BLMA Conference 2019

The next conference of the Lourdes Medical Association of Great Britain will be held in Blackpool in January 2019.

The conference will, as usual, take place on the last weekend in the month.

The venue is the Village Hotel, Blackpool.

Further details will be available towards the end of October.

Please put the date in your diary.

Conference 2018

The next conference of the BLMA will beheld in Leeds.

The dates are Friday 26 – Sunday 28 January.

The weekend will begin with Vespers in St Anne's Cathedral at 1900.

Forms can be downloaded here: 2018 BLMA AGM-2

More information is available at the Conference pages.

Salvo Xerri

Dr Salvo Xerri, former Chief Medical Officer of the Arundel & Brighton Pilgrimage and former Chairman of the LMA, passed away on Easter Sunday.  A requiem mass of celebration of his life will be held at Worth Abbey, Turner's Hill, West Sussex on Friday 12 May at 1400.  All are welcome.

Joe O'Dwyer.


LMA Annual Conference and AGM 2016

The Annual conference will take place in Crawley on the weekend of 15-17 January 2016.  The venue for the conference is the Arora Gatwick/Crawley Hotel, in the centre of Crawley.  Easy access by road, rail and air.

As with recent conferences, the weekend will commence with Vespers on Friday evening at 1930, in the Friary Church. This will be followed by informal drinks reception in Friary Hall, adjacent to the church.

The conference commences at 1000 on Saturday, preceded by the AGM at 0900, and finishes at 1700.  Saturday vigil mass is available in the Friary Church at 1800.  The Conference Dinner, at the Arora Hotel, is from 2000 – 2300.

Sunday workshops, which will be held at DABCEC, a short walk from the hotel, commence at 1000, preceded by Morning Prayers.  The meeting closes at 1300.


Medical indemnity update:

Although the medical defence organisations have indicated that they will continue to provide medical indemnity for members going to Lourdes the situation remains unclear as to whether seperate, insurance-based, cover is also needed.  The possibility that formal registration with the Conseil National de l'Ordre des Medecins might be necessary has also been raised.  These issues are addressed in greater detail in the March Newsletter.

In the meantime, for anyone going to Lourdes in a clinical capacity, it is essential that they inform their defence organisation in advance in order to avail of such cover as is provided, and highly advisable that, as a regulatory measure, they register with the Bureau Medical in Lourdes on arrival.

Renal Dialysis update.

Renal Dialysis to remain available in Lourdes:

Good news from the Bureau Medical that although the St Jean le Baptiste Dialysis Centre in Lourdes closed on the 28 February there will be a new renal dialysis centre available in Lourdes after all.  This represents a collaboration between the Tarbes Hospital and the Association of Patients with Renal Insufficiency. Dr de Franciscis has visited the new unit with Dr Michèle Hemery, who is the coordinator of the Medical Service at the Tarbes Hospital, and it seems to be very well organised and well equipped.  Care at the centre will be led by a team of four nephrologists : Dr Hemery, Dr Reynaud, Dr Arreule and Dr Hazgui. 

Pilgrims requiring dialysis must make their reservations well before their arrival in Lourdes, just as was the case in previous years.

Contact details:  Unité de Dialyse Médicalisée, 43 Avenue de Sarsan, 65100 Lourdes


Secrétariat coordination accueil vacanciers et pèlerins: Tel:  +33 5 62 94 26 25; Fax: +33 5 62 94 19 90

Medical Indemnity for Lourdes – latest

Following earlier concerns, it appears that all the major providers of medical indemnity for doctors will continue to provide medical indemnity for doctors providing medical cover for pilgrimages to Lourdes.  Along with many others, I have spoken to both the MPS and the MDU, and confirmed, as far as I was able, their positions – see previous posts.   I have been informed by one of our Scottish members that MDDUS will continue to provide cover for Lourdes as before.

For the situation pertaining in Ireland, Dr Michael Moran has posted information on the Seirbhis website.  Here too, it would appear that similar arrangements will continue to those previously in place.

MDU and medical indemnity for Lourdes

 Feedback from LMA members who are with the MDU and from contacts in the insurance industry (with whom I have been discussing the situation and exploring alternatives should it prove necessary) points to the MDU adopting a similar stance to that taken by the MPS, in that they will continue to provide cover on the same basis as in the past (see: ).  As with the MPS, the conditions of the cover are likely to be more explicit and contingent upon being notified in advance of the member's intention to travel during specified dates.

Following the recent statement from the MPS there has been some expectation from LMA members of a similar statement from the MDU. Having spoken with the MDU today, however,  I understand that they have no plans to issue a statement on the matter but that they continue to consider indemnity cover for their members for Lourdes as in the past, contingent on their members discussing this with the MDU in advance.

MPS statement on Medical Indemnity

I am delighted to report that yesterday, 26 February 2015, the Medical Protection Society issued the following clarification to their previous advice on provision of cover for UK doctors working temporarily elsewhere in the EU.:
"further to a review by our Risk Department, MPS will continue to offer indemnity to members accompanying individuals on a Lourdes pilgrimage subject to the following conditions:-
·         Your indemnity extends only to treatment of members of the organised group that you are accompanying.
·         Indemnity is available in relation to matters brought in your home jurisdiction only.
·         Different territories may have different legal, regulatory or licensing requirements that need to be met to allow a doctor to practice medicine in that territory.  It remains your responsibility to ensure that you meet any such requirements."
In essence, I believe this is the same cover as previously provided albeit with certain clarifications.  

News Update Feb 2015


Dialysis: at the time of writing it appears likely that the rin Lourdes will close in March.  There will be dialysis facilities in Pau, for those who require them. see dialysis lourdes (in French – translation to follow shortly)

Medical indemnity: there is some uncertainty over the continuing extension of medical cover to doctors in Lourdes by the medical defence organisations.  This follows a change in EU law with France stipulating that mdical indemnity must be underwritten by insurance, rather than mutual, cover.  This matter is currently being explored and clarification sought.  It will also be discussed at the forthcoming Seirbhis conference in Dublin in March.

For the letter written  by Dr Robert in 2011 click on Letter from Board of Medical Practitioners of High-Pyrenees, May 2011

Membership: at the recent meeting of the LMA the constitution was amended to extend membership broadly to all groups of healthcare workers who come to Lourdes.  This was enthusiastically adopted by the membership and we look forward to welcoming new members.

AGM and Conference 2016: it is planned to hold the 2016 meeting in Crawley at the end of January 2016.  Further details will be available in due course.

It may be helpful to make available here the advice issued in 2013:  LMA Advice regarding expected standards of care including resuscitation