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Is there an issue you would like addressed to make your working lives easier? Now is your chance to get involved and tell the BMA what you think.
Later this autumn and next spring we will be holding the annual conferences for LMCs in England and the UK. LMCs are the local representative structure for GPs. While they work very closely with the BMA, they are independent bodies – you don’t need to be a BMA member to get involved.
LMC conferences debate many motions which propose the actions they want GPC and the sessional GPs committee to take forward. The motions are voted on and those which pass become resolutions or, in other words, a list of actions which they are mandated to take forward on your behalf.
The annual LMC conferences are your opportunity to shape healthcare policy and produce real change. If you are still not convinced, in 2017 a London GP asked for GPs to be added to the Government’s shortage occupation list to help international GP recruitment. In May 2019 this was implemented as a direct result of GPC lobbying based on the mandate it was given by that resolution.
Last year, at the Welsh LMCs conference, a resolution was passed which demanded GPC Wales urgently negotiate with the Welsh Government to offer assurances to GPs and mitigate last person standing risks of premises and staff redundancies. Those stipulations were agreed as part of the latest contract negotiations and GPs in Wales will now not have to worry about being left with large financial losses if they are the last partner standing. The risks involved in being the last partner standing is also one of the reasons why sessional GPs are reluctant to take up partnerships.
We want sessional GPs to have a stronger voice and we can do this if you email your local LMC about the changes you want to see.
How can you get involved?
We recommend you have a clear idea about the problem you want addressed and what you think should happen.
Remember, if you’re not sure about what you’re asking for, or you’re not completely certain, don’t worry – your LMC can help you. Your LMC represents the views of all GPs working in your area, not just partners. If you are unsure who they are, you can find more information here. We also have guidance available on how sessional GPs and LMCs can work together more effectively.
Your idea can be specific to your working life as a sessional GP, for example the need for equitable death in service pensions benefits for locums, or broader issues as long as they link to our working lives as doctors. The recent BMA campaign to end period poverty is one example.
Your ideas will need to be turned into a formal motion and agreed with your LMC as part of their policy. This can be quite technical but the people in your LMC will have lots of expertise and can do this for you.
The deadlines for LMCs to submit their motions for the English LMC conference is 20 September so now is the time to get in touch. You can find the dates for the LMC conferences here.
If you found your LMC an interesting and welcoming place, consider joining as sessional GPs are under-represented on many LMCs.
We look forward to hearing your ideas at our conferences.
Rachel McMahon is LMC England conference chair and a member of the sessional GPs committee.
Nimish Shah is a sessional GPs committee and Welsh GPs committee member.
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