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Primary Care Networks

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To meet these needs, GP 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.

Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are actively encouraging 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.

Watch a short film here 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.