Primary Care Networks (PCN) update – July 2019

The start of this month saw the deadline for primary care networks to be finalised with CCGs. There have been a number of developments since our last newsletter:

PCN process in London

The process of forming PCNs in London is nearly complete, save for a couple of issues. We know that despite local requests, the 30,000 “hard bottom” limit on PCN patient numbers is not open to variation/ flex in Greater London.  A small number of PCNs are yet to have their configurations confirmed, due to unaligned practices, and there are some ongoing queries regarding the contractual variation mechanism for delivering the DES.  Finally, we are still awaiting the template data sharing agreement.

Clinical Director support

We are about to write to PCN Clinical Directors to offer continued LMC help with the development of their PCNs.  In particular, with support on reviewing local contract offers that are being developed as additions to the DES prior to being signed.  We will continue to work with commissioners to ensure that any ‘offer’ to PCNs of additional requirements via an extension to the DES do not expose the PCNs, and their member practices, to unacceptable risk; and that any local contract is safe, deliverable, and sufficiently funded. The LMC will also continue to support practices and networks.

Updated PCN Model Schedules

We continue to look at our PCN Model Schedules and listen to queries, and the latest revisions are intended to further help PCNs develop tailored Schedules. This updated version has an additional guide on the appointment and election of the Clinical Director and advice on voting methods and dispute resolution. It is up to each PCN to take appropriate legal and other relevant specialist advice to ensure the schedules are fit for individual needs. This is an iterative process and changes can be made to Schedules after this date, with the agreement of Members.

We have also produced the next in our series of Keep It Simple guides, which covers the timeline of PCNs over the next nine months.

Download the Model Schedules and our Keep It Simple guides from our dedicated GP Contract page.

PCN Accelerators scrapped

NHS England has formally scrapped its plans to fund select PCNs to act as accelerator sites to evaluate the best methods of quickly developing PCNs. This money will instead be rolled into STP level funds which have already been earmarked for supporting PCN development, with funding allocated based on STP patient populations.

Last updated : 02 Aug 2019


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