WHAT IS FASSGEM?
FASSGEM stands for the Forum for Associate Specialist and Staff Grade Doctors in Emergency Medicine. 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 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 CEM). The term NCCG has now been replaced by the more appropriate term SAS, and the new contract which was finally introduced in 2008, based on the consultant contract, recognises the requirement for SPAs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 represents in CEM 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 (CEM) committees, and crucially also has a vote on CEM council from its chair. FASSGEM's structure is based on its parent (CEM) 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.
FASSGEM has representation on the CEM'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 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 CEM. It is FASSGEM's recommendation and part of its mission statement that all its members are also members of CEM. Membership of CEM will also be helpful in accruing supporting information for the revalidation process and online registration of CPD is now a feature of CEM.
FASSGEM organises a superb value for money Annual Conference, which is usually held in November. This offers an excellent educational experience and the opportunity to meet and exchange good practices with SAS doctors from all over the country. During the Conference, we hold our Annual General Meeting. The Conference rotates to various regions in the UK and Ireland in order to provide equality and an opportunity to experience the variety of specialist knowledge around the country. The Officers and Executives also meet at least once a year to plan the conference and discuss other issues.
FASSGEM aims to represent and promote the interests of SAS doctors within CEM, 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 CEM 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!
FASSGEM Vision and Mission statement
FASSGEM Regional Reps