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Primary Care Networks
Posted on 3 Feb 2020
A key part of the NHS long-term plan, primary care networks (PCNs) will bring
general practices together to work at scale.
Primary care networks (PCNs) form a key building block of the NHS long-term
plan. Bringing general practices together to work at scale has been a policy
priority for some years for a range of reasons, including improving the ability
of practices to recruit and retain staff; to manage financial and estates
pressures; to provide a wider range of services to patients and to more easily
integrate with the wider health and care system.
While GP practices have been finding different ways of working together over
many years – for example in super-partnerships, federations, clusters and
networks – the NHS long-term plan and the new five-year framework for the
GP contract, published in January 2019, put a more formal structure around
this way of working, but without creating new statutory bodies.
Most networks are geographically based and, between them, cover all practices within a clinical Commissioning group (CCG) boundary. There are some exceptions where there were already well-functioning networks that are not entirely geographically based. Some networks cross CCG boundaries.
Primary care networks (PCNs) will eventually be required to deliver a set of
seven national service specifications. Five will start by April 2020: structured
medication reviews, enhanced health in care homes, anticipatory care (with
community services), personalised care and supporting early cancer diagnosis.
The remaining two will start by 2021: 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. Networks will receive specific funding for clinical
pharmacists and social prescribing link workers in 2019/20, with funding for
physiotherapists, physician associates and paramedics in subsequent years.
Clarendon Lodge Medical Practice forms part of the Leamington Primary Care Network. Other practices in this PCN are:
Sherbourne Medical Centre
Cubbington Road Surgery
Waterside Medical Centre
Whitnash Medical Centre
Croft Medical Centre
Warwick Gates Family Medical Centre
Spa Medical Centre