Primary Care Networks FAQS

Q. Does the Pharmacy PCN Lead need to be a pharmacist?
No, however due to the likely clinical focus of the potential collaboration within PCNs between community pharmacies and general practices, a pharmacist or pharmacy technician may be best placed to act in that capacity.

Q. Could the LPC appoint an LPC representative as the Pharmacy PCN Lead for a PCN?
Contractors, not LPCs, must appoint the Pharmacy PCN Lead. All contractors in the PCN that wish to engage in the process should be able to nominate themselves or one of their employees to stand to be the Pharmacy PCN Lead. Contractors will then decide who should be appointed as the Pharmacy PCN Lead. This may be an LPC member, but there should be no assumption that an LPC member is a default lead.

Q. What happens if we do not have any suitable or willing candidates to be the Pharmacy PCN Lead?
If a Pharmacy PCN Lead cannot be identified, contractors in the PCN area will not be able to claim payment for either of the PQS domains.

Q. Can one-person represent and act on behalf of a multiple contractor when discussing the appointment of a Pharmacy PCN Lead, casting a vote or engaging in the discussions on the two PQS domains?

Q. Can there be more than one Pharmacy PCN Lead for a PCN?
From a PQS perspective, there can only be one Lead for the PCN. This is to ensure there is a single community pharmacy point of contact for the PCN leaders. It would be possible to appoint a deputy Lead to share some of the work, but they would not be eligible for a PQS payment.

Q. If a local meeting of contractors is being organised to appoint a Pharmacy PCN Lead and a contractor within the PCN is not able to attend the meeting, can they still be involved in the collaborative working and choosing the lead?
Yes. If a contractor is not able to attend a meeting or send a representative, this should not exclude them from ongoing collaborative working between pharmacies within the PCN. The LPC could provide an update to the contractor following the meeting.

If a vote is to be taken at the meeting on the appointment of a Pharmacy PCN Lead, the contractor could give another individual their proxy for the vote or where the candidates for selection are known in advance of the meeting, the LPC could be sent the votes of any contractors not able to attend the meeting in advance.

Q. Can an individual be a Pharmacy PCN Lead for more than one PCN?
The role of Pharmacy PCN Lead is likely to take time to undertake on a regular basis and this workload needs to be considered by anybody putting themselves forward for appointment. Due to the local focus of PCNs, PSNC believes that, wherever possible, it is appropriate that the Pharmacy PCN Lead works within a community pharmacy in the PCN area on a regular basis, providing services to patients. Considering both these factors, it is technically possible that an individual working across multiple pharmacies in two PCNs could be a Pharmacy PCN Lead, however it is unlikely to be a practical option in most cases.

Q. What is the minimum number of contractors that are allowed in a PCN?
There is not a minimum number of contractors allowed in a PCN; however, as each PCN will cover an average population of 30,000-50,000, it is likely that there will be a number of pharmacies in each PCN.

Q. How can I find out how to contact my PCN?
If a contractor wants to contact their PCN, they should contact the Pharmacy PCN Lead who will represent all contractors within a PCN, and therefore be able to communicate directly with the PCN on the contractor’s behalf. If they do not know who the Pharmacy PCN Lead is, or a Pharmacy PCN Lead has not yet been appointed, the contractor should contact their LPC.

Q. If a pharmacy is within the geographical area of multiple PCNs, can they claim multiple PQS payments for the two PCN domains, for engagement with multiple PCNs?
No. A pharmacy in this situation would need to determine a primary PCN within which it would collaborate with other contractors, in line with the PQS requirements. The pharmacy may wish to keep in touch with the pharmacy leads within other PCNs where the flow of patients/scripts means they have a clear relationship with the PCN.