This report complements the Trustees’ report of the accounts from June 2010 –June 2011.
The association has come through a difficult financial time over the last year. We have been reliant on investment income over previous years with the expenditure exceeding income year on year. With no investment income, and the staff costs in the order of £35,000 the decision was taken in July 2010 to close the BHMA Somerset office and move the administration to the Chairman’s house.
The website that had been developed over the previous 18 months never fully met its original brief and there were problems with the management of the site. The decision was taken in February 2011 end the association with ‘Jack at half a second’ group was managing the BHMA website and database. A new website developer, Ian Hengis set up a new website and database and the project was completed in 2 months and has been running efficiently since April 2011.
Although the membership has dropped by 30% the association are now in a sustainable position. We can offer our members an active website and three issues of the journal annually.
The main challenge for the BHMA is to develop a strategy that enables the association to meet its charitable aims, which is to increase the membership and promote holism in healthcare.
The trustees need to consider a sustainable way to manage the charity and plan succession of the trustee group in order that the charity can continue to be viable.
The membership according to the BHMA groupspaces database on the 1st June 2011 shows 346 full members and 68 online members. The total names listed on the data base shows 783; some are basic members and the remaining are non-renewed members. This shows a reduction of 30% from last year. There continues to be new members of 5-10 per month joining the BHMA. All our renewals of membership have been had an e-mail over the last 18 months since changing from ISOS website management group to ‘jack at half a second.’ The renewal system has been inconsistent and unsatisfactory. The rates of renewals were higher by post. The new database makes it easier to identify and follow up defaulters and targeting specific groups. Since April we have been sending reminders by e-mail then a second one a month later, followed by a final postal reminder. Members not on e-mail get a postal reminder. The database shows that 85 of our members do not have e-mail addresses.
It has been a tradition in the past for the association to hold an annual conference. The expense in organising, promoting and running a conference without external support is outside the Associations means at the present time.
The newsletter continues to be produced and written by the chairman, Dr Craig Brown, on a monthly basis and sent by e-mail to all members (basic, full and on-line). It consists usually of five items with news of the BHMA, holistic events and summary of articles. Since the new website format, that was launched in April, the news items are posted on the BHMA website as a blog, then at the end of each month sent as a newsletter to members. Any visitor to the website can view the blogs and an archive of past newsletters are accessible on file.
5 Journal of Holistic Healthcare
Three issues of the Association’s journal have been published since the last AGM in April 2010.
Issue 7.2 Sept 2010: this issue’s theme was soft skills and considered the arguments for and against integration in health care and contained two papers on healing which were sponsored by the CHO.
Issue 7.3 Dec 20109: this issue had some key articles taking a philosophical view of medical care with some practical examples.
Issue 8.1 May 2010; this issue was about whole person care at the end of life with some forward thinking views from distinguished writers.
Local network groups in Brighton, the North West and the Bristol and Bath areas have continued to meet on a regular basis.
Three meetings have taken place in the Bristol and Bath area over the last twelve months. On average, meetings have been attended by seventeen people from a multi-disciplinary group including: osteopaths, chiropractors, physiotherapists, acupuncturists, GPs and NHS commissioners. Topics covered included: Power and Vested Interests in the NHS, a discussion of the nature of vested interests, their effects and how to overcome them; Low Back Pain and the NICE guidelines: can the NHS deliver?; Quantum mechanics meets Carl Jung, a lecture followed by a discussion including an invited Jungian analyst.
The BHMA Brighton local group has 30 people on its e-mail list and will generally get 6-16 attending each meeting. It meets in the Charter Medical Centre in Hove on a Wednesday evening usually every 6-8 weeks. The meetings take the form of a facilitated workshop with plenty of sharing, discussion and fun. It is a group of friend’s where visitors are welcome.
8 The student essay David Cobbold Essay Prize
The fourth annual BHMA David Cobbold student essay competition attracted eight entries.
The title ‘Improving global well being, improving personal well being.’ The winner was Jason Ferdjani, a third year medical student at Brighton and Sussex University. His essay appeared in the 7.2 issue of the JHH.
One of the BHMA trustees, Sibani Roy, gifted the prize for this year’s student essay competition. The title was ‘The year 2030 what made the NHS sustainable’
As well as a first prize of £250, and publication in The Journal of Holistic Healthcare, issue 8.2 in August, all the entrants will receive free on line membership of the BHMA for one year.
9 Office and staff
In August the Association was in a position where it could no longer pay staff salaries and the office in Somerset had to be closed. Di Brown was an efficient, trustworthy long serving administrator that gave loyal service to the BHMA and it was with much regret we had to close the office. Likewise the contract work of Peter Dale as chief executive and Helen McCarthy as marketing director came to an end because of lack of funds. The contents of the office;- files, equipment, and past journals etc were transferred to the Chairman’s house in West Sussex. The bank accounts etc had to be changed too. The administration of all the BHMA activities are currently run by the Chairman. Claire from Balens has been helpful in doing renewals from the database. A part time secretary has been assisting with the gift aid application.
Our activities since the last AGM have been focused on the survival of the BHMA as a charity and placing the organisation in a sustainable position.
The BHMA expenditure over each of the last 3 years has been greater than income and our investment capital was reduced to nil. The main expenditure was on staffing being nearly twice our membership income. It became necessary to close the Somerset office and end the contract with the BHMA administrator, manager and marketing director. All these tasks were taken over by the chairman and the office contents moved to his house. This organisation, administration, finance, and website admin is dealt with and continues to be the responsibility of the chairman.
The journal of holistic healthcare is considered the BHMA’s main asset and it is essential that we continue to produce a high quality journal for our members.
The website is now configured in a way that is easy to maintain and update at a minimum cost and the database needs the associations requirements. This is an opportunity to network and promote the BHMA and the JHH.
With sustainable finances and a fully functional website the trustees are now in a position to plan for the future.
Since the last AGM the trustees have had eight meetings; two telephone, two face-face and four Skype. There have been no changes in trustee’s membership. .
12 Future direction
The income from membership is sufficient to publish three issues of the journal a year and maintain the website with a minimum expenditure on administration.
We are confident that the website is now in a position to meet our present requirements and future needs with little further expenditure.
The trustees current strategy is to have a sustainable organisation that can respond to initiatives from members or associated groups. Our growth should come from networking through the website.
We are unable to draw on BHMA funds to enable the organisation to implement initiatives.
The trustees must face up to the challenge to recruit more trustees that are willing to develop the future direction of the BHMA over the next 5- 10 years and take responsibility for the administration and organisation of the Charity.