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.



Over the last year, the BLMA has been developing a series of clinical competencies for use by doctors and nurses leading pilgrimages. These are in the form of a series of domains that can be matched against the needs of sick pilgrims, to help ensure that their needs can be met. At the recent BLMA conference, the delegates had the opportunity to review them, and the next stage is to pilot them in use in the 2017 season. Currently, Arundel and Brighton, Leeds, Lancaster and Birmingham pilgrimages will do so.

For more information about the competencies, see the section under Resources.

New Look BLMA Website and Communications

Drs Joe O'Dwyer and John Roper have kindly agreed to undertale a review of the BLMA communications strategy for 2017. The website has already had a small re-organisation, but will undergo further changes in the coming months to make it more easy to access useful information. 

We also intend to explore options to embrace other newer media such as Facebook and Twitter. More news soon!

28 November 2016.

Plans for the forthcoming conference in January are well underway and the updated programme/booking form is available to download here BLMA 2017-programme-ver-3.  For anyone who  downlaoded an earlier version of the programme, please note that the conference fees have been reduced to £60 for doctors and £30 for nurses, the same as last year.


09 November 2016

The 43rd AGM and Conference of the LMA will take place at Cathedral House, St Chads, located in the centre of Birmingham, on the weekend of the 27-29 January, 2017.

The theme of the conference is Competence in Practice – future-proofing Lourdes Pilgrimages.

The programme and speakers are still being finalised and further information will be added in due course.



03 October 2016

Dr Michael Dulake, a longstanding LMA member, recently passed away.  I am grateful to Denis and Mary Daley for providing the following:

Dr Michael Dulake was a loyal member of the LMA for many years and served on the CMIL too, where he was very popular with the French members as he spoke their language well. He was a great friend of Lourdes and the HCPT.  His wife, Maureen, another doctor, who died in 2000, was also involved with both HCPT and the LMA.  For a time they both helped Dr Vivienne d'Andria to translate articles from French for the English version of the Lourdes Medical Bulletin.  Michael was a distinguished consultant physician specialising in cardiology, working at St George's Hospital and St James' Hospital Balham. For many years Michael and Maureen helped out with the medical cover at the Passage Westminster.  As a person he was always charming, friendly and courteous – a very gentle gentleman. His requiem Mass will take place at 1 p.m. on Thursday 13th October at St Joseph’s Church, Roehampton SW15 4LE. 



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.

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.