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What is a Local Medical Committee (LMC)?

LMCs (local medical committees) are the bodies that represent the interests of all GPs at a local level, and as membership organisations their strength lies in their ability to represent the entirety of the profession. Given that there have now been several major reorganisations within the NHS over recent years, LMCs are now the only locality-based organisation that maintains a corporate memory within general practice.


LMCs are the only bodies that have a statutory duty to represent GPs at a local level. This statutory duty was first enshrined in Law in 1911 and has been included in the various NHS Acts over the recent past and is included in the Health and Social Care Act. The Health and Social Care Act reinforces the requirement for NHS Bodies to consult with the LMC on issues that relate to general practice. It is important to understand that the LMC is not a trade union and cannot act as such, this is the role of the British Medical Association (BMA).

Whilst recognised by statute and having statutory functions, LMCs are NOT themselves statutory bodies, they are independent. It is this unique status as independent representative bodies recognised by statute that allows them to be so effective in standing up for and supporting their GPs. They are accountable to the GPs they represent and free to speak up on behalf of GPs, practices and their patients when others cannot. The LMC would therefore consider itself the voice of general practice at a local level. We work for, and support individual GPs and practices and are also the wider professional voice of general practice.

The LMC has a constitution that ensures it is representative of GPs, this is updated regularly following consultation with GPs and NHS Wales. In every area of the country there is a local representative committee called a Local Medical Committee whereby, GPs are nominated by their peers and elections to these roles take place regularly (normally every 2 – 4 years). The committee also ensures there is a balance in terms of representation (contractual status and other factors).

Morgannwg LMC is the only statutory representative body for GPs  in Swansea, Neath, Port Talbot. 

We exist solely to represent, advise and support GPs and their Practices ensuring that they are properly valued and their skills properly utilized in serving the public. 

Much of our work is done remotely via e-mail but the Full LMC Committee meets every two months with the Executive Committee also meeting in the intervening months.

The LMC, when representing the profession, will try to ensure there is openness, transparency, fairness and equality of opportunity.

The LMC will represent and advise on all matters concerning GPs, whether they are partners or sessional GPs, working in a GMS, PMS or APMS Practice or as a locum, Out of Hours GP or in a different setting that is ever evolving.

The LMC represents the profession in many different ways, for example:

  • education and training undergraduate, postgraduate and vocational training, continuing professional development

  • professionally-led regulation and professional standards ethical, conduct and performance, including clinical governance

  • workforce planning

  • liaison with consultant and hospital colleagues

  • collaboration with the General Medical Council

  • collaboration with national professional bodies including:

    • British Medical Association

    • General Practitioners’ Committee Wales

    • Royal College of General Practitioners

  • occupational health issues, e.g. sick doctors

  • liaison with other professions allied to medicine

National GP representation

The national representative committee for GPs in the UK is the General Practitioners Committee (GPC UK). In Wales we have our own branch – General Practitioners Committee (Wales) (GPC W) with some representatives on GPC UK. The GPC is the craft committee of the British medical Association with full authority to deal with all matters affecting NHS GPs, whether or not they are BMA members. It is recognised by the Department of health as NHS GPs’ sole negotiating body. Every part of the UK has at least one spokesperson on the GPC to present its views and debate issues at monthly meetings. Throughout the year papers are produced for discussion at LMCs and from time to time the GPC consults all GPs directly through surveys and questionnaires. Advisory papers are also produced for the membership.

GPC Wales has a continuous dialogue with the Assembly Minister for Health, just as the GPC does with the National Minister of Health. This takes place through the GPC negotiators who are elected annually by the GPC (GPC W).

The Secretary of State’s team/Welsh Minister’s team is supported by the senior civil service, the NHSE and the resources of the NHS and is supported by other professionals including public affairs and relations staff.

The issues negotiated nationally mirror those at local level, but also include the submission of evidence to the Doctors’ and Dentists’ Review Body.

GPC Wales representatives and Welsh LMC representatives meet annually for a Welsh Conference in the spring, and debate motions received from local LMCs. The National Conference of LMCs meets in June and members attend on the basis of the numbers of doctors in their LMC area with members of the GPC. Similarly motions for debate are submitted by LMCs and members of the GPC for debate the outcome of which may determine the broad direction of the profession’s national negotiations.

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