GPC negotiators pointed out that LMCs had existed since the start of the NHS, and had maintained good relationships with the huge array of health organisations that had come and gone in that time.
GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said that LMCs were the ‘only democratically elected organisations locally that represented GPs’.
He said it was vital that they were handed a role in scrutinising decisions made by clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), how they were set up.
‘The rules for authorising CCGs do not mention LMCs, but it is obvious that the involvement of LMCs is vital,’ Dr Buckman said.
GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey said the relationships between CCGs and LMCs currently were ‘variable’ across England.
But he warned: ‘Any CCGs would be foolish not to engage with their LMC. They need to engage the LMC fully so that their credibility is enhanced – it is vital that CCGs factor that in.’