19 August 2016
Preliminary announcement: the next annual conference of the British Lourdes Medical Association will take place in Birmingham from Friday 27th – Sunday 29th January 2017.
27 February 2016.
The BLMA Council have published some advice about good practice relating to medicine transcription on pilgrimage. Download here: Transcription of Prescribed Drugs for Sick Pilgrims
27 February 2016.
At their recent AGM the LMA voted to adopt the new name British Lourdes Medical Association; this takes into account the merger with the BLNA and the existence of other nations Lourdes Medical Associations.
The next AGM and Annual conference of the BLMA will take place in Birmingham 27-29, January 2017. A summary of this year's meeting, which was very successful, will be posted shortly.
Lourdes and the LMA
Lourdes is a Marian shrine and, for those with a devotion to Our Lady, it has been a special place ever since St Bernadette first set eyes on 'The Lady' when she was out gathering firewood back in 1858. With a reputation as a place where miraculous cures had occurred it became a place of pilgrimage, not just for the devout, but also for the sick.
But that is not the whole story. Lourdes has a special place in many hearts, not just of the devout, nor of only catholics, nor indeed of the sick, but of those too who feel a vocation for looking after the sick and less able among us. Lourdes offers an opportunity to spend time in a special place where people are not stigmatised by what ails them but are embraced for who they are. Many healthcare workers who accompany the sick to Lourdes get as much, if not more, from the experience than those they care for and return to their everyday jobs with a renewed sense of that vocation which called them into their chosen profession in the first place. Equally remarkable, many people from all walks of life unconnected with healthcare give up their own time to assist in the task of providing care and assistance for the assisted pilgrims. The quality of care they deliver, and the joy they bring to the assisted pilgrims, is truely inspiring.
Lourdes is also a place of great spirituality and this, too, contributes to the sense of wellbeing which envelops people, even when they are not seeking it. Indeed, it is often those who come with the least expectations who find something that leads them to return again and again.
Organised diocesan pilgrimages from the UK have been going to Lourdes for over 50 years and HCPT for much the same time. With increasing numbers of doctors appearing in Lourdes an idea was formed and the LMA was founded in 1974 with the approval of the Bishops of England, Wales and Scotland. Its aim was to enable doctors who accompany sick pilgrims to Lourdes to meet together for their own benefit and that of their patients to discuss medical, spiritual and logistic matters related to Lourdes.
The members of the LMA meet annually in the New Year for the AGM and Conference. this year's meeting was held in Birmingham on 23-25 January. At the meeting it was agreed to open up membership to nurses and other allied healthcare professions and we look forward to welcoming many new members.
It is planned to hold the 2016 meeting in Crawley in late January as usual. Further details will be posted on the website in due course.