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 are 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.
Poster to download and share with colleagues / add to notice boards: LMC Wellbeing Service for GPs
What is it?
“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].
Following the pilot launched in 2019 to mentor First 5 GPs, the mentoring programme extended to support GPs and GPNs on the New to Practice Fellowship Programme, which began in September 2020. GP and nurses were offered the opportunity to access up to 6 hours in their first year for free, kindly funded by the Herts & West Essex and BLMK ICB Training Hubs.
The Mentoring programme has now expanded under the NHSE Supporting Mentors Scheme, which continues to support GPs with mentoring sessions, as well as provide a fully funded qualification (ILM5 or 7 in Coaching and Mentoring) and a development support package for mentors for 2 years.
For further information, please contact
- If you work in Herts or West Essex: [email protected]
- If you work in Bedfordshire, Luton or Milton Keynes (BLMK): [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.