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Union for Surgeons

The President of the FSSA (Federation of Surgical Specialty Associations) has written a letter regarding the setting up of a 'British Surgical Association'

The President of the FSSA (Federation of Surgical Specialty Associations) John MacFie has written a letter to all surgeon members regarding the setting up of a ‘British Surgical Association’. Please read the letter and participate in the survey!

Dear Colleague

Re: British Surgical Association: Survey of Interest

As many of you will be well aware, there has been discussion in recent months about the suggestion that the UK would benefit from the creation of what has been called “a British Surgical Association” (BSA).

The aim of such a Professional Association would be to act as a ‘Trade Union’ for surgeons and to look after their interests irrespective of Surgical Royal College or Surgical Specialty Association affiliation. As such, it would be able to involve itself in matters relating to terms and conditions of service, contracts of employment, litigation, insurance and other matters which the majority of Surgical Colleges and the Associations are effectively excluded from on the basis of their charitable status.

A BSA would emphatically and specifically not be in competition with the Surgical Colleges or Associations, as these have remits relating to professional standards, education and membership activities and are not permitted to act, in any way, as a trade union. Indeed, it is apparent that any potential success from a BSA would only occur if it existed in harmony with the Surgical Colleges and Associations.

We have been informed that there is no theoretical impediment to Surgery as a defined craft Profession establishing its’ own trade union.

For your information, the subject of BSA has been informally discussed with Presidents of all four Surgical Royal Colleges as well as informally with members of government and ACAS.

We are advised that an important preliminary step in establishing a BSA would be to substantiate the fact that there is popular support within the Profession for such a move. Hence the need for a survey.
This proposal (to sample surgical opinion using a survey distributed to members of all 10 speciality associations and facilitated by FSSA) has been discussed by the executives of all speciality associations.

We are grateful to you for your cooperation and would welcome any comments.

To access the survey, please click on the following link:

We look forward to hearing from you.

With kind regards

John MacFie
President, Federation of the Surgical Specialty Associations (FSSA)