The NHS Act (2006) stipulates that every area must have a Local Medical Committee (LMC) acting as a representative body of GPs within its area. It must be recognised, as such, by NHS England. The Act also stipulates that this must be funded and resourced by the local GPs through levy payments.
The Beds and Herts LMC Ltd is a company limited by guarantee and is a ‘not for profit’ organisation. Any surplus made during the year is put back into the services for local GPs, or held in reserve. There are no bonuses or dividends paid. The Beds and Herts LMC incorporated in October 2006 in order to be able to provide more comprehensive services for the GPs of Bedfordshire, Luton and Hertfordshire. The company structure is further explained under ‘Structure of Beds and Herts LMC Ltd’.
LMCs are mainly funded through a statutory levy paid by all practices (taken at source). The statutory levy is worked out on a capitation basis and is currently 43p per patient registered. Based upon the previous year’s expenditure, the board proposes a budget and the following year’s levy to the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the members of the company usually held at the end of April or early May. As every LMC sub-committee representative is a ‘member’ of the company every member of the LMC sub-committees has an opportunity to agree or not to the levy being proposed, as is statutorily required. Meanwhile all GPs are invited to the AGM to hear what we have achieved in the previous year and what we propose for the coming year.
The LMC Ltd has an approximate turnover of £900,000 (2015/2016). Over 90% of this comes from the statutory levy the remainder comes from various small income streams for carrying out work on behalf of other organisations, including the NHS England Area Team, sponsorship to offset the costs of some meetings and a small amount from introducing our LMC approved consultants (not including solicitors) to local practices.
The annual accounts are drawn up and audited at the end of the financial year on 31st March. They are presented at the AGM. A report of the accounts is also presented at the first LMC sub-committee meeting following the AGM (a constitutional requirement) and a detailed report of the accounts appears in the Annual Report. As a limited company, the accounts are posted at Companies House and are available at the LMC Ltd offices, on request.
LMC representatives are paid travel expenses and a sessional fee to prepare for and attend meetings. The amount paid is agreed at the AGM.
The LMC Ltd also collects a voluntary levy from practices (taken at source). To date, this has been used to support the national negotiations undertaken by the General Practitioners Committee of the BMA (via the GPDF Ltd – General Practitioners Defence Fund.
As custodians of both levies, the Beds & Herts LMC has a statutory responsibility to the GPs of Bedfordshire, Luton and Hertfordshire to account fully for how the levies collected are utilised to the benefit of the GPs and their practices that pay them.
Last reviewed: 8th September 2016 (HB)