PCNs are a group of GP Practices working with a range of local Health Care Providers – pharmacy, mental health, social care, community & the voluntary sector.
For example, Grove Medical Practice, Moat House, Spinney Surgery and Riverport Medical Practice are the four GP practices that make up the St Ives PCN. For more information, check out the ‘our practices‘ page.
PCNs area key vehicles for delivering many of the commitments in the NHS long-term plan and providing a wider range of services to patients.
PCNs will eventually be required to deliver a set of seven national service specifications. Three started in 2020/21: structured medication reviews, enhanced health in care homes, and supporting early cancer diagnosis.
A further four are also set to follow: anticipatory care (with community services), personalised care, cardiovascular disease case-finding, and locally agreed action to tackle inequalities. To do this they will be expected to provide a wider range of primary care services to patients, involving a wider set of staff roles than might be feasible in individual practices, for example, first contact physiotherapy, extended access and social prescribing.
PCNs are expected to think about the wider health of their population, taking a proactive approach to managing population health and assessing the needs of their local population to identify people who would benefit from targeted, proactive support.
PCNs are focused on service delivery, rather than on the planning and funding of services, responsibility for which is with the ICB, and are expected to be the building blocks around which integrated care systems are built.
The ambition is that primary care networks will be the mechanism by which primary care representation is made stronger in integrated care systems, with accountable clinical directors from each network being the link between general practice and the wider system.