Held at the National Trade Union Club London February 14th 1943
At this meeting convened by the S.M.A., it was explained by the Chairman that the Socialist Medical Association was an organisation embracing all socialist workers in the Medical Services and was not therefore a rival organisation of any of the existing professional societies, and that it did not seek to represent any specific section of workers. The aim of the S.M.A. is to be the forum and point of contact of all socialists in the Medical Services; to popularise socialist ideas and policies, particularly as related to the problems of the Medical Services.
With these objects the Association has been the means of forming special groups of its members among doctors, pharmacists, nurses etc.,
The Chairman proceeded to enumerate some of the problems facing Radiographers today, and during the full discussion which followed, agreement was expressed on the following points:-
- That the X-ray services of the Country, both Industrial and Medical, were and would continue to undergo a considerable expansion,
- That this accentuated the existing problems of the training and supply of Radiographers, and the present and future status of Radiographers.
- That consequently, it was probably desirable to press for an extension in the number of training schools, particularly in local authority hospitals, adequately equipped for the purpose.
- That the syllabus and training should be improved, particularly with regard to increased attention to Pathology and X-Ray Therapy. That owing to the wide difference between Diagnostic and Therapeutic work, a definite separation in the study of these subjects should take place at a late stage in the training. For instance, if more importance and increased advantages were, attached to the F.S.R. examination with regard to the status of the holder and the types of job available, a definite ‘Specialisation, and separation of Therapy from Diagnosis should take place in this examination. In this connection, the Report of the Education Committee set up by the Council of the Society of Radiographers is awaited with interest.
- It was felt that any improvement in the status of Radiography was closely bound up with this question of improved training. At the same time it was felt that it would be an advantage if the Society of Radiographers sought recognition as a trade union, and that efforts should be made to break down what remains of the existing prejudice against trade unionism. It was mentioned in this respect that a number of Radiographers have already taken advantage of the existence of the Association of Scientific Workers which is a trade union for which Radiographers are eligible for membership.
- It was agreed that Radiographers in general should be made more aware of these problems and that they should take a more active part in the Society of Radiographers which alone was able to tackle and solve them. To this end it was felt that such matters of policy ought to find a place for discussion in the Journal of Radiography, either in the form of letters or articles, and that local branches of the Society should be made more accessible to provincial members. It was thought that these measures might eliminate the state of affairs described by the President of the Society when he referred to the lack of interest shown by members in the affairs of the Society.
- It was agreed that in common with all other employees in the Health Services, Radiographers must play their part in the rationalisation of labour and materials so necessary in hospitals during wartime and particularly in view of the approaching Allied offensive. It was mentioned in this respect that in a number of hospitals joint consultative committees had been established to secure maximum co-operation between all departments of hospital work and had resulted in considerable savings of time and labour.
It was agreed to make contact with as many other Radiographers in the S.M.A. as possible and convene a further meeting in a few months.