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What is a Primary Care Network?

Primary Care Networks (PCNs) are groups of practices working together – along with other healthcare staff and organisations – providing integrated services to the local population.

GPs, Practice Managers and Practice Nurses represent a core group of the North Halifax PCN. This group forms the core PCN board which meet on a regular basis. The PCN works with other organisations to meet the needs of their PCN population and help take care of the basics of care, focusing on preventing illness, making diagnosis, and treating conditions that don’t need hospital care. The approximate number of patients that North Halifax PCN look after as a whole is 38,000.

Click here for information from the BMA about PCN’s

Primary care is the day-to-day healthcare available in every local area and the first-place people go when they need health advice or treatment.  It’s the first stop for symptoms that are new or for concerns about physical or mental health.

Primary care includes:

  • GPs
  • Pharmacists
  • Community and practice nurses
  • Community midwives and health visitors
  • Family planning or sexual health clinics
  • Out of hours GP services
  • Dentists
  • Opticians
  • Hearing care providers

PCNs build on these existing services and enable greater provision of proactive, personalised, coordinated and more integrated health and social care for people in their locality.  This is often described as a change from reactively providing appointments to proactively caring for the people and communities they serve.

PCNs are a key part of the NHS Long Term Plan.  The networks provide the structure and funding for services to be developed locally, in response to the needs of the patients they serve.