Find out what happened at our 2022 AGM
20 June, 2022
As you may know, this morning we had our Annual General Meeting, at which I put forward a set of proposals to ensure that we are inclusive and supportive of our SAS doctors and other members of the team.
I am pleased to say that the large majority of members expressing a view (62%) voted in support of the changes to our rules to allow SAS doctors and international associates to vote in College elections. Thirty-eight per cent voted against.
When broken down between those in the room at Congress and those voting online, 88% of attendees at Congress voted in favour compared with 52% of the online members supporting the change.
Unfortunately, under our rules, we needed a two thirds majority, to get the changes to our Supplemental Charter approved – which means my proposals cannot go forward.
While the debate around the package of changes has been passionate, with many people having very strong views, I believe there is a clear majority who want us to be a more kind, caring and inclusive College towards our hard-working SAS colleagues, as well as other members of the team.
As is often the case after a big set-piece vote, emotions are running high for some people on both sides of the debate and I would ask that all of us please remember the College values, and especially the value of Respect.
We are all psychiatrists, we are all part of the same team – please be kind to all our colleagues, including on social media.
Given the level of interest shown in the changes being proposed at the AGM today, I was pleased we were able to get Trustee Board approval to enable online access – even though our current old-fashioned rules only expressly allow for face-to-face AGMs.
Unfortunately, while we had 350 members attend the AGM online some of you experienced difficulty logging into the meeting, and this is something for which I apologise.
I was pleased to see that 492 members altogether joined us both in person and online. This, we believe, is a record turnout for one of our AGMs.
I am aware that many of those who voted against the proposals had significant concerns about some of the ideas tabled today, such as the proposal we had already agreed to drop, on creating new post-nominals.
And in the future, we need to make sure that any big changes have more communication across the membership.
Despite the outcome today, my feeling is that this is going to work out to be strangely unifying – with everyone now rallying around the need to cherish and value SAS doctors and other members of the team.
It’s my job, as President, to keep the RCPsych together and make sure we are a unified profession, moving forward as One College.
Thank you for your engagement with this critical matter.