Self-nominations sought for the position of BGS Deputy Honorary Secretary

The Deputy Honorary Secretary is a crucial role within the British Geriatrics Society and provides the unique opportunity to help steer the Society’s policy and influencing work. Working with the Honorary Secretary, you will help to shape the policy agenda relating to healthcare for older people and you will have a real interest in raising the profile of older people’s healthcare, the Society and its key messages.

You will work closely with the Chief Executive and BGS policy and communications staff to set policy priorities for BGS and ensure that the Society’s policy and communications reflect the strategic aims of BGS and the priorities of the membership. This is a great opportunity to contribute at the highest level of the Society with the benefit of a two-year lead-in period working with the Honorary Secretary to learn the ropes.
You will:
  • Be passionate about the aims of the BGS and committed to improving the healthcare of older people.
  • Be interested in influencing the external policy environment to ensure that the NHS provides the best possible care for older people.
  • Be a healthcare professional working with older people.
  • Have an interest in the health system and the way national, regional and local policy shape how services for older people are delivered in acute, primary and community care.
The Deputy Honorary Secretary will serve for two years, taking office at the AGM in November 2021. When the Honorary Secretary demits (November 2023), s/he will automatically take over as Honorary Secretary and serve in that role for two years (to November 2025).
The Deputy will support the Honorary Secretary and take on a share of his / her responsibilities, to be mutually agreed. The duties of the Honorary Secretary are:
  • To act as one of the most senior officers of, and ambassadors for, the Society.
  • To contribute with the other senior officers to the Society’s strategic planning and direction. To serve as a member of the BGS Trustee Board and as a director of BGS (Trading) Ltd., our wholly owned trading arm.
  • To chair the Policy and Communications Committee.
  • To encourage the Society's multidisciplinary membership to engage with policy and communications campaigns.
  • To work with the CEO and Policy Manager to develop policy positions that enable the BGS to advocate for high-quality health and social care for older people.
  • To represent the BGS in external policy forums and to ensure the interests of older people are considered in the development of NHS policies and services across the four nations of the UK.
  • To advise on and approve press releases, consultation responses, policy submissions to government, and other BGS publications.
  • To advise on and contribute to BGS communications such as the Newsletter, social media and BGS e-bulletins and blogs.
  • To advocate for older people’s interests in relationships with external organisations e.g. NHS, Royal Colleges, other specialist medical societies, voluntary organisations and allied professional groups.
Time commitment
Both the Deputy and the Honorary Secretary attend
  • The BGS Trustee Board (4 meetings a year).
  • The Policy and Communications Committee (4 meetings a year).
The time commitment for the Deputy Honorary Secretary will vary but should only very rarely exceed eight hours a month. Once the Deputy takes over as Honorary Secretary, the time commitment may grow substantially but should rarely exceed 3 days per month, spread unevenly.
This is a voluntary, unpaid role, although travel costs and other expenses will be covered (in accordance with the BGS expenses policy).
How to apply

Self-nominations are invited, in the form of a letter and short career summary. The letter should give a brief indication of how the candidate would approach the requirements of the role. It should also confirm that s/he is aware that the Deputy will succeed to the post of Honorary Secretary automatically in due course, and has taken account of the time commitment of such a senior position in the society. Submit by email to M [dot] Stewart [at] bgs [dot] org [dot] uk.

The closing date for self-nomination is midnight on 30 June 2021
If more than one self-nomination is received, an election by BGS members will be held from mid-July to the end of August. Candidates will be invited to develop a short profile explaining why they are standing and why they are suited to the role.
Please note: The closing date for applications is 30 June 2021 (not the later date of 30 July 2021 as advertised in some email communications).