Call us: 01438 880010. Email: [email protected]
LMC Pastoral Care Service
One of the most important roles of the LMC is to advise and support local GPs on a personal basis. This can range from advice about an unusual dilemma from their clinical practice to a more personal matter about your own circumstances. We understand the importance of this role and have a suitably qualified and robust pastoral care team who operate on a completely confidential basis.
Doctors are notoriously bad at seeking help for medical problems, but illness in a GP may jeopardise their ability to care for patients and impact the working of a practice. Experience has shown that doctors who run into problems with performance issues or partnership disputes are often ill. This may be physical illness or mental health problems, including alcohol or substance misuse and GPs are entitled to specialist support so that patients receive the best care.
To address these issues the LMC will be proactive in its support of GPs and sometimes the LMC or the NHS Area Team might persuade a GPs to undertake a medical assessment as part of an investigation into performance concerns. Our Pastoral Care Lead clinician is available for support throughout this process.
If you believe that either you or a colleague might need help or support – whatever the problem – please contact the office immediately on 01438 880010. Your call will be strictly confidential and referred immediately to our Pastoral Care Lead.
LMC Mentoring Programme
“Mentoring is the support and guidance of one individual to another to support and expand professional development. The emphasis is on the needs of the individual encouraging independence, autonomy and self-development whilst helping to identify opportunities for future development” [NHSE HEE].
The Beds & Herts LMC Mentoring Programme provides confidential support to GPs and GPNs registered on the New to Practice Fellowship Programme, a national commitment in the NHS Long Term Plan to provide a continuation of support, learning and development post-registration. The programme has been funded with thanks to the BLMK and Herts & West Essex ICS Training Hubs. A mentee will receive up to 6 hours of mentoring within their first year.
Referrals are made via the Training Hubs:
For more information, please contact us at [email protected]
GPs facing Performance Procedures
We would recommend that all GPs facing NHS England, GMC, NCAS, litigation or other performance procedures contact the LMC for advice and support. Whatever the circumstances, such procedures are stressful and need to be addressed swiftly and appropriately. We are here to ensure that the procedures are fair and transparent, as well as providing pastoral support for GPs during a very difficult time.
On occasions GPs (as contractors) may disagree with decisions made by the commissioners in respect to their contracts. Disputes may arise over decisions about contractual sanctions and termination, remuneration, practice area and “opt-outs‟. Contractors have the right of appeal against such a decision and to request that it is resolved through a series of dispute resolution processes.
It is expected that most contractual disputes will be resolved informally as part of the normal contractual relationship before entering into formal procedures.
Either the practice or the NHS Commissioner can request the LMC to help to resolve a dispute at any stage. The LMC focus in these matters is to put patient interests first while providing support to our members – the GPs. This can sometimes lead to different LMC team members supporting different sides in a dispute. When this happens the LMC office team are assiduous in confidentiality and professional conduct.
Disputes interfere with the running of the practice and can result in a reduction in the quality of patient care or serious errors.
Partnership disputes must be taken seriously and dealt with professionally and urgently. We would strongly advise you to seek help as soon as the dispute is recognised.
As your LMC, we can facilitate meetings as part of the early stages of a dispute, but once the parties are entrenched, formal professional mediation may be necessary.
Employment Issues are very complex and the law pertaining to employment is very complicated. For these reasons the LMC does not give guidance on employment relations and we would suggest you contact ACAS or if you are a member of the BMA as your representative organisation, they can advise you on employment issues.