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‘I have a loud mouth and opened it once too often. In the NHS the punishment for that is that they put you on a committee’


Dr Tony Grewal, medical director of Londonwide LMCs 

What is your LMCs most memorable victory for GPs?

I’m very proud of the support we give GPs. This year five GPs were restored to the GMC register with LMC support. I should also mention the Once for London initiative, which is ongoing and covers things like list maintenance, PMS, premises and enhanced services allowing one set of negotiations rather than many.

What are your biggest challenges at the moment?

Making sure the new kids on the block – developing CCGs and what’s left of the NHS management – are working within the GP  contract.

How long has your LMC been around for? What have been its most significant moments?

The earliest set of minutes I could find anywhere in London is from 1915 following the Lloyd George Act of 1911.  Londonwide came out of a merger between inner London and Middlesex about ten years ago. Middlesex had been a confederation since 1987. I’ve been involved since about 1989 and there have been a lot of bloody sandwiches and minutes since then. I must say the quality of sandwiches at LMC has deteriorated markedly in my time.

Are LMCs being involved enough in the NHS reforms?

No – mainly through ignorance rather than malevolence. On the other hand, LMCs have been poor at pointing the importance of our own involvement at an early stage.

Why did you want to become an LMC Chair?

The honest answer is I have a loud mouth and opened it once too often. In the NHS the punishment for that is that they put you on a committee. I believe the NHS to be a very good thing and my role working in GP support I find personally very fulfilling. I think we do a great deal of good.

Best LMCs conference moment?

I’ve always been well received by LMCs conference although I hate public speaking and find it terrifying. Last year I got up twice and spoke on motions very dear to my heart – list maintenance and the duties of doctors regarding shotgun licences. I was lucky to put across decent arguments and got a great deal of support. They also kindly laughed at my jokes.

What do you think the future holds for LMCs?

As long as general practice continues we will need bodies to support and negotiate. If I look at how LMCs have evolved we are always responsive to changing circumstances and will continue to be so.

Do you have any plans to celebrate the 100 year anniversary?

We celebrating 100 years of the GPC this week.