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Snakebites bma.org.uk

August 2007

BMA Library enters new era As part of the overall modernisation plans for BMA House the BMA Library will be moving to a new modern facility from 20 August. The BMA Library will be organised into three zones covering clinical, careers and professional issues, with the Staff Library incorporated within these sections. There will be plenty of seating for members and staff to work in, with access to high-speed internet, wi-fi facilities, video and DVD viewing. The new entrance will be on the mezzanine floor of entrance D. Jacky Berry, BMA Librarian, said: ‘The new changes will enhance and improve services for members and help staff do their job even more effectively. Once the move has been completed members and staff are invited to visit the new space and learn more about the services on offer.’ For opening times and further information telephone 020 7383 6625, email bmalibrary@bma.org.uk or visit the website (www.bma.org.uk/library).

A glimpse of the new BMA Library layout

BMA Marketing & Publications are pleased to announce the following new membership benefits are also available to BMA and BMJ staff Austin Reed

BMA Cars Direct

Dorling Kindersley Save 25 per cent on selected Dorling Kindersley BMA medical reference books. To order call 08700 707 717 or email dkbookshop@sparkledirect.co.uk quoting ‘DK/BMA’.

Staff are entitled to a 15 per cent discount off all Austin Reed full-priced merchandise from most of their 90 stores and outlets across the UK. To find your nearest store, please call 0800 585 479. To obtain the discount, you need to present your staff security card in store. The discount will soon be available if buying online after the system of online validation has been finalised.

BMA Cars Direct offers staff a preferential car purchase service. There is a selection of 5,000 vehicles to choose from, any make, any model, new or used. In addition, BMA Cars Direct offers a unique part-exchange valuation service and nationwide delivery. For more information go to www.bmacarsdirect.co.uk or call 0870 766 8261.

Titles include: BMA Complete family health guide BMA New guide to medicine and drugs BMA Concise guide to medicine and drugs BMA Family doctor home adviser BMA When your child is ill BMA Illustrated medical dictionary BMA A-Z family medical encyclopaedia

If you have any suggestions for future Snakebites features please email snakebites@bma.org.uk Editor: Paul Gadsby. Deputy editor: Eddie Haigh. With thanks to contributors Natalie Breeze, Clive Featherstone, Natasha Edwards, Katy Jordan and Susan Godfrey. BMA Public Affairs Division, British Medical Association, BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JP

© British Medical Association, 2007


The annual represent

Stuart Abrahams (Public Health) fails to notice that his fencing skills are rubbish

BMA staff react with joy as another set of newly-approved motions arrive

Blind Date contestants Michael Wilks, Tony Calland and Sam Everington at the staff party

Julia Alderman (Senio have no idea what’s g picture either

Believe it or not many within the BMA are already planning for next year depressed individuals have been asked to look forward to ARM 2009. Ho to figure out how to attach those annoying name tags, Snakebites looks

Sue Manley (Web Team) ‘And this is how we block everyone’s access to Facebook’

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Natalie Breeze (MSC) gripped by the NHS Paper Clip Finance Debate

Snakebites August 2007

The ARM motion team keep a watchful eye on proceedings

Conference crowd


tative meeting 2007

ors): Nope, we going on in this

Julie Goodway (GPC) gets rid of some tension

The Snakebites team enjoys another gripping anecdote from their Padiv colleagues

Stuart Abrahams (Public Health) fails to notice that his dancing partner has turned into a dolphin

r’s annual representative meeting (ARM) in Edinburgh, while even more owever, before our memories become obscured by site visits and trying s back at the rollercoaster of unrestrained fun that was Torquay 2007…

The reception team – the frontline in the war against lost badges and toilet enquiries

Snakebites August 2007

Adrian Stevens and Wendy Smith (Marketing & Publications) apply that final bit of blue tac…

The ARM display commemorating 175 years’ of BMA history

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Cambodian charity begins at home On a recent trip to Asia, Katy Jordan (Padiv), visited the Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia and discovered a charity helping to tackle the bloody legacy of the Khmer Rouge. Katy tells Snakebites about her experiences with the Ponheary Ly Foundation.

Earlier this year, I visited the Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia. Instead of using a large tour operator, I wanted to use a local guide and a search provided me with the highly recommended Ponheary. She had an amazing knowledge of Angkor Wat as it was her ‘playground’ as a young child and grew up in the neighbouring town, Siem Reap. This remarkable woman survived the Khmer Rouge labour camps, taught herself how to speak French and English in secret (then considered a crime by the regime) and became a teacher. In 1998 when Cambodia held its own elections and the country once again opened up to westerners, Ponheary became a much sought-after tour guide. She took me to see a local village school. I took out boxes of pencils for the school children and Ponheary handed out packets of

noodles for their lunch. We also visited a local family that had been sponsored recently by a London couple visiting Cambodia. This was done through Ponheary who had organised the installation of a well to ensure the family had access to water. The father suffered from malaria and so they hoped to improve their quality of life with access to clean water. A foundation has been set up in Ponheary’s name. She does an amazing amount of local charity work as well as being a full-time tour guide. She never forgot her students, especially the village children who had no opportunity to go to school – it costs £6 for a child to attend school for one year and this covers uniform and supplies. You can read Ponheary’s story and make a donation to the foundation at this website: www.theplf.org

Snakebites And you thought the name was synonymous only with this splendid, sporadic read for BMA staff? Under the guise of work, a quick Google search found the following definitions: a bite from a snake is called (rather obviously) a snakebite the name of a tribute band for Whitesnake a body piercing that sounded both horrible and unhygienic (I was too scared to Google an image in case I contravened BMA IT rules on internet access) a racehorse a drink for students and various crusty types who have dogs on a piece of string (eg ‘A pint of snakebite and black please’) – essentially a beer cocktail finally, and I’m rather pleased to find this, it is the name of a trade union magazine in America. Aimed at railroad workers who have a distinct lack of respect for their employers

Quiz winner Last month’s bouncing baby photo was none other than Snakebites’ long-suffering deputy editor Eddie Haigh. There was an exceptionally poor number of entries that presumably were sent in just to try our patience (we are talking about you, Tracy Archer), but in the end Sigrid Beil (Padiv) provided a correct entry and wins the £10 book voucher. The quiz will be back in the next edition…

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Snakebites August 2007


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