‘One of the frustrations in general practice can be that things tend to happen to you rather than you making them happen.’
Read the full interview with Dr John Allingham, medical secretary of Kent LMC.
Dr John Allingham, medical secretary of Kent LMC
What have been your most memorable achievements for GPs?
Not sure I can really answer that. In Kent we have a complete set of minutes covering the entire 100 years. So there's an awful lot to choose from.
How long has your LMC been around for? What have been its most significant moments?
Our first meeting was held on April 18th 1912. The minutes contain all kinds of odd stuff. There was a discussion in the 1950s about the LMCs role during the Cold War - which doctors could be released for military service. How many casualties there could be in the event of nuclear attack etc. The Hungarian revolution in 1956 prompted a discussion about how to care for the refugees in a camp that was set up at a local aerodrome.
What are your biggest challenges at the moment?
Our biggest challenge is connecting with CCGs. Locally they are still at the forming, storming, norming and performing stage and we don't quite yet know who we'll be liaising with.
Are LMCs being involved enough in the NHS reforms?
We're involved because the GPC is involved at national level. Locally, we have been involved in various things including elections for CCG boards.
Why did you want to become involved in the LMC?
Out of an interest in making things happen. One of the frustrations in general practice can be that things tend to happen to you rather than you making them happen.
What do you think the future holds for LMCs?
Alongside our developing relationship with CCGs, we've been noticing in Kent that we're supporting more doctors in difficulty. GPs are more under the microscope than ever before and we feel anecdotally that we're seeing more problems than in previous years and may well continue to do so in future years.
Do you have any plans to celebrate the 100 year anniversary?
On April 18th 2012 we will be holding our annual conference taking the theme 'past, present and future'. We will open with a presentation of our history. We are holding a centenary dinner on June 27th for which invites are shortly being dispatched.