What is a Primary Care Network?

A Primary Care Network (PCN) is an alliance of GP surgeries that work collaboratively with other health, social care and voluntary organisations to improve patient services. In January 2019, NHS England asked all areas in the UK, including Salford, to set up Primary Care Networks as part of the national five-year framework for GP contract reform.

The number of people living in Salford and across the country is growing. In addition, people are living longer and often with long-term health conditions like diabetes, heart disease and asthma or suffer from mental health issues. 

Primary care networks (PCNs) build on the core work of current primary care services. For example, they enable GP practices within a specific area to provide more proactive, personalised, coordinated and integrated health and social care for communities at a neighbourhood level.

Why is this important

As a network, your PCN has more ownership to introduce new roles to support patient care and the existing general practice team. It includes GPs, nurses, and pharmacists. In addition, they can offer specialised services, like ultrasounds or physiotherapy, closer to home and without the need to go to the hospital. 

PCNs play a vital role in the development of integrated care systems (ICSs) and in meeting the ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan.

There are approximately 1,250 primary care networks across England. 

Watch the video above to learn more about how Primary Care Networks work. You might find The future of the NHS and how things are changing video by The Kings Fund very helpful. 

What services does a primary care network provide?

Each PCN must commit to delivering a specific set of services as part of its DES contract. You can learn more about Salford South East PCN’s different services by visiting the services page or project section.