Following the introduction of the National Health Insurance Bill (which would later transform into the National Health Service) in 1911, the British Medical Association (BMA) successfully argued that local committees of ‘panel doctors’ should be given statutory recognition. The BMA suggested that ‘there should be adequate medical representation on Local Health Committees and statutory recognition of Local Medical Committees (LMCs)’. As a result, LMCs gained their statutory status and began functioning in their current format. The following year, the BMA established a national committee to represent the combined interests of the LMCs and this group later became the General Practitioners Committee (GPC).
LMCs are recognised in the NHS Act as representatives of local GP practices and negotiators on their behalf. And as such, LMCs should be consulted on issues that may affect GP practices in their locality.
The role of LMCs is central to local negotiations on behalf of GPs and NHS England (London). In London, LMCs have also adapted to meet the needs of their constituents and Londonwide LMCs was created in 2003, following the amalgamation of two umbrella bodies that supported LMCs in Middlesex and London. Londonwide LMCs is an umbrella organisation that represents 27 boroughs across London. The creation of this organisation means the capital’s LMCs can go beyond their core functions. We provide pan-London negotiations and enhanced support to constituents via centralised support staff.