We believe in the principle of voluntarism
For 100 years Derby and Derbyshire Local Medical Committee (LMC) has always believed in the principle of voluntarism and our levy has always been a voluntary one ever since our inception in 1913. Interestingly, although it has the legal power to impose a statutory levy, it has fought strenuously against invoking it.
Value for Money
The track record of the Derby and Derbyshire LMC for wise financial management is recognised throughout the LMC world in the United Kingdom. The LMC Officers seek continued support for its longstanding financial policy of maintaining at least one year’s operating costs in reserve. Derby and Derbyshire LMC was highlighted in the 2004 University of Sheffield study into the structure, function, and financing of LMCs. That study indicated that Derbyshire LMC is one of the most innovative, cost effective, value for money LMCs in the United Kingdom yet has a relatively moderate cost base. On a national level Derby and Derbyshire LMC is regarded by the GPC as being in the Premier League of LMCs for the quality of its work even though we are only medium sized.
Does the levy actually cost GPs anything in reality?
DDLMC has chosen to ask for a voluntary levy contribution from its constituent practice. 104 out of 112 practice currently pay the levy which is based on an amount per patient. This is reviewed annually. It is a tax-deductible expense and is also considered in practice expenses calculations by the Doctors and Dentists Review Body (DDRB) This resource funds the office and officers of the LMC. It also funds GP representation at various committees across the Derbyshire system.
DDLMC also contributes part of its levy contribution to fund the national negotiating committee (GPC) through the GP Defence Fund (GPDF) which supports national negotiations regarding general practice and the legal advice required for this. This rate is set by GPTF and is based on an amount per total patient population, not just levy paying practices.
Collection of the Levy
The method of collection is through a GP practice mandate which authorises Derby and Derbyshire LMC to collect the LMC levy on a monthly basis deduction.
It remains the policy to keep on reserve one year’s operating costs in case the current mandate system were to become disrupted or simply to ensure that there is enough funds in reserve to enable Derby and Derbyshire LMC to continue and improve its service to meet the needs of its constituents.
Increasing the levy
To increase the levy requires a resolution of Derby and Derbyshire LMC. As a matter of principle Derby and Derbyshire LMC officers prefer to give 6 month notice of an increase although it only has to give 3 month constitutionally. If and when there is a need for an increase Derby and Derbyshire LMC will look for the customary solidarity traditionally demonstrated by Derby and Derbyshire General Practice on this matter where over 90% pay the levy.
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