Agenda item

Primary Care - (Focus on Primary Care Networks and how GPs will be working together)

Denise Jones, Head of Primary Care for NHS England and NHS Improvement will provide the Joint Committee with a presentation on the above.


The Joint Committee received a further presentation from Denise Jones, Head of Primary Care for NHS England and NHS Improvement on Primary Care.


It was noted from the presentation that Primary Care is self-owned and led and that it needs to be meaningful to local communities and partners. It was further stated that Primary Care should be a platform to build wider integration.


The Joint Committee was provided with an overview of the NHS Long Term Plan highlighting that the full document is 133 pages. The aims of the plan were also highlighted as follows:


·         Everyone gets the best start in life

·         World class care for major health problems

·         Supporting people to age well


The Joint Committee was advised from the presentation that Primary Care Networks (PCNs) are central to delivering the vision of the NHS. A working definition of PCNs was provided in addition to a breakdown of the core characteristics which included a defined patient population in the region of 30-50 thousand.


It was also highlighted from the presentation that data and technologies will be used to assess population health needs and health inequalities and to support clinical decision making. It was also stated that PCNs are key to the future of service delivery.


A summary of the local system was provided in addition to further details on the benefits of primary care networks for patients. Some benefits to patients, as noted in the presentation included more coordinated services, access to a wider range of professionals and increased appointment availability.


The Joint Committee noted that there is a five-year framework for GP contract reform to implement the NHS Long Term Plan. An overview of the new workforce was also provided; it was stated that the new GP Contract will deliver the biggest boost to primary care since 2004. It was also highlighted that there will also be availability of non - clinical staff such as social prescribing link workers. The Joint Committee was also advised that each network will have a named accountable Clinical Director.


From the presentation, the Joint Committee was further advised about New Network Services to be introduced to deliver NHS Long Term Plan Primary Care goals in a phased way. It was noted that a variety of services will start by April 2020 including supporting early cancer diagnosis and services such as CVD prevention and diagnoses to start by 2021.


Councillor Mendelson asked how the networks outlined in the presentation had chosen to come together; in response it was advised that networks were linked, in the main, to natural geographies.


A discussion took place on the role of the community in developing PCNs; it was noted that community engagement will be a great influence on the evolution of the network.


Councillor Caffrey noted that this new system may confuse some patients who are used to going to their GP in every instance of poor health. It was noted that patients will continue to be registered with their GP practice.

Councillor Dixon stated that the new system proposals were difficult to argue against but that communication between services needs to be robust. Councillor Dixon also noted potential issues in data systems between providers that are not compatible with each other.



Councillor Temple asked whether the merging of services was a target of the new system or a biproduct of the changes. It was stated that some services have merged in order to increase their sustainability however many services will retain their individual identities.


Councillor Caffrey requested that a further update be provided on the roll out of Primary Care Networks at a future meeting.