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What is a PCN ?

A Primary Care Network (PCN) is an area of the UK where all health and social care services work together to deliver a better experience for their citizens.

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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.

PCNs are part of NHS England's long-term plan.

For a more in-depth explanation of Primary Care Networks, click here.

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