BMA Handling Difficult Situations/Challenging Behaviours (p.m. Golden Jubilee)

BMA Handling Difficult Conversations and Challenging Behaviours

Golden Jubilee Conference Centre

Thursday 29 November 2018, 1.30 – 4.45 pm

(Registration from 1.00 pm)

CPD accredited – BOOK HERE

In 2017 the BMA launched a project on workplace bullying and harassment, in order to improve support for individual doctors who experience it, to work with NHS organisations and others to address it, and to raise awareness of bullying and harassment across the profession. In Scotland, we launched the Respect at Work Service for those looking for advice on handling difficult relationships and/or those on the receiving end – or witnessing – unacceptable behaviours by other staff or managers (

In our everyday interactions, what we say and how we say it can have a significant impact on our colleagues, our team/department morale and on ourselves. Often, a grievance relating to how someone has dealt with an incident/situation is borne out of an already difficult situation: an underperforming colleague, a colleague in difficulty, the pressures of rota gaps and resultant pressure, a GMC or Deanery report/visit to give a few examples.

We therefore invite all Doctors and Practice Managers to join us for an afternoon of learning and reflection on how to handle difficult conversations and deal with challenging behaviours, whilst reflecting on your own behaviours.

In this ½ day course, Martyn Ramsay will work with you to examine the theory behind structuring difficult discussions and how they can be applied to typical real-life examples that doctors and PMs face.

During this interactive course, we will explore:

  • Why conversations matter
  • What makes a conversation difficult
  • The importance of, and building, situational awareness
  • Structuring discussions

During group work you will:

  • Share example of difficult conversations and explore what made them ‘difficult’
  • Reflect on a past or future difficult conversation
  • Identify your own and the other person(s) perceptions, thinking and behaviours
  • Discuss what actions would/could help improve the conversation and its outcomes

We will also discuss dealing with challenging behaviours. Challenging behaviour can be behaviour which is:

  • disruptive
  • destructive
  • obstructive
  • aggressive

Again, we will share examples and explore how to handle such behaviour in a constructive and conciliatory way.

This session will be interactive and is open to all primary and secondary care doctors and PMs regardless of experience and position. Our aim is to foster greater understanding within the medical and general practice workforce and to try and break down the barriers that exist when communicating with one another.

Martyn Ramsay, Senior Employment Adviser

Martyn has been with the BMA for over 10 years with a wide range of experience representing doctors in cases involving contract and pay disputes, relationship breakdowns and in grievance and disciplinary hearings. He has also advised many doctors and practice managers on a similarly wide range of cases involving practice staff issues such as restructuring & redundancies and performance/ill-health/capability management, and has written and delivered numerous BMA employment law courses for doctors and practice managers. In 2015 Martyn was awarded a Masters of Laws with Distinction in Employment Law and Practice by Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen.

Registration is from 1.00 pm, with tea and coffee available in the central plaza. The course will start at 1.30 pm and will finish at 4.45 pm.

For any queries, please contact Kathleen, Local organiser, on 07408 803811 or

The BMA is a trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors and medical students in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.

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