Primary care networks

Since the NHS was created in 1948, the population has grown and people are living longer. Many people are living with long term conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, or suffer with mental health issues and may need to access their local health services more often.

To meet these needs, practices have begun working together and with community, mental health, social care, pharmacy, hospital and voluntary services in their local areas in primary care networks.

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 care for the people and communities they serve. Where emerging primary care networks are in place in parts of the country, there are clear benefits for patients and clinicians.

Refreshing NHS Plans for 2018-19 set out the ambition for CCGs to actively encourage every practice to be part of a local primary care network so that these cover the whole country as far as possible by the end of 2018/19. Primary care networks will be based on GP registered lists, typically serving natural communities of around 30,000 to 50,000. They should be small enough to provide the personal care valued by both patients and GPs, but large enough to have impact and economies of scale through better collaboration between practices and others in the local health and social care system.

Find out more through case studies from across the country where primary care networks are already making a difference to staff and patients.

Watch a short animation that explains the concept of primary care networks (PCNs) and how this new way of working enables health and other services to work together to provide better access for patients.

NHS England has arranged a series of regional events to support the development and progress of primary care networks. Each event will:

  • provide an update on primary care network development;
  • provide examples of the some of the positive impacts for patients and staff;
  • consider what support may be needed in the journey to primary care networks and how this could be delivered at a national, regional and local level.

For further details on the timings of the events and to register your attendance, please use the links below.

South West event dates

North of England event dates

NHS England will also host two webinars to provide further information on the emerging PCN development offer based on the feedback that has been received through the events, as follows:

For further information about primary care networks, please contact england.pcn@nhs.net