Code of Conduct for Committee Members
The were first set out by Lord Nolan in 1995 and they apply to anyone who works as a public office-holder. This includes people who are elected or appointed to public office, nationally and locally, and all people appointed to work in health, education, social and care services. The Committee works closely with the NHS and as a consequence its values must reflect those at the heart of the NHS.
Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the representing their constituency.
Members must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence them in their work. They should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends. They must declare and resolve any interests and relationships.
Members must act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias.
Members are accountable to local GPs for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary.
Members should act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for so doing.
Members should be truthful.
Members should exhibit these principles in their own behaviour. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and be willing to challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs.
Responsibilities of the LMC Executive towards Committee Members
- This code of conduct will not be applied unreasonably or disproportionately.
- The Executive will support members who challenge poor conduct and behaviours.
Responsibilities of Committee Members
- Members are expected to familiarise themselves with the LMCs Constitution.
- Members are expected to familiarise themselves with and act within the Roles & Responsibilities for Committee Members and promote the success of the LMC for the benefit of local general practices. Members must exercise reasonable care and diligence in all their duties.
Members are expected to maintain a high standard of personal conduct and treat LMC employees and other members with respect. Members are required to promote the behaviour principles outlined in this code of conduct and act as a role model. General Practitioners are expected to display the same duty of care towards one another as they would patients and in the workplace.
Conflicts of Interest
A conflict of interest is a risk that an individual’s ability to apply judgement could be influenced by a secondary interest. Members are required to complete and regularly update a form registering their interests. Members must also declare any relevant conflict of interest before a debate or a decision is made. Where a potential conflict of interest exists, this may limit their participation in debate and/or decision-making.
Guidance on what might constitute a conflict of interest and the process for recording such conflicts is set out in the Conflicts of Interest policy, to which members are required to agree prior to taking up their role.
Information about, or held by the LMC, which is not expressly put into the public domain by the LMC, may only be given to others if they are entitled to receive it and must not be used except for the benefit of the LMC. Members are required to observe the Confidentiality policy.
Members should not accept, in an LMC capacity, meetings, interviews or requests for information from the media or members of UK parliaments.
Members must observe agreed guidance for the use of email and other means of electronic communications, as set out in the LMC guidance on email and technology terms and conditions.
Members must observe the Social Media policy for the use of social media when acting in an LMC capacity. The LMC is not responsible for any content not owned or published by the LMC.
Dignity at Work
Members must respect and support LMC and members should be aware of the Dignity at Work staff policy.
Members must take good care of, and return on leaving office, any LMC equipment that is made available to them. The LMC is funded by a levy on general practice. Members should ensure that they are making best use of funds and follow the relevant policies covering expenses, travel costs and staff time, as well as contributing to the meetings that they attend.
Training and development
In order for Officers and representatives of the Committee to fully appreciate the extent of their responsibilities and to equip them to perform their role they may be required to undertake appropriate training and development as set out in their role profile.
Health and safety
Members must comply with the Health and Safety policy and procedures.
LMC branding and logo
Any member wishing to use the LMC branding or logo is required to contact an LMC Executive Director or the Secretary to the Committee and gain permission before doing so.
Shared responsibility allows the determination of issues by consensus or by majority voting. It is necessary to have such an agreement so that the LMC may make coherent decisions. To achieve this members are encouraged to constructively debate and challenge whilst focusing on the issues at hand, rather than the person presenting them. When a democratic decision has been made it is important that members do not undermine it. If a member is unsure what they can say publicly or feedback to the colleagues they represent they should speak to the Secretary or Chair.
To protect the reputation and integrity of the LMC and its members, and for the benefit of local general practice, the LMCs influence with stakeholders should be maximised by ensuring that it presents a clear cohesive position. This does not prevent members from revisiting a decision taken by the Committee where there is a substantive reason to do so, for example if additional relevant information arises. Decisions should be revisited by raising the issue at a subsequent committee meeting.
Relationships with third parties
Members should familiarise themselves with the Anti-bribery and Corruption policy which incorporates the requirements of the Bribery Act 2010. Members are required to disclose any acceptance of gifts or hospitality given by third parties in circumstances that could be seen as relevant to LMC business.
How to raise a complaint about a Member
Wherever possible, the LMCs preference is to promote positive behaviours, and prevent issues from happening in the first place.
The LMC recognises the importance of challenging poor behaviours and the preferred approach is to address poor behaviour informally through support, training and feedback. Concerns may be raised by the individual affected by the complaint or by staff or members who have witnessed poor behaviour.
Where staff or members have a concern about the conduct of a member, and they feel unable or are unwilling to deal with the matter informally, the Raising Concerns & Whistleblowing policy sets out how to raise a complaint. Complaints must not be raised in an open forum.
How to raise a complaint about a member of staff
Concerns about staff must be raised directly with the member of staff’s line manager. Concerns must not be raised in an open forum.
Revised March 2018