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, GP practices are working together with community, mental health, social care, pharmacy, hospital and voluntary services in their local areas in groups of practices known as primary care networks (PCNs).
PCNs build on existing primary care services and enable greater provision of proactive, personalised, coordinated and more integrated health and social care for people close to home. Clinicians describe this as a change from reactively providing appointments to proactively caring for the people and communities they serve.
Each of the 1,250 PCNs across England are based on GP registered patient lists, typically serving natural communities of between 30,000 to 50,000 people (with some flexibility). They are small enough to provide the personal care valued by both people and GPs, but large enough to have impact and economies of scale through better collaboration between GP practices and others in the local health and social care system.
PCNs are led by clinical directors who may be a GP, general practice nurse, clinical pharmacist or other clinical profession working in general practice.
Over 99% of general practices are part of a PCN, who sign up to the Network Contact DES which details their core requirements and entitlements.
Find out more through a collection of case studies from across the country where PCNs are working to make a difference to staff and patients.
Watch a short animation that explains the concept of PCNs and how this new way of working enables health and other services to work together to provide better access for patients.
Non-urgent advice: Synergy PCN
What is a PCN?
PCNs bring together a range of local organisations and groups), including GP practices, community services, social care and the voluntary sector to offer coordinated health and social care to their local populations.
What is the purpose of a PCN?
A key focus of the PCNs is helping residents to look after their own health. By intervening at an earlier stage and equipping them with the skills to manage their own health, there will be less likelihood of them needing treatment. The organisations within the PCNs will work together to create happier, healthier communities and reduce the gap in healthy life expectancy across Nottingham City.
Which PCN is my practice in?
There are eight PCNs across Nottingham City and each one is led by a Clinical Director. Your practice is part of the Synergy Health Primary Care Network
What is a Phoenix PCN mid-career fellow?
The Nottinghamshire General Practice Phoenix Programme is the local workforce support organisation for GPs across Nottingham, Nottinghamshire and Bassetlaw. They provide career advice and development opportunities for colleagues at any stage, ranging from GP training into retirement. They are enabling qualified GPs from the area, in the role of Phoenix PCN mid-career Fellow to undertake quality improvement project work within the PCN. This project work will focus on improving current systems, pathways and overall patient care in your local area. For the GP fellow to complete this project work they may contact you to find out your opinions regarding current services however, you can decline to be involved at any stage if you prefer