Despite countless changes within the NHS and community care, Local Medical Committees are the single element of continuity throughout all the re-organisations since the NHS was inaugurated with statutory functions set out by Act of Parliament. As the local, elected body representing General Practitioners the LMC continues to strive to provide support and leadership as a committed partner in the delivery of Primary Care.
GP representatives are elected by their peers on a rotational basis and according to patient population numbers. They meet regularly and work along the Office bearers (Chairman, Vice Chairman, Medical Secretaries and Treasurer) to address the many areas concerning the delivery of Primary Care in GGC. In Greater Glasgow and Clyde, we have a dual Committee which is represented by the same office bearers within a single setting. This incorporates both the GP subcommittee and the Local Medical Committee.
The GP Subcommittee has two main statutory functions:
- To provide advice on the operation of general medical services;
- To advise the Area Medical Committee. (The general function of the AMC is to advise the Health Board on the provision of NHS services.)
Glasgow Local Medical Committee deals with matters relating to the remuneration and conditions of service of doctors. Health Boards have a statutory responsibility to consult with LMCs on a number of key issues, including GMS Regulations, Pharmaceutical Regulations, Statement of fees and allowances etc…. and LMCs have a right to consult with Boards to advise them on a variety of concerns to GPs.
LMCs have always provided services beyond their purely statutory functions, representing the core values of the profession and striving to ensure the highest standards of equity and fairness; democracy and professionalism. The LMC will represent and advise on all matters concerning GPs as independent contractors providing Primary Care clinical services as professionals.
These may include:
- Administration and development of Contracts and enhanced services
- Quality and Outcomes Framework
- The primary Secondary Interface
- GGC complaints procedure and performance issues
- Liaison with secondary care colleagues
- Co-operation with professional bodies: e.g. the British Medical Association, Royal College of General Practitioners
- Occupational Health advice
- Liaison with other professions allied to medicine
- Representing local GPs’ views nationally to the Scottish General Practitioners Committee and by submitting proposals to the annual conference of LMCs
- Mediation and Pastoral Care
The activities and views of the BMA’s General Practitioners Committee are communicated to the profession through the BMA Website, newsletters, policy documents and general advisory statements.
Glasgow LMC regards communication with constituent GPs as essential. We do our utmost to inform and listen to GPs, their practice staff and the organisations with whom we all work, in various ways including:
- Publishing a regular newsletter
- Website development to provide ease of access to information, news, local and national guidance notes, media coverage, and a document library
- Information bulletins and summaries of national guidance
- Consultation with specific GPs on issues
- Telephone, email and mail
The LMC maintains an extensive network of formal and informal contacts and liaison on behalf of GPs with bodies influencing the planning and delivery of Primary Care. Members of the LMC Committee as elected GP representatives attend a wide range of meetings with colleagues to ensure the voice of General Practice remains influential.
Glasgow LMC provides help to all GPs, whatever their contractual status, on all matters relating to General Practice (see Pastoral Support Network, also), including:
- GPs’ remuneration
- GPs’ Terms and conditions of service
- Partnership and practice management issues
- Any disputes which may occur between GPs and Primary Care Organisations
In short, the LMC has a major role in support of the provision of Primary Care. As a statutory, yet independent body, we occupy a unique and democratic position of influence within the NHS.