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Conference summary presentations
Amit Sinha & Pranab K Sarkar

Ladies and gentlemen
We have just witnessed the most interesting set of talks from our esteemed colleagues on the theme of the conference “Living with Covid-19 and life beyond.

It’s time for us to reflect on what has happened to our country, our society, and us. The pandemic has taught us several lessons. In the midst of the miseries, which everybody has faced we must celebrate the acts of commitment, collaboration, friendship, solidarity and innovation which has occurred in our communities, nationally and internationally.  The NHS stands committed and resilient. 

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Prof Colin Melville

Medical Director & Director of Education and Standards, General Medical Council (UK)

The GMC's Perspective During Covid 19

Prof Melville outlined a number of measures that the GMC has taken during the pandemic in support of doctors, which included flexibility in the appraisal and revalidation process, organising a framework for ethical decision making. In the event of any concerns brought to the GMC and other regulators, about a doctor’s decisions or actions, the challenges and the circumstances the doctor has been working under would be taken into account.


Tremendous work has been done for the Foundation Year Interim posts with early registration on graduation, so that these young doctors started contributing in good time in their placements. During this pandemic >3000 doctors were encouraged to come out of retirement to work back in the NHS. More than 500 new training centres have been created.

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Prof Iqbal Singh
Consultant Geriatrician & Chair CESOP
Advancing Medical Professionalism During the Covid 19 Pandemic

Prof Iqbal Singh talked about the “New normal” environment with challenges and inequalities. It’s a test of skill, resilience, and commitment, which would lead to “green shoots”. He summarised that as life-long learners, doctors as professionals should adapt and move forward. We cannot predict the future, but following the principles of professionalism and with adequate support and maintaining good health and well-being will help us cope with whatever comes.

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Lord Victor Adebowale
Chair, NHS Confederation
Race and Health Observatory – Improving access and experience of BAME communities

He talked about the establishment of the Race and Health Observatory, which has set it’s objectives to facilitate new, high-quality and innovative research evidence; make strategic policy recommendations for change; and help facilitate practical implementation of those recommendations. One of it’s objectives is to show a mirror to the NHS system.

Ethnic minority doctors and patients still face too many injustices in the NHS including differential attainment and access to healthcare.

The gap in performance between white and ethnic minority students and doctors and the increased likelihood of disciplinary procedures against ethnic minority doctors are all examples of overt racism.

The independent Race and Health Observatory has been established to support the NHS in improving healthcare access, experience and outcomes of black and minority ethnic patients and communities, protect the vulnerable, create an equitable environment, invite innovations for all ages and promote partnership and global working. It takes commitment and deliberate concerted action to change an organisation’s culture and make a difference. Lord Adebowale stressed on leadership and engagement.

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Dr J S Bamrah
Consultant Psychiatrist & Chairman, BAPIO (UK)
Top tips for your mental wellbeing during the pandemic

Covid 19 is a physical disease that can also wreak havoc on our mental wellbeing, and the effects could be long-lasting.  More than 80% remain worried about covid; more than 50% of adults’ well being are being affected. There are several causes of mental health issues which has been made worse by self-isolation, financial losses, insecurity, poor quality of housing, front line occupation, reduced access to mental health car, and loss of coping strategies. 

Prof Bamrah advised not to focus on negativity. He gave a number of tips including searching for new activity or learning new skills, breaking addictions, ensuring you have media free zones, looking after your sleep and asking fir help or using health lines when needed.

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Dr Sakthi Karunanithi
Director, Public Health, Lancashire
The True, Good and Beautiful Life in Post Covid 21st Century

He gave a fascinating talk. Life will be true, good, and beautiful after Covid. There is something beyond professional practice. The pandemic had urged us to look for inspiration. There are 3 mutually independent aspects of reality. We have focussed too much on intellectual theory, but the other two aspects of reality are the feelings of emotions and the sensing of our environment. He highlighted the relationship of logic, ethics, and aesthetics, which represented the true, the good and the beautiful. 

The pandemic had exposed inequality in the society and also what is happening in the environment. The interface between the imbalanced environment and human behaviour has led to spread of the disease. Dr Karunanithi presented a number of options to tackle this. 

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Prof Azeem Majeed
Head of Department of Primary Care & Public Health, Imperial College London
Covid-19 in the United Kingdom: Impact on ethnic minority groups

We are all aware of the disproportionate effect of Covid 19 on ethnic minority groups. Possible causes are a mix of conditions, which could be related to racism and social determinants of health.  However, we may have to accept some unexplained causes. 

Systemic problems such as racism require structural interventions and reforms across the broad spectrum of society, including in healthcare, education, employment, and the criminal justice system. It requires recognition of the causes, a commitment to openness and honesty, leadership, and resources. 

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Dr Amir Hannan, MBE
General Practitioner and Chair of the Association of GM Local Medical Committees 
Real-time Digital Medicine and the Partnership of Trust during the Covid pandemic

Dr Hannan delves into an exciting field of Real-time digital medicine by turning the medical screen around to involve patients and share their information. This is called partnership of trust. The information gives our patients knowledge and changes their attitudes to understand their condition and take charge. 

