Primary Care Networks

Primary care networks are the new way for local health services to work together to treat populations.

A primary care network consists of groups of general practices working together with a range of local providers, including across primary care, community services, social care and the voluntary sector, to offer more personalised, coordinated health and social care to their local populations.

Primary Care Networks (PCNs) are a key part of the NHS Long Term Plan, with all GP practices expected to come together in geographical networks covering populations of approximately 30–50,000 patients by 1st June 2019 to benefit from additional funding attached to the GP contract. 

Details of the PCNs in Basildon and Brentwood will be announced shortly.

Primary Care Networks: the benefits explained

Primary care networks have the potential to benefit patients by offering improved access and extending the range of services available to them, and by helping to integrate primary care with wider health and community services.

  • Primary and community health services will be joined-up; providing a more efficient service to patients with the aim of improving their health and well-being. Having joined-up services will lead to better sharing of information, so people only have to tell their story once to those involved in their care.
  • Services can be offered across a network of practices that could not reasonably be offered via an individual practice. Examples of such services include embedding new care models for frailty, long term conditions such as diabetes and access to new healthcare professionals such as clinical pharmacists and social prescribers
  • Patients will be able to access a wider variety of health and social care services through PCNs and have options to access these services through more than one GP or health service
  • Smaller GP practices will be more sustainable as they can share resources through the wider PCN

Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are required to commit recurrent funding to develop and maintain them.
Practices and Primary Care Networks will work with Patient Participation Groups and their wider local community to address the needs of their local population.

Primary care networks have the potential to benefit patients by offering improved access and extending the range of services available to them, and by helping to integrate primary care with wider health and community services.

• They will work with patient participation groups and the wider local community to improve services.

• Primary and community health services will be joined-up; providing a more efficient service to patients with the aim of improving their health and well-being. Having joined-up services will lead to better sharing of information, so people only have to tell their story once to those involved in their care.

• Services can be offered across a network of practices that could not reasonably be offered via an individual practice. Examples of such services include embedding new care models for frailty, long term conditions such as diabetes and access to new healthcare professionals such as clinical pharmacists and social prescribers.

• Patients will be able to access a wider variety of health and social care services through PCNs and have options to access these services through more than one GP or health service.

• Smaller GP practices will be more sustainable as they can share resources through the wider PCN.

A Primary Care Network must appoint a Clinical Director from among its member clinicians  as its named, accountable leader. 

One of the first projects for the newly formed PCNs is the Extended Hours Service which all Basildon and Brentwood PCNs have committed to continue providing access to a  GP or nurse appointment outiside core surgery hours either face-to-face or by phone.

Primary Care Networks will be able to access funding for additional staff, including more clinical pharmacists to work in GP practices.

 

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