How Wessex LMCs is Funded?
The Statutory Levy
All LMCs are funded by a statutory levy. This amount is collected from practices and is based on an amount per patient. It is currently 44p per patient across all three of our Committee areas. This is reviewed annually by the Wessex LMCs Board who make a recommendation to the three elected Committees (Hampshire & IoW, Dorset and Bath and NE Somerset, Swindon & Wiltshire). The three Committees are then responsible for deciding whether to agree to the Board’s recommendation for their area.
This money funds the office and officers of the LMC to deliver all the services and support that you have come to expect from Wessex LMCs. It also funds the three representative Committees with representatives being paid per attendance and reimbursed travel expenses.
The National Levy
In addition to the statutory levy, the LMC also collects a national levy. This is a separate levy which is collected to fund the National Negotiating Committee (GPC) and the GP Defence Fund (GPDF) and supports national negotiations regarding General Practice.
This rate is set by the GPDF and is also based on an amount per patient. It is currently set at 4p.
A Brief Guide to the General Practitioners Defence Fund Levy
The General Practitioners Defence Fund continues the work of the fund, which was established in 1911 to support General Practitioners’ negotiations with the Government. The Fund is presently established as a company limited by guarantee, the members being the voting members of the GPC. The main expenditure of the fund is supporting the GPs, who work for the GPC, and its national subcommittees in Wales and Scotland and who need to take time out of their medical practice, and the Annual Conference of LMCs. The Annual Conference provides the principal channel of accountability between the GPDF/GPC and LMCs. The fund also supports legal, accounting and other professional advice and, where required, contributes to the cost of legal challenges which are deemed of national importance. The GPDF works closely with the BMA, but it is not, unlike the BMA, registered as a Trades Union.
The GPDF seeks an annual levy from each LMC, and it also receives income from investments. The amount levied on an LMC is calculated on a pence per patient basis, using the number of patients in the area covered by the LMC, and is due for payment in April each year.
Collecting the Levy
The LMC is notified annually of the contribution that it is required to make to the GPDF, but it is for the LMC to determine how the funds for the levy should be raised. The contribution paid to the GPDF is the same regardless of how many practices contribute and, to ensure equity between all, it is therefore vital that as many practices as possible pay this levy. The GPDF levy is a tax deductible expense.
The GPDF and GPC welcome questions from LMCs on the work of the fund and of the GPC; the first point of contact should be your regional liaison officer in the GPC secretariat.