You have been elected to serve on your LMC, but are also keen to get involved with your clinical commissioning group, and have been invited to stand for election to its board. Would it be appropriate for you to do so? Dr Eleanor Scott advises.
When GPs are elected to serve on their local LMC they undertake to act in the best interests of all other local GPs whether they are principals, salaried or sessional and on behalf of all GP practices. Conflicts of interest will almost certainly arise where an individual is both an LMC member and also closely involved in working for a Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). This is most easily explained by examining some of the demands of the LMC member's role.
With regard to CCGs, LMC members have a duty to:
· Protect the legitimate rights and interests of local GP practices and individual GPs.
· Act as an intermediary between CCGs, local GPs and GP practices and work to resolve disputes where this is reasonable and appropriate.
· Hold the CCG to account to ensure its constitution is legitimate so that the CCG commands the confidence of its members.
· Required to declare any interests, as part of good principles of transparency.
Londonwide LMCs' guidance is clear on this subject:
· LMC officers may become ordinary members of CCG Boards but should not serve as CCG officers.
· CCG Board officers may become ordinary members of LMCs but should not serve as LMC officers.
· Ordinary LMC members may be become members of CCG Boards and may also serve as CCG Board officers but should not become LMC officers whilst holding a CCG Board officer's position.
In short, the GP concerned may take up a position as an ordinary LMC member and may also become an ordinary CCG board member or a CCG Board officer. If the GP becomes a CCG board officer, he or she should not serve as an LMC officer at the same time.
Dr Eleanor Scott is a Medical Director at Londonwide LMCs.