There are various apps, like Evergreen Life PHR app, Patient access app. NHS app and the Evergreen life app, which patients can access. Patients can see their records, confirm appointments, see their trrst results and gain oroxy access to the medical records of their children, elderly grandparents ot those with severe learning difficulties. 

This indeed is exciting when both doctors and patients in our NHS respect and participate in this partnership. He has been promoting and practicing this in his own surgery at Haughton Thornley Medical Centre.


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Dr Taj Hassan
Consultant Emergency Medicine, Leeds teaching Hospitals and Past president of RCEM
Covid 19- what we have learnt from ourselves? An ED perspective

Dr Taj Hassan reflected on the lessons learnt from present COVID 19 pandemic that would guide them to move ahead. Prompt re-setting of workplace along with changes in working practice (e.g. outcome review, debriefing, reflection) within the staff created a culture of working in collaboration and ‘getting things done’.


Compassionate leadership helped to build trust and confidence within the team. Human behaviour played a major role towards personal safety, protecting and supporting each other. Virtual (online) communication proved useful for sharing relevant information and for teaching, training and learning. 

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Ms Lucy Warner
Chief Executive of the NHS Practitioner Health Service
A year of COVID - How 2020 has affected our mental health and what to do about it?

In her presentation, Ms Warner talked about the negative mental health effect of COVID 19 Pandemic on doctors who are faced with extenuating circumstances. The age group for overseas doctors is 40 - 49, on average 10 years older than the local graduates, when they seek help. IMGs have low levels of addictions.


The most common themes are loss of control over their lives and stress related insomnia. IMG doctors are loved more by their families by their assessment. She urged the IMG community to seek help early. There is a plethora of support including her own organisation, details of this confidential service will be available in the website. 

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Prof Maggie Rae
President of the Faculty of Public Health UK
Better Health for everyone – Leaving no one behind

Prof Maggie Rae gave an overview of the impact of covid-19 on public health of the nation, highlighting how the current pandemic has exposed the deficiencies, exacerbating existing problems, widening health inequalities in some parts of the UK and decreasing life expectancy among deprived communities. She talked about the Marmot report, which illustrate how unemployment and homelessness has risen dramatically. 


Covid 19 deaths are higher in the deprived BAME communities. She indicated the need for a well-resourced health system which focuses on equitable access to vaccine or other preventative measures that would pave the way for a healthier society whether it is will improve health as well as protect it.   

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Session 3 - Panel discussion: 
A system based wide approach through the ICS targeting the BAME community be cognisant of the needs of the BAME community and ensure that they are not left behind. Dr Taj Hassan and Ms Lucy Warner outlined how the front line is coping with pandemic through intelligent rostering, assurances of breaks and the recognition of early signs of extreme stress to prevent burn-outs.

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Mr Tinaye Mapako
Chair BMA Medical Students Committee
Representing Students after COVID-19

Mr Tinaye Mapako highlighted how the Covid-19 pandemic has led to unequal opportunities and lack of fairness for students’ education and learning. He mentioned why it is important to listen to students’ voices as students’ views matter and can making things happen. Mr Mapako indicated that the interests & aspirations of the students should be protected. They should be heard as it is their lives and their future. They need to be supported with additional resources deployed to get them back on track. 

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Dr Jeeves Wijesuria
GP Registrar and CQC specialist advis
Impact of Covid-19 on Junior Doctors Training 

Dr Jeeves Wijesuria highlighted the overwhelming impact of COVID 19 pandemic on the professional and personal life of the Junior Doctors in the NHS. The prospect of delayed career progressions caused by the training disruptions has impacted on their social and psychological wellbeing. The pandemic has affected moral wellbeing, created huge personal distress and sense of inequality, in addition to financial implications.


 This issue is likely to impact on Community Care and the NHS. He urges the Government to protect & support the junior doctors in training who have given so much and worked so hard in the process of alleviating huge personal distress and inequality. 

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Dr Marina Soltan
National Chair for Health Education, Academy of Medical Royal Colleges
Junior Doctors As leaders in the NHS

Dr Marina Soltan talked about the concept of leadership and inspirational leadership qualities. She highlighted the role played by the of Junior doctors during the recent COVID pandemic, and by leading the way in research, innovation, education, policy making and influencing decision making. Health Education England should invest to support Junior doctors for Leadership development Training and maximise their contributions to leadership. 

She spoke about her own research experience on risk factors for higher ITU admission among Covid patients showing BAME patients are at greater risks than non BAME patients

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Session 4 - Panel discussion:
Covid-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented impact on medical students’ education and learning; and Juniors doctors’ career progression caused by disruptions of training with far reaching implications on profession and the NHS. NHS UK and Health Education England need to pay more attention to the effect on medical training and focus on creating novel training resources and adapting processes to enable career progression. The authority should also facilitate developing leadership skills among junior doctors who have proven their ability to lead during the current pandemic.

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