Primary Care Networks


You will be hearing a lot about Primary Care Networks in the next couple of years. But what are they?

Primary Care Networks (PCNs) are an approach to strengthening and redesigning health and social care by bringing together a range of health and social care professionals to work together to provide enhanced personalised and preventative care for their local community. Primary care networks build on the core of current primary care services and enable greater provision of proactive, personalised, coordinated and more integrated health and social care.

Clinicians describe this as a change from reactively providing appointments to proactively caring for the people and communities they serve. All sectors come together as a complete care community – drawn from GP surgeries, community, mental health and acute trusts, social care and the voluntary sector – to focus on local population needs and provide care closer to patients’ homes.
The foundation for the Primary Care Networks in Sunderland are, in the main, being developed through the All Together Better Alliance – which build on the work of the local vanguard. Sunderland LPC is working hard to ensure that the voice of community pharmacy is heard within this framework. We sit on the All Together Better Alliance pharmacy sub-group and have had a number of meetings where we exchange ideas on the potential key role that community pharmacy can play when supporting the health needs of local populations. It is essential that community pharmacy is part of any PCN and we need to ensure that there is a clear community pharmacy voice in each and every PCN – as the framework develops.
You will be hearing more from the committee on Primary Care Networks, as plans unfold and develop.
This NHS animation explains the PCNs and is a good place to start learning more about the vision for PCN:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W19DtEsc8Ys
Further details about PCNs are also available at the PSNC website here:
https://psnc.org.uk/the-healthcare-landscape/primary-care-networks-pcns/
We anticipate this being a key workstream for the LPC in the next two to three years.