Special LMC Conference 2016
A special LMC conference was called in response to the urgent pressures currently facing the General Practice profession. It was held at the Mermaid Conference Centre, London, on Saturday, January 30.
LMCs are local representative committees of NHS GPs and represent their interests in their localities to the NHS health authorities. They interact and work with – and through – the General Practitioners Committee as well as other branch of practice committees and local specialist medical committees in various ways, including conferences.
The special LMC conference was held to decide what actions are needed to ensure GPs can deliver a safe and sustainable service. It discussed motions on the workload on GPs, on the issue of GPs being salaried rather than partners, the whole question of the future of the NHS, the undermining effect of the over-regulation and monitoring, the funding of practices, the next step in negotiations with the government, and other matters.
In his speech to the conference, the Chair of the BMA General Practitioners Committee (GPC), Chaand Nagpual, said: “The mere fact that an extraordinary conference has been convened, bringing GP representatives from all corners of the UK to London on a Saturday, speaks volumes about the state and crisis facing general practice today. We should of course not need to meet at all, since today’s reality was both entirely predictable and preventable. Using Simon Stevens’ own words last summer: ‘we’ve systematically underinvested in general practice for at least 10 years’. This progressive resource starvation and thoughtless workforce planning has resulted in the proportion of NHS doctors who are GPs reducing from 36% to 25% in two decades and with fewer GPs per head today than 2010. Yet we’re now seeing a record 370m patients annually in general practice – that’s 150,000 more patients daily compared to seven years ago. This gross mismatch between demand and capacity is untenable, with both GPs and patients suffering the dire consequences. This conference demands an end to the pretence that all is well on the road to recovery. It’s not.”
Chaand Nagpual concluded: “So, Conference, today marks the great fightback of UK general practice. I urge government to do the right thing for patients and equally the right thing for a GP workforce whose goodwill continues to be shamefully exploited. And to protect and nurture a discipline that’s not just the jewel in the NHS’s crown but a beacon of personalised continuity of care internationally. And to make 2016 the year in which we begin the revival of UK general practice so that we have a future generation of GPs to look after a future generation of patients.”