What is a PCN? (Primary Care Network)
A PCN (Primary Care Network) is a group of GP practices working closely together, aligned to other health and social care staff and organisations, providing integrated services to their local population. They are crucial to the development of integrated care systems (ICSs) and in meeting the ambitions in the NHS Long Term Plan.
NHS England believes it is at around this size that networks will best keep the features of traditional community-based general practice. The vision is to offer a balance between effective and efficient care provision within the local population whilst enabling the delivery of patient-centred care to meet the needs of individuals and the wider community.
How do PCN’s benefit patients?
Many patients who live with long-term conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, or who have mental illnesses, need to access local health and care services more frequently. Primary Care Networks have been given additional income to invest and increase both the number and types of workers that can be employed within the General Practice. This means that patients now have the option of seeing a Health Care Professional who will meet their needs in the best way possible.
For example; a patient who is suffering from an injury could choose whether they would like to see a Physiotherapist, who would be able to assess and recommend exercises that could aid the recovery of the injury. Alternatively if a patient is suffering from a minor illness, they have the choice to speak to a Pharmacist, who would be able to assess the problem and issue some over-the-counter medication if needed.
Our Primary Care Network is an NHS collaboration between three GP Practices; Birtley Medical Group, Oxford Terrace and Rawling Road Medical Group and Second Street Surgery.
PCN Clinical Director
Dr Alex Moore