The tradition of LMCs, emanating from their inception in 1913, is to represent the profession and work in partnership with the contractual organisations to ensure general practitioners’ value and expertise is recognised. LMCs are the statutory bodies recognised by successive NHS Acts as the representative body of general practice. Membership of the LMC and the consequent support it can offer is open to all doctors working in general practice, whether as principals in a GMS, PMS or APMS practice, salaried doctors, locums and other sessional doctors.
LMCs represent GP views to NHS England, the CCGs in whose area the LMC is formed and other organisations and agencies. Regulations require NHS bodies to consult with the LMC on many issues and the LMCs strive for a positive and co-operative relationship with these organisations to shape the future of NHS services locally.
LMCs are independent, self-financing bodies established to represent general practice. They are not trade unions. They are funded through a levy from GP practices. The LMC also contributes on a voluntary basis to the administrative costs of the national General Practitioners Committee (GPC) through the General Medical Services Defence Fund.
LMC elections are conducted every two years in accordance with its constitution which have been approved by NHS England. Each LMC has been divided into separate constituencies to ensure that all areas are represented. Provision has been made for GMS principals, PMS Principals and non-principals to be nominated for election and the LMC is able to co-opt additional members thus ensuring that all facets of general practice are represented.