What is the Local Medical Committee?
The Local Medical Committee is the body statutorily recognised by successive Acts of Parliament since 1911 as well as the more recent NHS Acts as the professional organisation representing individual GPs and GP Practices as a whole to the NHS. The 1999 NHS Act extended the LMC role to include representation of all GPs whatever their contractual status. This includes GP non-principals like salaried and sessional doctors and GP registrars. The LMC represents the views of GPs to any other appropriate organisation or agency dealing frequently with the CCG, NHSEI, the local authorities (public health and also commissioners of some enhanced services now), the acute trusts and regulators.
It is Independent
The LMC is an independent self-financing body with statutory functions but is not itself a statutory body. It is not a trade union, which is the role of the BMA. The LMC is a trade association.
The LMC is funded by contributions from GP Practices in a contract with the NHS to provide General or Personal Medical Services. In addition, GPs are asked to contribute to a national levy, which is used to finance the LMCs contribution to the national GP Defence Fund, which pays for the General Practitioners Committee (GPC), administered by the BMA. The GPC negotiates for the profession with government departments.
It is Democratic
Elections take place regularly under the terms of the LMC constitution which are updated to take into account patient population and NHS re-organisation. At present therefore the constituencies are based on Primary Care Networks. Any GP may be nominated for election and there is a practice manager constituency which also elects a representative. The LMC can co-opt members from time-to-time and has registrar, salaried and dispensing doctor representatives. The LMC already has a GP Nurse advisor and is looking to extend wider among the growing number of Allied Health Professionals.
It is Principled
The LMCs core values are designed to ensure that the highest quality service is delivered to patients within the resources available. The LMC is committed to:
- Equity and fairness
- Equal opportunities
- Representation – working to ensure that all advice provided is representative of all GPs
It is Holistic Offering Education & Pastoral Support
The LMC recognises the importance of continuing professional development and so hosts the Somerset GP Educational Trust which organises a wide and comprehensive range of educational events and training for doctors, nurses and other AHPs. This now includes GP Fellowships.
The LMC also provides coaching and facilitation to practices and individuals. Anyone considering a change can get guidance through the popular GP Careers Plus scheme. It supports recruitment to primary care through the successful GP in Somerset campaign. The LMC can also provide one-to-one pastoral support, counselling when needed,and even some financial help through its own charity the Somerset LMC Benevolent Fund, to which anyone who has ever worked as a GP in the county may apply