Exclusive: LMCs conference 'does not represent grassroots GPs'

At least one LMC has refused to submit motions for this year's LMCs conference amid growing signs of a lack of faith in how the event represents grassroots GPs.

LMC conference: concerns over representation of grassroots GPs
LMC conference: concerns over representation of grassroots GPs

BMA leaders have admitted that a ‘large number of motions’ were submitted this year questioning how the conference works.

In a bid to tackle the concerns, this year’s LMCs conference will feature 90-minute breakout sessions to discuss what LMCs, the GPC and the conference should be ‘delivering for GPs over the next few years’.

But Doncaster LMC has refused to submit motions for debate this year, warning that its faith in the conference to achieve ‘true representation of grassroots GPs’ has died.

GPC influence

Doncaster LMC medical secretary Dr Dean Eggitt said it was unfair that GPC representatives intervened in debates to sway their outcome.

He said: ‘The conference is very political, and the fact that it’s done in the public eye means that that people won’t necessarily tell you what they’re thinking – they’ll tell you what the public want to hear.’

Representation of GPs in their first five years in the profession was a particular concern, he added.

Dr Eggitt proposed a motion at last year’s LMCs conference that the GPC should not be allowed to persuade delegates to vote in favour or against motions.

Grassroots GPs

‘Unfortunately, this motion was lost, and with it, Doncaster's faith in conference to achieve any true representation of grass roots GPs also died,’ he said.

The breakout groups at this year’s conference could lead to changes in its format in future, GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey told GP.

‘We have encouraged the agenda committee to establish breakout groups this year to enable more of those attending to have an opportunity to have their voice heard and in particular to discuss how we can improve and develop the way LMCs, GPC and conference itself works,’ he said.

Dr Eggitt said the LMCs conference was dominated by older, experienced GPs, and intimidating for young doctors.

‘I want to decide my own future – not have senior GPs who are leaving the profession decide it for me,’ he said.

Dr Vautrey said representatives from the trainees and sessional GPs subcommittees attend the conference. He added:  ‘Many LMCs work hard to ensure young and sessional GPs attend and they'll all do whatever they can to get younger GPs involved.’

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