The role of LMCs
The LMC is the only body that has a statutory duty to represent GPs at a local level. This statutory duty was first enshrined in law in 1911 and has been included in the various NHS Acts since. The LMC has a constitution that ensures it is representative of GPs and this is updated regularly. Leeds LMC also values and enables the involvement of others working in general practice and we enable representatives of practice managers, other healthcare professionals working in practices and those working as part of primary care networks to be elected members of the committee.
Whilst recognised by statute and having statutory functions, unlike ICBs, LMCs are NOT themselves statutory bodies, they are independent. It is this unique status as independent representative bodies recognised by statute that allows them to be so effective in standing up for and supporting their GPs and practices. They are accountable to the GPs and those working in general practice they represent, leaving LMCs free to speak up on behalf of GPs, practices and their patients when others cannot.
Legislation reinforces the requirement for NHS Bodies to consult with the LMC on issues that relate to general practice. It is important to understand that the LMC is not a trade union and cannot act as such, this is the role of the British Medical Association (BMA).
The LMC would therefore consider itself the voice of general practice at a local level. We work for and support individual GPs, practices and also the wider professional voice of general practice. In this role we engage regularly with other NHS organisations, the local authority and many other bodies to represent the views of GPs and practices.
Leeds LMC works closely with Leeds GP Confederation, a body that supports practices as primary care providers, including the delivery of GP extended access services on behalf of the majority of Leeds PCNs. The LMC and GP Confederation, together with the ICB in Leeds, have formed the Leeds Voice Committee as a mechanism to listen to, oversee and co-ordinate the collective voice of GPs and those working in general practice in the city and support the input from general practice in to a range boards and clinical groups.
The Royal College of General Practice – is the national membership body that is focused on quality and training and is committed to improving patient care, clinical standards and GP training.
The General Practitioners Committee England is part of the BMA and nationally represents all GPs (even those who are not members of the BMA). The BMA is both a trade union and a professional organisation.
The LMCs work with the GPC and ensure that there is close liaison between the national and local representation for general practice.