace, our ultimate aim is to improve the care of all patients requiring surgical care.
The creation and recognition of the CBS has been a long time in gestation! The idea was first mooted over 10 years ago. There has always been agreement that surgeons were poorly represented by existing trade unions but considerable debate as to the best way forward. We did enter into discussions with both the BMA and HCSA in an attempt to establish some recognition of the particular needs of surgeons and we did conduct extensive survey work before embarking upon the road to recognition for a trade union specifically for surgeons.
The process of recognition has necessitated extensive correspondence and frequent meetings with the Certification Office who have been most helpful. We had to produce a “rule book” and a “strategy” document both of which are available to download:
Confederation of British Surgery (CBS) (359kB)
Confederation of British Surgery: proposed strategy (179kB)
FSSA Survey (279kB)
To achieve our objectives will take time, perseverance, resource but most importantly your support.
We, the CBS, intend to continue to work closely with the FSSA which has been instrumental in achieving this development.
Over the coming weeks we will:
- establish an administrative office
- establish an executive and appoint officers
- seek to inform all surgeons
- inform parliamentarians
- inform all hospitals where surgical procedures are undertaken
- inform all Colleges and Specialty Associations.
If the CBS is to be successful it needs your support.
We will produce membership forms early in 2018.
John MacFie, Nigel Mercer, Tony Narula