Primary Care Networks (PCNs)
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. 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.
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. One of the main objectives is to move away from the traditional Doctor First approach and bring direct access to other healthcare professional in the community.
TLC is actively involved in supporting our local Primary Care Networks and is happy to offer our experience in working with local partners in our Appointments+ service to provide much more than traditional general practice. To date we have supported the Romsey and North Baddesley PCN with recruiting to their pharmacy team and a social prescriber. Moving forward, we are working with all three local PCNs to develop a first contact musculoskeletal service. Having been part of a very successful local pilot of Connecting Care for Children Hubs, we are also looking to make this available for all three PCNs.
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