Primary Care Networks (PCNs)
Three major pieces of work have been published recently:
- The NHS Long Term Plan,
- The GP Partnership Review and
- The GP Contract changes for April 2019 and beyond.
Individually these would have a significant impact on GPs and their practices but taken together they will have the most significant change that we have seen for many years and potentially even greater than the 2004 contract.
The key issue now is that the commitments detailed in these documents are delivered in full, with the minimum of red tape, so they can truly make a difference to those who work at the coal face and we start to address the issues of workload, workforce and financial risk.
Linking into this is the development of Primary Care Networks and the work that practices will need to undertake in the short and long term to make these a success. We recognise there is a huge amount of information available to practices and that it can feel overwhelming, we have therefore created this page so that practices have one place to access all information relating to PCNs and where possible we will provide the LMC view.
There are a number of documents & guidance available we have taken these and summarised them which you can access via the various links below:
- What is a PCN?
- PCN DES Agreement & Requirements
- PCN DES Guidance
- IIF Guidance
- PCN DES Standardised GP Appointment Categories (GPAD)
- Contract Specification 2021/22 – PCN Requirements and Entitlements
- PCN DES FAQs 21/22
- PCN plans for 21/22 -23/24
- Network Agreement
- Data Sharing Agreement
- PCN Funding
- PCN Workforce - ARRS
- Timeframe for PCN Development
- Patient Group Directions (PGD) use within PCNs
- BMA PCN Handbook
- Social Prescribing
- A range of Multi Disciplinary Team materials available for practices covering the new roles within PCNs
- NHS England- Primary Care Networks
Primary Care Networks Videos
The introduction of the changes to the GP Contract on 1st April 2019 are arguably the most significant for many years. The introduction of State Backed Indemnity was essential not only to address the rising costs of indemnity for GPs but also to secure a better future for general practice in terms of recruitment and retention.
Primary Care Networks (PCNs) are very important in terms of securing additional investment for primary care and also incentivising the transforming of general practice and primary care to work at scale but to build on the strengths of general practice and to secure an important leadership role.
Nigel Watson and Carole Cusack have recorded a number of short video podcasts to explain some of the frequently asked questions.
For general info on PCN's please see here: https://www.england.nhs.uk/primary-care/primary-care-networks/
- What is a PCN?
- Why is it a DES?
- An explanation about the funding for PCNs, the £1.76 and £1.50.
- Why has extended opening gone to PCNs?
- Who are the partners in a PCN?
- Do practices have the right to join a PCN?
- What happens if a practice doesn't want to join a PCN?
- Can a practice change PCNs?
- What about cross boundaries issues?
- What is the role of federations?
- What are the risks?
- Who can hold the PCN bank account?
- What are the risks about VAT?
- Who should employ new staff?
- What are staff budgets?
- What are the issues with sub-contracting?