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LMCs urged to consider suspending funding behind GPC

LMCs urged to consider suspending funding behind GPC

Exclusive Local medical committees (LMCs) should consider suspending funding that backs the BMA’s GP Committee, a leaked document has said.

LMCs currently pay a voluntary ‘quota’ or levy of 3p per head of patient population to the GP Defence Fund (GPDF) – a limited company that collects money from LMCs to support GP interests, including via funding provided to the BMA to run the GPC and for organising LMC conferences.

But an unattributed document, shared with all LMCs and seen by Pulse, urged LMCs to consider suspending these contributions to the GPDF, meaning the GPC’s funding could see cuts if this goes ahead.

The document pointed to the BMA’s GP Committee being in ‘total disarray’ and suggested that ‘insufficient funding streams’ from GPDF to a ‘dysfunctional’ GPC England are behind ‘poor contractual outcomes in England which have led increasing numbers of GPs to leave partnership and in some cases hand back their contracts’.

It heavily criticised the GPDF and said it has ‘amassed significant reserves’ that are ‘indefensible’ in light of the ‘collapse of general practice, especially in England’.

The document, entitled ‘Is GPDF Defending GPs?’, said: ‘An LMC may choose to consider whether it wishes to suspend its quota contributions, at least until the GPDF begins to satisfactorily serve the interests of the profession with regard to national representation and direct support for LMCs.’

It added: ‘Such withheld quotas could be reinitiated if and when such change happens.’ 

The document also invited LMCs to consider whether a ‘root and branch reform of GPDF required to put the monies of generations of GPs given in good faith to guard against and protect the profession at its time of greatest need to good use’.

It also said:

  • The amount the GPDF spends on those who run it is in excess of half a million pounds per year, a 2,100% increase in seven years, and is over a quarter of all levies sent to GPDF by LMCs
  • GPDF spends ten times more on the 12 people running it than it does on ‘LMC development’
  • The GPDF chair, Dr Douglas Moederle-Lumb, was given a 19.6% pay rise in 2022, meaning the remuneration of this role has increased 900% in seven years
  • According to information given at the AGM and Annual Report, the GPDF spends £24,412 on travel and expenses
  • The two unelected members of the management team have been in post for around 20 years each but their remuneration is ‘unknown to members of the company’
  • The current amount the GPDF contributes toward national GP representation is far less than it was prior to reforms and could be implied to have created significant problems for English representation in particular
  • Under the current system, GPs in England (especially in large cities) are ‘subsidising the meetings of reps in other countries at the expense of England’.

The GPDF website explains its funding structure: ‘Every GP and LMC contributes on the same basis for mutual benefit and the collective good of general practice.’

It says: ‘This payment is made on a “per patient” basis, collected initially by the LMC, and then contributed on a “quota” basis to GPDF, based on the reported patient population for their area, which they confirm to the GPDF every three years.’

Pulse has contacted GPDF for comment.

Work is underway to explore the creation of a new representative body for GPs, in the form of a ‘National Association of LMCs’, amid dissatisfaction with the BMA.



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Nick Mann 16 September, 2022 5:04 pm

Who’s even heard of the GPDF chief? LMC has indeed become a weak and ineffective organisation, along with GPC. De facto rubber-stampers of NHSE’s mismanagement.
Don’t disband; strengthen, revive and renew the functions of both.

Truth Finder 16 September, 2022 5:40 pm


Paul Frisby 16 September, 2022 7:48 pm

All those 3p’s add up to a turnover similar to an average General Practice. Can’t be many practices out there that need an independent remunerations committee, and an ex-partner from PWC on the team. Perhaps this is why they seem tohave been investing funds rather than spending then on defending GP. Have to admit never having heard of the GPDF before, but I’m not feeling very defended. They seem to have about £19 million in the war-chest, and there can’t ever have been a better time to spend it than now. (It may already be too late)

Ali Hossein ESTEKIbardeh 16 September, 2022 10:14 pm

As a longstanding member of the LMC I have been aware of the GPDF and its maltreatment a minority of people.
What we really need is:
A new GPC structure that us transparent and accountable, consisting of professional negotiators
A strong PR company to wake up the public about losing their GP Practices throughout the company
A committee of GPs that oversees its work snd is accountable directly to ceo of each LMC.
Only by this we can fight our corner.
Anything else is a sturm in a tea cup.

Al Sicandar 17 September, 2022 4:01 pm

The articles for the GDF (a viable on companies house) require a remuneration committee to be formed, perhaps we ask for and see the report of this committee? The website is sparse and it is unclear from the site what benefit the half million in Director fees, not to mention the rest of the money accrued, is actually achieving

Just Your Average Joe 22 September, 2022 7:55 am

Why bother having any team as they haven’t managed to negotiate anything as we have ended with all sorts of imposed crap from NHS England.

No incentive to support partnership and salaried working, with imposition of PCNs and stupid targets and changes to QOF which are now unreasonable and now almost unachievable as rely on patient outcomes which are not usually in our control.

No pay deals and a failure to be able to organise industrial action when we were told it was needed. Government negotiations run rings round them so may as well just save money.