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GP practices to lead dentists and pharmacists in Primary Care Networks (PCN)

Membership of Primary Care Networks will not be restricted to GP practices and will grow to include community pharmacies, dental providers and optometrists, it has been revealed.


A new document produced by NHS England shows that the scope of Primary Care Networks is wider than many first expected. It also confirms that groups of GP practices will be expected to take leadership roles within the networks.

As reported by Pulse, the new information states that “Primary Care Networks will be expected to have a wide-reaching membership, led by groups of general practices.”

Networks are set to include local providers, such as: “community pharmacy, optometrists, dental providers, social care providers, voluntary sector organisations, community services providers or local government.”

Based on responses to the monthly GP Forward View Monitoring Survey, 93.4% of practices across England consider themselves a part of a Primary Care Network as of November 2018.

The networks have an important place in the NHS Long-Term Plan, with the key aim of building on currently available primary care services and enabling greater provision of personalised, integrated health and social care. 

Primary care networks are generally based on GP registered lists, typically serving natural communities of around 30,000 to 50,000. However, NHS England have said that there will be some exceptions and “commissioners can agree to vary the 30,000-population floor, most likely where there is a low population density across large rural and remote areas.”

Stay tuned to the First Practice Management Blog to learn more about all the latest developments and news stories relating to primary care.


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