Forum for Associate Specialist and Staff Grade Doctors in Emergency Medicine (FASSGEM)

What is FASSGEM?

FASSGEM represents and supports Staff Grade, Associate Specialist and Specialty Grade (SAS) doctors working within Emergency Medicine in the UK and the Republic of Ireland and has now become an integrated part of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (CEM).  We will also support all Trust Grades, Clinical Fellows and other doctors working in non-standard posts.  

The History of FASSGEM

FASSGEM was created in 1997, with the help of two EM consultants, Ken Nesbit and Iain Stewart, (to whom we owe great gratitude) to provide some form of training for a group of doctors then known as Non Consultant Career Grade (NCCG) doctors.  This initially consisted of an annual Conference held in Plymouth.  However FASSGEM has gained increasing recognition, due in part to great stewardship from its first and subsequent chairs, Dr Andrew Newton and Juan Ballesteros but also from the growing force of the SAS UK craft committee together with support from BAEM/FAEM (and now RCEM).  The term NCCG has now been replaced by the more appropriate term SAS, and the new contract which was finally introduced in 2008, based on the consultant contract, recognises the requirement for SPAs for SAS doctors. 

FASSGEM Now

FASSGEM now represents in RCEM all doctors who are members of CEM, but do not belong to the consultant or the trainee groups.  FASSGEM has representation on all but one of the College (RCEM) committees, and crucially also has a vote on RCEM council from its chair.  FASSGEM's structure is based on its parent (RCEM) with Officers (Chair, Treasurer, BMA rep, Secretary, Immediate Past Chair), Executives (International, Professional Standards, Quality in Emergency Care, Simulation committees, Deputy Chair) and regional representatives.  The increasing demands on EM, the 4 hour target, the increasing numbers of juniors with reduced clinical experience and the College desire to have senior and experienced clinical staff on the 'shop floor' has led to an exponential increase in the number of SAS doctors.  We now number about 800 with another 400 Trust Grade doctors and Clinical Assistants throughout UK.

Vision and Objectives

SAS positions are considered to be essential to the provision of safe effective emergency care to patients in the UK and Ireland.

FASSGEM aims:

  • to achieve membership of RCEM and FASSGEM by all SAS doctors working in EM
  • to ensure that SAS doctors working in EM will be welcomed as members of the College and given equal opportunities to the rights and privileges
  • to ensure that SAS doctors are welcomed as members of the clinical team in their departments and their contributions to patient care valued
  • to provide an effective system of communication between members of CEM/FASSGEM
  • to encourage and support CPD for all SAS doctors in EM
  • to promote the development of opportunities for SAS doctors in EM to learn and progress in their career pathway.
  • to provide an interface with CEM
  • to participate in and contribute to all RCEM activities and committees
  • to provide a value for money Conference annually for CEM/FASSGEM members.

This mission is delivered in UK and the Republic of Ireland primarily through the activities of its Officers and Executives through their representational roles in CEM.

Each aspect of the activities and resources of FASSGEM are regularly updated in the light of work being done by a number of taskforces and other groups. A risk register pertinent to FASSGEM and its activities is also maintained. This is available to read from AGM Minutes and reports from Officers and Executives (Regional Reps).


GMC

FASSGEM has representation on the RCEM's GMC Article 14 (CESR) panels and has often successfully represented its members.

Department of Health SAS funding

FASSGEM via its representation has been successful in promoting many projects for SAS doctors in EM.  Please see the London Deanery website for one such example.

Membership

Membership of FASSGEM is open to anyone working at this level in Emergency Medicine. However to be a voting member and be a representative in any committees, you must be a member of the RCEM.  It is FASSGEM's recommendation and part of its mission statement that all its members are also members of RCEM. Membership of RCEM will also be helpful in accruing supporting information for the revalidation process and online registration of CPD is now a feature of RCEM.

Other Meetings & Courses

Clinical Management Course for Specialty Doctors & Associate Specialists
Run at Keele University, Staffordshire. A two-day residential course intended for SAS doctors with an interest in developing their clinical management and leadership skills. Contact Mrs Andrea Scott for course details by emailing a.j.scott@keele.ac.uk.

Courses Run by Infomed Research & Training Limited
This company runs courses and conferences for Emergency and Acute Medicine Specialists on Ultrasound, BIPAP, CPR, Radiology and other subjects. Go to their website for further information.

Summary

FASSGEM aims to represent and promote the interests of SAS doctors within RCEM, supporting their educational interests and seeking to enhance collaborative working between SAS doctors and other practitioners within the specialty of Emergency Medicine.  FASSGEM has come a long way in the years since it began and its achievements are the result of hard work on the part of its members.  FASSGEM is unique amongst the SAS groups with representation at BMA (CCSC), PMETB and RCEM regional board level.  To maintain our position, we need everyone to contribute, whether at local or national level.  Please join us and contribute your own special experiences!

For any queries please email: fassgem@RCEM.ac.uk 

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