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A GP is refusing to pay his LMC levy in protest at the number of doctors who have dual roles on the committee and local primary care organisations.

Dr Bill Spiegler said GPs had a 'conflict of interest' if they combined work on a PCO professional executive committee with a post on the LMC.

Dr Spiegler, a GP in Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire, said the conflict was the same as having a company's trades union representative on the board. A quarter of the GPs on Leicestershire and Rutland LMC also have roles with local PCTs.

'I'm not questioning any one individual, all I'm saying is this is a national issue and one that will become increasingly important as PCTs take more control of funding,' said Dr Spiegler.

Dr Basil Hainsworth, professional executive committee chair at Leicester City West PCT and an LMC representative, said being a member of both did not constitute a conflict of interest.

Only if GPs were an LMC officer and PEC member would the problem arise, he said. He added: 'My work at the PCT is as an executive and with the LMC it is as a representative – the two are completely different.'

NHS Alliance PEC chairs representative, Dr David Jenner, said he could understand Dr Spiegler's position but withdrawing a voluntary levy was 'extreme'.

Dr Jenner, a GP in Collumpton, Devon, said the double role was inevitable because so few GPs were willing to take up either role.

'I can see his point of view. The LMC is a body for doctors and should be looking at their interests, and for a PEC patients in the locality are the priority,' he said.

Dr James Gillgrass, a GPC member and joint chief executive of Surrey and Sussex

LMCs, said Dr Spiegler's comparison with trade union representatives was wrong.

'We don't have LMC chairs on a PEC but for others it is allowed and it isn't a problem to do both,' he said.

By Joe Lepper

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