Primary care networks
Primary care networks (PCNs) are an important phase in the evolution of general practice and essential to wider plans for integrated care systems. Successful networks will:
- Increase the collective resilience of member practices
- Help to plug existing capacity gaps through an expanded workforce
- Offer improved and more varied services to local people
- Make workload pressures more manageable
- Work closely with community services, social care and the voluntary sector to provide more comprehensive and better integrated services.
NHS England has made it clear that PCNs that embrace change and move most rapidly to implement new ways of working can expect to benefit from increased funding through the network contract in future. They will be expected to meet a number of new service specifications representing some of the biggest challenges facing the NHS, including helping to reduce health inequalities, reducing the burden of urgent care that today mainly falls on hospitals, and improving detection and treatment of cancer, coronary heart disease and other major health conditions.
PCC offers support and development services in each of the domains of the “maturity matrix”, the NHS England document that describes the domains in which networks will need to develop to fulfil their potential. Our services will help emerging networks to meet the criteria set out in the forthcoming “network dashboard”, which commissioners will use to evaluate the performance of PCNs against the service specifications and gauge their eligibility for increased funding.
See our PCN support prospectus for an overview.
PCNs will only succeed if they are well-led. Leadership will be provided not by a single individual but by a team including the PCN’s clinical director(s), the partners of the member practices and their practice managers.
We provide Confident Leader programmes for clinical directors and partners, and the Confident Practice Manager programme for the individuals who will operationalise many of the changes PCNs will need to make.
We provide board-level development as well as coaching and mentoring services. See our personal and team development section for details.
Practice team development
PCNs will depend not just on good leadership but on the performance of every member of the practice team. We offer training to help reception and admin teams play their part in improving efficiency and the experience of patients.
Find out more about our practice team development.
Stabilising and improving individual practices
It is in the interests of ever y PCN – and an explicit part of their role - to stabilise underperforming or struggling practices. This has traditionally been seen as the role of the commissioner, but peer support is a more effective remedy. Sometimes even that is not enough. PCC has supported a number of practices to improve, including those under threat of closure.
Find out more about how we can help your practice to develop the resilience to become an equal partner in the PCN.
We provide targeted support to enable practices to prepare for CQC inspection – contact us at email@example.com for further details.