What is a Primary Care Network?

Primary Care Networks (PCNs) were introduced by the government in 2019 as part of the NHS long term plan.  According to the British Medical Association (BMA) PCNs are: –

 “Groups of GP practices working closely together – along with other healthcare staff and organisations – providing integrated services to the local population.

Since April 2019, individual GP practices have been establishing and joining PCNs covering populations of between 30,000 to 50,000 (with some flexibility).”

Stevenage South Primary Care Network (SSPCN) is comprised of the practices at Shephall, Knebworth, Marymead, King Georges, Bedwell and Manor House Surgery.

The government has provided additional funding to deliver seven national service specifications.

  • enhanced health in care homes,
  • Structured medication reviews,
  • Supporting early cancer diagnosis.
  • Cardiovascular disease case-finding
  • locally agreed action to tackle inequalities
  • personalised care
  • anticipatory care (with community services),

In order to fulfil these requirements additional funding has been made available to allow the PCNs to pay for services that would not be available to the individual practices.  These include physiotherapy, extended access and social prescribing.

The GP service has been largely reactive in the past.  We only have contact with them when we are unwell.  The PCNs will focus on providing a more proactive service caring for the people and communities they serve