Primary Care Networks (PCNs)

As PCNs develops across Bolton, more information will be added to this page.  Please visit this page regularly to ensure you keep up to date.

Download the slides from our engagement event here.

Download the Bolton PCN document here.

What are Primary Care Networks and why are they important for Community Pharmacy?

Primary Care Networks (PCNs) are a key part of the NHS Long Term Plan, with general practices being a part of a network, typically covering 30,000-50,000 patients. There are currently 9 PCNs in Bolton. The networks will provide the structure and funding for services to be developed locally, in response to the needs of the patients they serve.

It is important that community pharmacy teams are fully involved in the work of their PCN and this is being encouraged via the Pharmacy Quality Scheme.

The networks will have expanded neighbourhood teams which will comprise a range of staff such as GPs, clinical pharmacists, district nurses, community geriatricians, dementia workers and Allied Health Professionals such as physiotherapists and podiatrists/chiropodists, joined by social care and the voluntary sector’.

Further information can be found on the PSNC website if you want to know more.

This short video from NHS England explains the concept of PCNs and how the new way of working will provide better access to health care for patients.


Primary Care Networks in Bolton

Bolton currently has 9 PCNs. Collaboration with non-GP providers, such as community pharmacies, will be a requirement for PCNs from April 2020. Our local NHS England team are clear that community pharmacy has a huge role to play in the success of PCNs.

What it means is that some of the activities we do will change, and each pharmacy will need to work with their own local PCN to meet the local needs. The needs of  some parts of the town are very different, so even though you are close geographically you may be doing different things to your colleagues.

We need to build our links between community pharmacies in our PCN footprint and all the other primary care providers – particularly the local GP practices. The LPC will support you to do this.

The LPC have carried out a mapping exercise to map each pharmacy to a PCN. This is predominantly based on where the prescriptions in your pharmacy originate from.

A copy of the PCN mapping can be downloaded here and will be updated as more information becomes available. If you believe that your pharmacy is in the wrong PCN please let us know and we will be happy to discuss with you.

Bolton LPC PCN Mapping

Further Information about Primary Care Networks

PSNC Briefing – An introduction to Primary Care Networks

Primary care networks: A briefing for pharmacy teams

PSNC Briefing – Pharmacy Quality Scheme – Guidance for community pharmacy contractors on the Primary Care Networks domain

Guidance and resources to help community pharmacy get involved in PCNs