Primary Care Networks (PCNs)

The NHS Long Term Plan (2019) set out an ambition for the creation of Primary Care Networks (PCNs) across England. PCNs will see groups of GP practices coming together to serve a population of around 30,000-50,000 people. They will work closely with other healthcare professionals and providers and there is real scope for community pharmacies to play a key role. PCNs will be small enough to provide personalised care but large enough for economies of scale.

GMLPC has been campaigning for community pharmacies to be fully involved with Primary Care Networks (PCNs). We gave a presentation on this at a national NHS England event on 13th March 2019 for GPs, commissioners and others with an interest in PCNs. Our slides explain what community pharmacies can offer PCNs and how they can get involved. They include examples of the work we have been doing to make sure Greater Manchester pharmacies are involved in the PCNs being created in each locality in Greater Manchester.


King’s Fund Resource for Community Pharmacy 

King’s Fund have published a resource which helps explain the community pharmacy sector in England,  how pharmacies are contracted and funded, the types of services they provide and future trends in the sector.

PCN leads can use the below resource when explaining community pharmacy to stakeholders.

Click here to view the resource


GMLPC Briefings

Find out more:

Pharmacy Quality Scheme 2020/21 – Part 2: PCN Domains 4&5 

 The continued development of Primary Care Networks (PCNs) across England remains a key part of implementing the NHS Long Term Plan. It is therefore important that Community Pharmacy continues to seek to be a fully integrated part of the networks. The Part 2 Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS) 2020/21 includes two domains which seek to encourage pharmacies to collaborate and work together as part of on-going steps to engage effectively with PCNs. 

This page aims to detail the support and guidance GMLPC will provide to Community Pharmacies and PCN Leads, specifically focusing on domains relating to Primary Care Networks:    

  • Domain 4 – Primary Care Network – Prevention (Flu Vaccination Service) 
  • Domain 5 – Primary Care Network – Business Continuity Planning

When is the declaration date for PQS Part 2, including the PCN domains 4 & 5?

The main payment declaration for the PQS must be submitted online via the MYS portal. 

The PQS must be claimed for between 09:00 on 1st February 2021 and 23:59 on 26th February 2021. Contractors will be paid as part of the overall payment made by the NHSBSA to contractors on 1st April 2021. 

How much will the PCN domains 4 & 5 earn my pharmacy

The Drug Tariff requirements which pharmacy contractors must meet to achieve the two PCN domains (4&5) within the PQS are set out below. Meeting these domains will earn:  

  • 25 points (a minimum value of £1,200) for a non-Pharmacy PCN Lead contractor in a band 4* pharmacy; or  
  • 25 points plus 30 extra points (a minimum total value of £2,640) for a Pharmacy PCN Lead contractor in a band 4* pharmacy. 

*Most pharmacies will be in Band 4. This band is for pharmacies which dispensed an average prescription volume between 60,001-150,000 items annually in the 2019/20 financial year. To determine the banding of your pharmacy and therefore a more accurate value of these criterion, please follow this link and use the tool provided. 


What has GMLPC done to support contractors to achieve the PCN domains 4 & 5?

The LPC has been working hard behind the scenes to ensure each PCN has an appointed PCN Lead who feels supported and confident to carry out the individuals tasks required to ensure each Community Pharmacy is able to claim the 2020/21 PQS Part 2 for both domains, 4 & 5.  

GMLPC have hosted a dedicated PCN Lead Zoom call which guided leads through the step-by-step process of how best to gather the data and information needed to claim these criteria. Similar to previous years, there are certain bits of information that needs to be captured, in particular, Community Pharmacy plans to support the increase in uptake of flu vaccinations in the over 65s and the sharing of business continuity planning information.  

GMLPC has identified 5 steps that need to be undertaken by PCN Leads in order to enable contractors to achieve both domains: 

  • Step 1 – Attend the GMLPC PCN Lead Zoom Call & contact Community Pharmacies in the PCN
  • Step 2 – Introductory communication to Clinical Directors explaining the process and plan over the next couple of months, supported and facilitated by the LPC 
  • Step 3 – Hold a conference call with Community Pharmacies in the PCN to gather PQS declaration data 
  • Step 4 – Hold a conference call with the Clinical Director to share the PQS declaration data 
  • Step 5 – Collate and share PQS declaration data with Community Pharmacies, Clinical Directors and the LPC. 

