Medicopolitical Digest

Primary care bill receives royal assentPatients and GPs advised how to enjoy EasterMental health services need more resources

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.314.7085.982 (Published 29 March 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:982

Primary care bill receives royal assent

The NHS (Primary Care) Bill received royal assent on 21 March.

The government has not acceded to the General Medical Services Committee's request that local medical committees (LMCs) should be statutorily recognised as being responsible for representing all NHS GPs locally, whether they are in pilot schemes or remain under the current arrangements. But during the report stage of the bill the minister for health gave an assurance that LMCs would play an important role in the development of the new arrangements. Gerald Malone said, “Health authorities will need to seek their views on the impact of pilots on existing arrangements and when pilots are evaluated. They will definitely be involved.” He also said that he expected the local committees “to continue to demonstrate their strength as representative organisations across a spectrum of activity outwith their statutory responsibilities.”

The GMSC is reviewing the model constitution of LMCs to make it clear that they could include doctors who decide to develop and subsequently operate pilot schemes.

A technical subcommittee convened between the GMSC and the Department of Health is looking at the impact of pilot arrangements on the remuneration system and the transfer of funds from the pool …

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