Our Roles & Functions
As the representative body for all GPs in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, the LMC Ltd supports practices in several ways including:
- Negotiating on behalf of practices with the NHS and Clinical Commissioning Groups and other organisations on issues that affect general practice.
- Supporting individual practices going through periods of difficulty (such as partnership disagreements, contractual problems or performance issues).
- Providing practices with information about local and national health policies, contracts, legal and ethical matters pertaining to the running of the complex business of general practice. We do this through a multitude of mechanisms including courses and lectures, our website, newsletters and sometimes by direct mailing individuals or individual practices.
- The LMC is called upon to advise NHS England, CCGs, ICS or Local Authorities on any of these areas.
Our Statutory Obligations
LMCs are the only democratically elected body representing GPs. LMCs are statutory organisations recognised in the 2006 NHS Act (as amended by the Health and Social Care Act 2012).
As such LMCs have statutory obligations under Part 13 of The NHS (General Medical Services Contracts) Regulations 2015 (Functions of Local Medical Committees). In summary these are:
To consider any complaint made by any medical practitioner against another and report its findings to the NHS England if there are concerns relating to the efficiency of services provided under a contract resulting from the complaint.
To make arrangements for a medical examination of a practitioner when there are concerns that the practitioner might be ill, or that their health might be putting patients at risk, and to make a written report for the NHS England regarding the practitioner’s capability to carry out his or her role.
Part 12, para 8 of The NHS (General Medical Services Contracts) Regulations 2015 gives NHS England or practices the option of involving the LMC in resolving disputes between the NHS Commissioning Board and practices. The committees are happy to be involved in helping to resolve such disputes. This will remain a critical role in the future.
A summary of all the functions of an LMC can be found in the GPC guidance on the Role of LMCs.
Beds and Herts LMC is a democratic organisation. Our members are the GPs and they determine the policies and procedures of the LMC.
We have two primary committees that are elected to represent the membership:
Bedfordshire LMC Committee
Beds LMC Committee is the representative forum for all GPs in the Bedfordshire and Luton area. It is chaired by Dr Christiane Harris with 19 members drawn from each locality across Bedfordshire and Luton.
The Committee members reflect issues from commissioners in Luton, Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire as well as partners throughout the health and care system. View Beds LMC Committee.
Hertfordshire LMC Committee
Herts LMC Committee is the representative forum for all GPs in the Hertfordshire area. It is chaired by Dr Bethan Rees with 24 members drawn from each locality across Hertfordshire.
The Committee members (reflect issues from commissioners in East and North Hertfordshire, Herts Valleys as well as partners from through-out the health and care system. View Herts LMC Committee.
The LMC Consultation
Where NHS England, CCG or Local Authority is seeking formal approval or an opinion from the LMC on an issue, the LMC sub-committee is consulted.
For urgent matters, we can consult the Executive that meets in between the committee meetings or by going directly to committee members through various other channels to obtain an early opinion.
Please note that while LMC representatives or members of the LMC staff team will represent the LMC at meetings and provide advice and opinion, they do not, give LMC approval without further discussion at an LMC sub-committee or executive committee.
How We Are Funded
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 and Improvement. 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 for future use by the LMC. 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.
LMCs are mainly funded through a statutory levy paid by all practices. The statutory levy is worked out on a capitation basis per patient registered.
The board proposes a budget and the appropriate amount for the levy to the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of members.
All constituent members are invited to the AGM to hear what has been achieved in the previous year and to take part in the discussion around what are the priorities for the coming year.
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.
Voluntary Levy – General Practitioners Defence fund (GDPF)
Beds and Herts LMC Ltd also collects a voluntary levy from practices. 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.
Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire LMC (as defined in the NHS Act 2006) is the overarching LMC. It has a statutory obligation to collect levies from GPs for the running of the committees. All income from the levies is granted over to Beds and Herts LMC Ltd. At its AGM each spring, it delegates the strategic and policy setting functions to two county-wide sub-committees (the Bedfordshire LMC Sub-committee and the Hertfordshire LMC Sub-committee) and all other functions to Beds and Herts LMC Ltd.
On 1st October 2006 ‘Beds and Herts LMC Ltd’ (the company), took over the day-to-day running of the Beds and Herts LMC. The company has responsibility for all the functions of and services run by the LMC, including the setting up and running of the two county sub-committees; for example the company runs the election process for the committees. All functions undertaken by the company are regulated by a Service Level Agreement between Beds and Herts LMC and the company.
Beds and Herts LMC Ltd is a company limited by guarantee so there are no shareholders and the company is non-profit making. Any profit shown in the accounts at the end of the year is put back into the organisation for the benefit of GPs and their practices. There is a board of the company which is made up of representatives from the two county sub-committees and key members of the Staff Executive team. All LMC representatives are members of Beds and Herts LMC Ltd.
As a limited company, the LMC is able to provide a far wider range of support and services for practices.
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