Latest News - Chairman of the London Consultants’ Association
I have been on the Board of Directors of the London Consultants' Association for some years and am delighted to now take over as Chairman.
Formed in 1988, the LCA is made up of leading consultants who work in the independent sector in London and its surrounds. Its ethos is one of which I am enormously proud - that of professional integrity, self-regulation and the maintenance of the high professional standards of the GMC, Royal Colleges and government registered organisations.
One of the Association’s principle objectives is to maintain the rights of the patient and the doctor and the freedom of the GP and patient to actually choose their consultant under what is known as the Consultant-Patient Contract.
You would think that this would still exist for ethical, practical and clinical reasons wouldn’t you? But unfortunately the patient’s freedom to choose is currently being eroded by health care providers who are increasingly managing your referral pathways.
Working within the medical profession
The management of referral pathways is just one area of change that directly impacts upon consultants. My predecessor Professor Tolley talks about “a perfect storm” of increased regulation and a change to working practices and employment status.
As per many professions, it is possible to feel somewhat lonely and isolated within one’s own Practice. To address this and to support and encourage specialists the LCA offers diverse activities such as training sessions, networking opportunities and regular speakers on topical subjects.
I am in agreement with my predecessor that we will only be able to maintain the ability for future generations of patients to have a choice in terms of expert care if we encourage young consultants into the sector - and this will be one of my main aims.
How to access a private consultant
London is an internationally recognised medical centre of some considerable expertise and there are private wings within university & teaching hospitals as well as many specialist postgraduate hospitals which deal with specific diseases.
It is not always intuitive to work out how you can access these so you may find the LCA website useful where it offers information:
- If you are a UK patient with private medical insurance
- A UK patient without private medical insurance or
- An oversees patient seeking care in the UK