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A summary of the group's purpose and how it will work.

Name

The name of the committee shall be the Welsh Medical Committee (WMC).

Aims and objectives

To provide expert professional advice to Welsh Ministers and Welsh Government on all matters relating to the medical profession. In particular this includes, but is not limited to:

  • consultations
  • legislation
  • policy development

To act as leaders to the medical profession. In particular this includes, but is not limited to:

  • stakeholder engagement
  • production of professional guidance
  • encouraging wide clinical response to public consultation

To agree and implement an annual work programme which reflects the priorities of the profession in the view of the committee membership and the Welsh Government through partnership with the Chief Medical Officer.

To bring to the attention of the Chief Medical Officer, and if necessary either the Chief Executive of the NHS or the Cabinet Secretary for Health Wellbeing and Sport, issues of concern relating to the health of the people of Wales as influenced by the role of the medical profession.

To facilitate the circulation of knowledge and best practice pertaining to the medical profession, in addition to supplement the communication of related issues between the Welsh Government and the health professionals.

Oversee the work of the WMC steering group and membership of any task and finish groups set up under the committee.

Membership

Each member of the committee must comply with the Welsh Assembly Government’s Code of Practice for Assembly Government Sponsored Bodies and provide the committee’s secretariat with a signed and completed register of interest form.

Members of the committee must:

  • hold a recognised medical qualification
  • be registered with the GMC and
  • be working or have worked in Wales

The committee membership will be open to all members of the medical profession. It will be selected by a task and finish group led by the vice-chair of the committee via application on a yearly basis.

In selecting the membership the task and finish group must ensure that all parts of the medical profession and the varied geography of Wales are represented on the committee.

The chair shall have the power to invite, on a temporary basis, any person or persons as necessary to inform or take note of the proceedings of the committee.

Task and finish groups set up under the committee shall be led by a member of the committee. They may be composed of any person or persons as necessary to deliver their objectives.

Welsh Government

The Chief Medical Officer, or a deputy, shall attend all ordinary meetings of the committee, all steering group meetings, and may attend all task and finish group meetings as appropriate.

The Chief Medical Officer, or a deputy, are entitled to receive all documents and papers the members of the committees or group would usually receive, and may propose items for discussion and advice.

The Chief Medical Officer, or a deputy, may seek advice by directly contacting the chair of the committee or individual members as appropriate. In these circumstances the chair or member should consult with other members or professional colleagues and would brief the committee at the subsequent meeting.

A secretariat service shall be provided by the Welsh Government for ordinary committee meetings. The Welsh Government may, at their discretion, offer a reduced level of service to any extra ordinary meetings the committee required to carry out its aims and objectives set out in this constitution.

The Chief Medical Officer shall be the principal point of contact for the officers and members in relation to the remit of the committee. However, for administration of the committee, the secretariat shall be the first point of contact.

The secretariat shall arrange meetings, provide a meeting room, prepare and circulate papers, brief the chair in writing or in person on the delivery of the committee meeting and prepare a record of the meeting for the committee to approve as appropriate.

The secretariat shall maintain:

  • the committee constitution
  • work programme
  • membership list
  • register of interests
  • record of expenses

It shall also facilitate regular meetings between the chair and Chief Medical Officer, and further meetings with the relevant Welsh minister as appropriate.

Term of office

Members shall be appointed to the committee for a term of 3 years and may be reappointed for one further term of 3 years. Their appointment will cease at the end of the term of 6 years.

When a member has been absent from 2 consecutive ordinary meetings the member’s membership of the committee may be terminated at the discretion of the chair.

When a member fails to engage with the work of the committee and/or to complete tasks for the committee to the agreed timescale or quality without good reason, the committee may request the member to resign their membership of the committee.

Members may, at any time, resign from membership by giving notice in writing to the chair.

Officers

The members shall elect a chair and vice chair from the membership. The chair and vice chair constitute the committee ‘officers’ and shall serve for a term of 2 years. They  may be re-elected for a further 2 year term. Serving as chair or vice chair shall not extend the maximum term a member may serve on the committee.

