The Function of the Local Medical Committee
The main functions of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LMC are to advise,
support, inform and represent the interests of primary care doctors (General Practitioners, Locums, Out of Hours
Doctors, GP Registrars and others) in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
The LMC is not financed in any way by the taxpayer, nor does it receive
any other form of public funding. It is mainly funded by means of a Statutory Levy deducted from the
personal remuneration of every GP in the area except those who provide Personal Medical Services (PMS) rather
than General Medical Services to their patients. The PMS GPs in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly have voluntarily
agreed to pay a levy towards the support of the LMC, thus enabling the LMC to continue to represent all the GPs in
Organisation of the Local Medical Committee
The Cornwall & Isles of Scilly LMC is a committee of local elected
GPs each serving a fixed term of office before facing re-election, supported and managed by a
permanent Secretariat based in the LMC office in St Austell.
The Committee is made up of GPs from three constituencies, North East,
Central and West Cornwall, who are elected every three years by an electoral college consisting of the GPs of
Cornwall and Isles of Scilly. The three constituencies have historically shared the same
geographical boundaries as the three Primary Care Trusts of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, which were created in
April 2002 when the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Health Authority merged with the two Devon Health Authorities to
form a new Peninsula Strategic Health Authority (the PCTs have since been merged into a single PCT for the
area). In April 2005 a fourth constituency was added for GP Non-Principals, and the first election to the new
constituency took place in January 2006. Until that time, four GP Non-Principal representatives were co-opted
onto the Committee.
The LMC Committee is headed by a Chairman and
Vice-Chairman, who are required to face annual re-election by an electoral college consisting of the members of the
LMC. The Chairman normally serves for a period of three years. The LMC appoints annually a Cabinet of up to eight Committee members. See the
Your Committee page for more details of each current committee member.
The Secretariat is headed by the LMC Executive Manager, who, in a permanent role
similar to that of a Company Secretary in a commercial organisation, is responsible in law for ensuring the
actions of the LMC conform to current legislation, fall within the scope of the Constitution and are focused on,
preserve and develop the best interests of General Practice. The LMC Executive Manager is also
responsible for all financial matters for the LMC including the management of all budgets and control of the
Levy, ensuring transparency and accountability are maintained to high professional standards. The role also
includes an administrative function in support of the Committee and the dissemination of knowledge and guidance
across the GP community in the area, ensuring that new information is available to that community
and responding to requests from them for guidance in specific areas. Representing the LMC to other
bodies, both locally and nationally, falls within the scope of the role, as does the organisation and
facilitation of conferences, meetings and other functions. A small and invaluable administrative team in
the office helps to ensure these services are delivered in a timely and professional
The History of Local Medical Committees
Did you know...
- 1835: The Provincial Medical and Surgical
Association was founded, in the days when anyone could practice as a doctor and there were no regulations
controlling the profession.
- 1856: As membership grew, the PMSA was re-named the British Medical
- 1858: After years of lobbying by the Association, the General Medical
Council (GMC) was established as the regulatory body for the profession.
- 1911: Local Panel Committees were established by David Lloyd George to represent
local doctors who took patients on to their panel. The same year saw The National Insurance
Act give basic medical cover for those earning less than £2 a
- 1912: The Insurance Acts Committee was established by the BMA to represent all
panel doctors, this committee being recognised by the Government as the authoritative voice of General
- 1913: Local Panel Committees were re-named Local Medical Committees (LMCs).
- 1948: Following the Beveridge Report of 1942,
the NHS was launched on 5th July.
- 1965: The Family Doctors Charter was introduced, establishing a range of
improvements in the way General Practice was operated and leading to the introduction of the Red Book.
- 1974: The Trade Union and Industrial Relations Act saw the BMA being recognised
as the Trade Union for the Medical Profession. It should be stressed that LMCs are NOT Trade Unions
- 1977: The NHS Act reinforced and expanded the statutory recognition and
functions of LMCs.
- 1984: Another NHS Act further expanded the recognition and scope of
To this day, the LMC is the only local, elected and representative body for General Practitioners, the
functions, purpose and aims equally as important today as they were 100 years ago.
The annual spend for the first year Cornwall LMC was in operation was a