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What is a Local Medical Committee (LMC)

The LMC is an independent body statutorily recognised, by successive NHS Acts since 1911, as the sole professional organisation representing GPs and their practices to the ICBs. The LMC represents the views of GPs to any other appropriate organisation or agency. Unlike the BMA, it is not a trade union and is funded by contributions from GP practices.

The 1999 NHS Act extended the LMC role to include representation of all GPs, whatever their contractual/employment status this includes GMS GPs, PMS GPs, Sessions

Although there have been countless changes within the NHS and community care, LMCs across the UK are the single element of continuity throughout all the reorganisations since the NHS was established.

Surrey and Sussex LMC are here to support and represent all  GPs and GP practices within  Croydon, East Sussex, Kingston and Richmond, Surrey and West Sussex

For further details, please continue reading …


Everything Explained

Surrey and Sussex LMCs are a Confederation of five separate Local Medical Committees (Croydon, East Sussex, West Sussex, Kingston and Richmond, and Surrey) which exist independently, but are served jointly by one LMC Secretariat. The LMC Board is known as ECCOSS (The Executive Committee of the Confederation of Surrey and Sussex LMCs) and comprises the Chairs of the five LMCs, together with the Deputy Chair of Surrey (in recognition that it is the largest of the five LMCs), with the LMC Chief Executive attending Board meetings ex-officio.

Surrey LMC was inaugurated in 1912, and the original minutes of the earliest meetings are in the BMA archives. It originally covered the current London Boroughs of Kingston, Richmond, Merton, and Sutton, and much of Croydon. In 1965 these four Boroughs, and an expanded Croydon, joined the Metropolitan area, but Croydon, Kingston and Richmond opted to remain linked to Surrey LMC, and then became two separate LMCs. East Sussex LMC joined the Surrey and Sussex LMC Confederation in 2004, of interest is that prior to that date East Sussex LMC members received no honorarium. Surrey, by that time, was two LMCs, East and West Surrey, which then merged.

Brighton and Hove have always been part of a local unitary authority and therefore has its own liaison committee, but Brighton and Hove LMC representatives form part of East Sussex LMC

ECCOSS meets approximately bi-monthly, further details on ECCOSS can be seen on the Committee’s pages [insert link].


LMC Funding

LMCs are funded by a capitation-based Levy deduction (via Primary Care Services England (PCSE) [in their individual LMC names] which are paid by all primary medical service contractors (GMS/PMS/APMS)). Only GMS contractors have payment of this levy written into their contract; however, in SSLMCs PMS and APMS contractors also pay this Levy.  Combining the statutory Levy of five LMCs to fund one LMC Secretariat produces significant economies of scale for SSLMCs, which is the third largest UK LMC by population, covering almost 400 practices.


General Practitioners Defence Fund (GPDF)

There is a separate levy paid by practices, again on a capitation basis, but not statutorily required by any primary medical service contract. Formerly called the Voluntary Levy, it is now known as the GPDF Levy. This is because it is paid over by the LMCs to the GPDF; the GPDF use this funding to support LMC conferences, and, in part, pay BMA General Practitioner Committee [GPC] members honoraria. It also supports the funding of the Executive Officer Team of the GPC (noted below) which negotiates on behalf of General Practice with NHS England, the Department of Health, and other organisations. The GPDF also provides support to LMCs.

There has recently been a change in governance arrangements at the GPDF so that the majority of GPDF Board members are now nominated and elected by LMCs, on the basis that LMCs fund GPDF and therefore should direct its operational strategy. The GPDF role is to support General Practice and LMCs, further details are available at www.gpdf.org.uk

LMCs are not allowed to use the GPDF Levy funds to support their statutory functions (that is, running the LMC Secretariat) but because in recent years the GPDF has abated a proportion of LMC GPDF levies, SSLMCs has a source of funding to support other projects, for example, educational programmes, such as provided by Practice Index and the Premises and Maternity Workshops, and can also make grants, for example to support the Grow Your Own Health seed project in Sussex and to the newly formed Institute of General Practice Managers. The LMC also funded the LMC members Away Day last Autumn, using reserves from the Voluntary Levy.


GPC constituency representatives within the SSLMCs area

The GPC in England is an elected Committee; it includes constituency representatives, which in the SSLMC area are: -

GPC members can also be elected annually from the LMC Conference or the BMA Annual Representative Meeting.

Approximately a quarter of GPC members are LMC Officers. In SSLMCs clearly GPC representatives are closely associated with the LMC, and this has significant advantages: one recognised challenge is that LMCs who do not have or foster such close GPC connections can be at a disadvantage in terms of disseminating information to GP colleagues and horizon scanning.


GPC UK

Technically, the four national GPCs (along with the Sessional GP and GP Registrar committees) are sub-committees of GPC UK, an overarching Committee which holds its own Annual LMC Conference. GPC UKs role is less important now as individual GP Contracts and the way the NHS is organised in England and the Devolved Nations have diverged considerably. The England and UK LMC Conference Chairs, Deputy Chairs and Agenda Committees are independent of GPC, and are elected roles drawn from those Conferences.

However, the Conference Chairs and Deputy Chairs attend GPC meetings because of the role of such Conferences in determining GPC policy.

There are separate GPCs for Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, and each of these Devolved Nations have a number of LMCs, but many fewer than in England, and GPC England is a significantly larger Committee. These individual GPCs negotiate separately with their devolved Governments.


The Cameron Fund

The Cameron Fund is ‘The GPs own charity’: it is the only medical benevolent fund that solely supports General Practitioners and their dependents, who find themselves experiencing hardship or poverty. The Fund is named after Sir James Cameron, a Sussex GP who was Chair of the General Medical Services Committee (the forerunner of the General Practitioners Committee) from 1964 – 1970. He oversaw the pivotal Charter for Family Doctor Services in 1966, which ushered in what many now consider a golden age of UK General Practice.


SSLMCs Committees

These are approximately 120 current LMC members in Surrey and Sussex LMCs, with at the last count approximately 40% being female, a significant evolution over the last two decades, (see our Committees page for further information).

SSLMCs Committee members are elected on a constituency basis and membership is open to all GPs working locally who are on the NHS England Medical Performers List, regardless of their contractual status. At present three of the Chairs/Deputy Chairs work sessionally, and all Committees include sessional (employed and locum colleagues) as well as partners. The LMC does not charge an additional levy to locum colleagues and LMC Secretariat support is available to all GPs, Practice/Business Managers, and the wider practice team.


LMC Secretariat

For further details on your Secretariat including how to contact us please see our Secretariat pages.

What can we help you with

On behalf of practices, we provide:

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Updated on Thursday, 15 February 2024

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