If no suitable candidate has been nominated to succeed the existing chairperson, then the vice chairperson and Welsh Government’s lead professional shall work together to make such arrangements as necessary in order to bring forward a suitable candidate to act as the chairperson, which may include appointing an interim chair to serve for a period of less than 2 years.

The election of the officers shall be conducted by a ballot, either at a committee meeting or electronically via the secretariat.

While in post, the chair is responsible for setting the style and tone of committee discussions and creating the overall conditions for the committee to achieve its stated aims and objectives, as set out in this constitution.

The chair shall not advocate on behalf of any group or body and shall demonstrate ethical leadership in integrity and probity in line with the Nolan Principles and shall ensure all members act in the interests of the committee’s aims and objectives, not in the interests of any speciality, sector or established body.

The chair or vice chair or nominated deputy shall attend the National Joint Professional Advisory Committee (NJPAC) as representatives of the committee and shall ensure the aims and objectives of the committee strategically align with those of the other statutory advisory committees

A chair or vice chair may resign their office by providing notice in writing to the lead professional at the Welsh Government.

A chair or vice chair ceases to be a member of the committee and give up their office if they cease to be registered with the GMC, die or fail to attend 2 consecutive meetings without a compelling reason.

The vice chair shall assume all the chair’s responsibilities duties and powers should the chair not be available through resignation, absence, illness or death. This shall be for not longer than two consecutive ordinary meetings, at which point the committee must elect a replacement.

Meetings

The committee should normally have 2 meetings of the whole membership each year, to be scheduled annually by the secretariat and approved by the chair.

A quorum for meetings shall be no fewer than half the total membership of the committee.

Decisions by the committee should normally be achieved by consensus. If voting is necessary the chair shall have a casting vote in the event of equality of voting.

The committee shall incur no more than the minimum necessary expenses to enable it to fulfil its objectives. Any expenses must be explicitly linked to the work of the committee and the committee must seek the prior consent of the Welsh Ministers, via the secretariat, before incurring any costs. Payment shall not be made for hire of meeting rooms. The Welsh Government has accommodation across Wales, which it is prepared to make available at no charge.

Payment of travel and subsistence to members of the committee shall be at the discretion of the Welsh Government. Expenses other than the attendance of committee meetings will only be payable to members acting as representatives of the committee, shall be on a case by case basis, and normally only be payable when written authority has been received by the secretariat from the chair or Chief Medical Officer in advance of the expense being incurred.

The Welsh Government shall not be responsible for overnight accommodation or hospitality unless approval has been received via the secretariat in writing prior to the expense being incurred and all appropriate documentation is received with the claim. All expenses incurred should be wholly in relation to the delivery of the committees agreed aims and objectives, as set out in this constitution.

Duties and powers

The chair, vice chair or deputy, must represent the committee at the National Joint Professional Advisory Committee or its equivalent. 

The chair or vice-chair shall represent the committee at any necessary meetings or events, for example: attendance at other statutory advisory committees or meetings with the lead professional, the cabinet secretariat or the Chief Executive of the NHS as needed to support the delivery of the committee’s agreed aims and objectives, as set out in this constitution.

The committee may form task and finish groups as required to support the delivery of the committee’s agreed aims and objectives, as set out in this constitution. These groups must take direction from the steering group and the steering group must report back to the committee on a regular basis.

The committee may form a steering group that meets between committee meetings in order to further the work plan. The steering group should consist of the chairs of any task and finish groups, the chair and vice-chair of the committee and the Chief Medical Officer.

Members may take no executive action or act as representatives of the committee without the authority of the chair.

Review

This constitution shall be reviewed no less frequently than every 4 years.  

Recommendations to amend the constitution may be proposed by members at any time.

The chair should consult the Chief Medical Officer and secretariat on proposed amendments to the constitution before any changes are approved.

Amendments to the constitution will be treated as approved once a simple majority of the membership has voted in favour in a ballot, which, at the discretion of the chair, may be conducted at a committee meeting or electronically via the secretariat.