The LPC will now organise 58 separate PCN Conference Calls dates, one for each PCN, providing the Outlook calendar invite, conference call joining link and agenda for the meeting. If the proposed date provided is not convenient for you or a representative from your pharmacy to attend, please contact your PCN lead with an alternative and we will endeavour to provide a more convenient date/time.  

The LPC has provided each PCN Lead with a toolkit and checklist of everything that needs to be completed between now and the middle of December which will ensure there is enough time to chase any outstanding information before the declaration point of Friday 26th February 2020. The LPC will provide ongoing support to the PCN Lead of your network, facilitating the contact and engagement with Clinical Directors, ensuring they can share information with you and the PCN and empower them to support you and your pharmacy with the integration of Community Pharmacy within the PCN. The LPC is dedicated and committed to supporting each of our contractors.

What does my pharmacy need to do to achieve these domains?

 Your pharmacy will be contacted by your PCN Lead and asked to confirm if you wish to participate in these conversations and therefore participate with the 2020/21 PQS Part 2, with particular reference to domains 4&5. The pharmacies within your network that have indicated they would like to participate will then receive an invitation to attend a group conference call. A representative from each pharmacy will then be expected to attend the meeting to share the required declaration information. This information will be recorded electronically via a Microsoft Form template that will be held centrally at the LPC and used in any verification process the BSA wishes to undertake. Therefore, attendance to this meeting is crucial to any pharmacies wishing to participate in the 2020/21 PQS Part 2 and will form part of your evidence for claiming both domains 4&5.  

ACTION 1: Respond to your PCN lead’s communication or this email from the LPC to evidence your pharmacy wishes to be included in the meeting and participate in PQS Part 2 – Domains 4&5




ACTION 3: Attend the Primary Care Network Conference Call with your PCN Lead. Look out for the calendar invite and meeting joining details sent by the LPC (expected to be sent over the next week or so.) Please make sure you accept the invite so the LPC can gauge how many people will be attending

Click here to see the date of your conference call.


ACTION 4: Once the event has taken place and the relevant data has been captured, each pharmacy who attends the event will receive a summarised version of the details captured to help with your declaration. Look out for the summarised declaration data that will be sent to your PCN email hubs using your NHS Shared Mailbox. You will need this information to submit your declaration for these domains. 


GMLPC aims to support and facilitate this process to ensure contractors are declaration-ready before mid-December. Completing this early will enable you to focus on patients during the winter season and concentrate your efforts on achieving the remaining criterion before the declaration point.  


What resources are available to me and my pharmacy to support the achievement of these domains?

 PSNC, with the help of LPCs across the country, have created a contractor guide to assist community pharmacy contractors on how they can achieve these elements of the scheme. More information can be found below: 

Please ensure that you and your team are regularly checking your NHS shared mail accounts and you have a robust process that ensures the regular review and monitoring of this inbox. All-important communications and updated guidance relating to PCNs will be communicated via this channel.  


We have recently sent an updated version of you PCN information sheet to your NHS shared mail box which contains: 

  • the name of each pharmacy in your network, with the address and contact details for each 
  • a list of each of the General Practices that are currently aligned to your network 
  • the name, pharmacy name and ODS code of your appointed PCN Lead 
  • the email hub address which allows you to communicate with ALL the pharmacies in your PCN, including your PCN Lead 
  • Details of your LPC contact 


The LPC has also created a WhatsApp Group for each of our 58 PCNs across the GMLPC footprint: 

If you have not yet joined your PCN WhatsApp group and would like to do so, please check you NHS shared mail account as the links/QR code you need to join have been sent to you on Thursday 22nd October 2020. If you have not received this email please contact and a link/QR will be sent through to you directly.  

Please make sure you are actively engaging with your PCN email hub/WhatsApp groups. It is imperative that Community Pharmacies within the PCNs communicate, please share your challenges with each other and share best practice information to ensure the needs of your patients are met.  

As always, if you require any further help with Primary Care Network engagement, please contact Rikki Smeeton – Senior Responsible Officer Primary Care Network Engagement at: