Primary Care Networks (PCN) are part of a nationwide NHS scheme, aimed at bringing health and social care closer together meeting the needs of local people.
The aim is for a group of general practices to work together with a range of local providers to offer more coordinated healthcare to their local population. These local providers will include district nurses, public health, as well as other community organisations.
Networks are based around natural local communities serving populations between 30,000 and 50,000 patients. This size allows the PCN to be small enough to maintain the traditional strengths of general practice in terms of personalised and holistic care, whilst at the same time benefiting the resilience and support available to larger organisations.
Crane Valley PCN currently covers just under 30,000 patients.
What will PCNs do?
The NHS has big ambitions for primary care networks over the coming years.
Our plan is to offer a wider range of services at the surgeries that make up our PCN. In time this will mean you will be able to access a wider range of services locally. As the PCN grows we hope to be able to offer you access to other professionals such as social prescribers, physician’s associates, and mental health workers.
These new workers may not always be based in your surgery but will be part of the network and therefore close to home. They will work alongside our GPs and nurses to make it quicker and easier for you to get the care from the professional who is best suited to meet your needs. This may not always be your doctor. It may be that a highly qualified physiotherapist or social prescriber is the right person to look after you.
The work of PCNs is still at a very early stage. In the coming years networks will be responsible for offering an increasing number of services to patients. This will include enhanced health in care homes, supporting early cancer diagnosis, and anticipatory care.
In addition to working closer with other organisations as a network we will be able to access funding for additional staff to support these new services.