What are Primary care networks ?

PCNs are groups of GP practices working closely together – along with other healthcare staff and organisations – providing integrated services to the local population. There are 1250 PCNs across England typically serving natural communities of between 30,000 to 50,000 people (with some flexibility).

PCNs are build on the core of current primary care services and enable greater provision of proactive, personalised, coordinated and more integrated health and social care.

PCNs form a key building block of the NHS long-term plan. In addition, PCN funding provides the opportunity to recruit a more diverse skill mix into general practice, through recruitment of roles such as first contact physiotherapists, social prescribers and physician assistants.

Faircross Health Centre is one of the 9 constituent practices of Barking and Dagenham North PCN. North PCN has 9 practices and jointly responsible for improving services for 46000 patients. All practices have signed an agreement to provide services and work together as per specifications of Primary Care Network Contract DES.

Our PCN has employed Clinical Pharmacists, Social Prescribing Link Worker, First Contact Physiotherapist, Social Prescribing Link Worker and Health and Care Co-ordinator to work across all nine practices. We are in the process to employ more health professionals to improve care for our patients.

Main functions of PCNs

The four PCN services introduced as part of the DES in 2020 will continue unchanged.

These are:

  • extended hours
  • early cancer diagnosis
  • enhanced health in care homes
  • structured medication reviews.

Many more services will be added in coming years. All practices are working together for improving care under Investment and Impact fund. Our PCN is providing Covid vaccination through centralised dedicated Hub in Barking and Dagenham; this is one of the example of joint working to provide better care to our patients.