Notice Board updated 01 May 2018
KIDDERMINSTER MEDICAL SOCIETY
The Future of Kidderminster Medical Society
It has become apparent to the officers of the society and those present at the last Kidderminster Medical Society’s AGM, that attendance at events has dwindled significantly over the last few years. We discussed how to proceed and felt that firstly we needed to canvass opinion as to whether there was an appetite to continue with the society at all and if so in what form.
The Kidderminster medical society is one of the oldest in the country and started in 1893 by Lionel Stretton. A comprehensive history of the society is available on the society’s website. At its inception the object of the society was to 'discuss matters of professional interest' ; atterly it has served a more social function but for many reasons including; changes in working patterns and competing commitments, these are have become less supported. It was also impossible to find someone to take over the role of secretary and indeed take over from me as social secretary.
However, those of us present at the AGM felt it was be a great pity to see such an historic society come to an end but we desperately need more support and a clear mandate to continue. The Society also supports postgraduate education through a bursary scheme.
The proposal at the last AGM from those present was for an annual dinner paid for from society funds and open to members. It would have a dual medical education and social role. One suggestion being a variety of very short ‘hot topic updates’ from some of those present.
I would urge you therefore to respond to the following questions. If we get little response we will assume that there is no interest in continuing the society and look at the feasibility of winding it up.
1. I feel the society should continue and will support it yes/no
2. I agree that an annual dinner with an educational theme is a good idea yes/no
3. I believe that the officers should explore winding up the society
Other comments Welcome
KIDDERMINSTER MEDICAL SOCIETY AGM
To be held on Wednesday 18th April 2018 – 7 pm for 7.30 pm start
At: Kidderminster Education Centre, Room 3
Light refreshments available before the meeting
2. Minutes of the previous AGM
3. Matters arising
4. Elective bursary award
5. Treasurer’s report
6. Trustee accounts
7. Review of role of Medical Society
8. Election of officers
9. Election of new members
The Future of Kidderminster Medical Society
We are sure you must appreciate that the future viability of our Society is in serious doubt at the moment and that the AGM, due to take place in the next few weeks, will be duty bound to consider this matter as its number one priority.
Our concern about this matter has been brought to a head by the very poor attendances at recent AGM’s and culminating in the negligible responses to the Annual Dinner invitations sent out last November. As a result, there may be a feeling that the writing is on the wall but before the apparent demise of the Society is accepted we feel it vital to remind members about the activities of your trustees and of the elective bursary committee.
The Kidderminster Post Graduate Centre Trustees were initially appointed in April 1971 to manage funds raised by public subscription for the purpose of furthering post graduate medical and dental education within the local area. This was initially achieved by the construction of a post graduate medical centre and the remaining fund was further boosted in the 1980’s by another appeal to the local medical fraternity when an extension to the centre was being considered. This extension never materialised and subsequently your trustees have been left with the responsibility to manage a residual sum of around £150,000.
Until very recently, the above fund was achieving a very reasonable annual investment income of around £6,000 per annum and about ten years ago it was agreed that this dividend should be used more actively in support of post graduate medical education. With this aim in mind, the Society agreed to respond to a request for support from Birmingham University Medical School by donating
1. An initial £10,000 towards the funding of a seminar room in their new education block and
2.By the establishment of an annual £3,000 bursary to support the first year of one of their students selected for their graduate-entry medical education programme.
3.The following year i.e. 2007, our Society further agreed to extend this scheme by the establishment of a second annual £3,000 bursary to be awarded to a local post graduate student in their first year attending one of the other thirty medical schools in the UK.
Your trustees have recently reviewed the outcome of the above bursary award activities and, in summary, this reveals that since 2006 eleven Birmingham graduate students have shared a total of £33,000 and since 2007, nineteen local students attending ten of the other UK medical schools have shared another £57,000. Thus, in total, 28 students, mostly from the Wyre Forest Area, have been able to benefit from the Society’s generosity to the amount of £90,000. As you would expect, these students have, without exception, been extremely grateful for our support and this has been expressed most eloquently in their reports submitted at the completion of their first year and posted on the Society’s website. Furthermore, we can report that at the end of this period the Society is still left with more than £151,000, mainly invested in the COIF Charities Fixed Income Fund and currently giving a return of around £4,600 per annum.
The Undergraduate Elective Bursaries have been made available by the Society, (with similar local criteria). These are funded from our subscriptions to the Medical Society. From 2009-2014 a total of £6.400 has been shared between sixteen local medical students who have each received either £250 or £500 depending on the number of applications per year. They too have posted reports and grateful thanks on our website.
We trustees met recently to consider the current bursary awards and took the opportunity to discuss our approach to the future of the Society and, more particularly, to the future of its trust funds. We feel strongly that it would be very sad indeed to see all of this work and history disappear through lack of interest and we wish to stress that what we need as trustees is, at the very least, a Society and a viable AGM.
With this aim in mind we very much hope that this communication will encourage you to play some part in these considerations and to attend the AGM, if at all possible, to give your opinion.
Understanding time is at a premium, for GP’s, perhaps at a practice meeting, someone could take the lead and agree to attend and, as consultants with Kidderminster sessions, perhaps two or three could attend to give their opinions, having sought colleagues’ views beforehand.
We do hope that this summary is helpful, and that you will understand our dilemma.
With best wishes,
Martin Lewis, Jan Meggy, Wendy Kingston, John Tudor. PGMC Trustees
Paul Newrick, Jan Meggy, David Starkey. Undergraduate Elective Bursary Panel.
The History of Kidderminster Medical Society is available on the website
Authored by John Murray
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