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LMC leaders vote for conflict of interest curbs on consortium boards

By Gareth Iacobucci

Directors of private firms or companies able to undertake NHS work other than primary medical services should not be members of consortium boards, LMC leaders have voted.

Representatives at the annual LMCs conference voted to come down hard on potential conflicts of interest in GP consortium boards, amid growing evidence of dual roles being held by consortium leaders.

It comes after Pulse revealed earlier this week the scale of potential conflicts emerging on consortium boards, with our investigation cited during the debate as evidence of the conflicts that are emerging.

Delegates also voted that the majority of members of consortium boards should be GPs, and that all members are democratically elected, with all doctors working as GPs in the locality having an equal vote regardless of their contractual status.

A separate strand of the motion also called for performance management of GPs, dispute resolutions and electoral procedures to be agreed with LMCs before being given the green light.

Dr Brian Balmer, chief executive of Essex LMCs, who proposed the motion, said: 'We have to have accountability in both directions. There are clearly some who should not be sitting on these boards.'

The motion was backed by GPC member Dr John Canning, secretary of Cleveland LMC, who said: 'you cannot be the gatekeeper and the poacher'.

But Dr Amanda Craig, a member of Brent LMC, warned that the policy would be 'difficult to implement without losing some of our most talented commissioners'.

Dr Brian Balmer Click here for more from the LMCs Conference LMC GPC guidance on conflicts of interest