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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, and encouraging wide clinical response to public consultation.

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.

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, hold a licence to practice and be working in Wales.

The committee membership will be open to all members of the medical profession who have completed their Foundation Year Training. Members will be selected after a formal application process led by the Vice-Chair(s) of the Committee. This will be no less frequent than every 2 years.

To ensure transparency, selectors cannot review an application from an applicant working in the same organisation.

The selection process must ensure a variety of specialties and, if possible, representation from all Health Boards, are achieved within the main 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.

Welsh Government

The Chief Medical Officer, or a deputy, shall attend all ordinary meetings of the Committee, all Steering Group meetings, and may attend other Welsh Medical Committee 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.

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 (either online or in-person), provide a meeting room (either virtual or real), 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 Terms of Reference, Membership list, Register of Interests and 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 three years and may be reappointed for one further term of three years. Their appointment will cease at the end of the term of six years.

Members are expected to attend all meetings. When a Member is unable to attend a meeting, a formal apology must be sent to the Committee Secretariat in advance. Unrecorded absences from two scheduled meetings within one calendar year may lead to the Member’s membership of the Committee being suspended or terminated, this will be 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 Two Vice Chair from the Steering Group Membership. The Chair and Vice Chair constitute the Committee ‘Officers’ and shall serve for a term of two years but may be re-elected for a further two year term. Serving as Chair or Vice Chair shall not extend the maximum term (Six years) 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 two years.

The election of the Officers shall be conducted by a ballot, either at a Steering Group 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 the Terms of Reference.

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 two 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.

Steering group

The committee will form a Steering Group that meets at least quarterly in order to further the aims and objectives of the Welsh Medical Committee, as outlined in the Terms of Reference.

The Steering Group will consist of the Chair, Vice-Chairs, Chief Medical Officer and further appointed members from the main committee whose skillset is required to ensure the aims and objectives of the committee are met.

Membership of the Steering Group is not fixed and is at the discretion of the Chair. The Steering Group should not ordinarily exceed 15 members.

Meetings

The Committee should normally have two 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 a tie.

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 nominated deputy, must represent the Committee at the National Joint Professional Advisory Committee or its equivalent, with the aim of ensuring the Welsh Medical Committee aligns its aims and objectives with the other statutory advisory committees.

The Chair, Vice-Chair or nominated deputy 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 the Terms of Reference.

The Steering Group may form Task & Finish Groups as required to support the delivery of the Committee’s agreed aims and objectives, as set out in the Terms of Reference. These groups must take direction from the Steering Group and the Steering Group must report back to the main Committee on a regular basis.

Members may take no executive action or act as representatives of the Committee without the authority of the Chair.

Review

The terms of Reference shall be reviewed no less frequently than every four years.  

Recommendations to amend the Terms of Reference may be proposed by Members at any time.

The Chair should consult the Chief Medical Officer and Secretariat on proposed amendments to the Terms of Reference before any changes are approved.

Amendments to the Terms of Reference will be treated as approved once a simple majority of the Steering Group Membership has voted in favour in a ballot, which, at the discretion of the Chair, may be conducted at a Steering Group meeting or electronically via the Secretariat.