Practice News

27th Apr 2021

Waterside Health Network – Primary Care Network

What is a primary care network (PCN)?

A PCN is a group of GP practices based in a local community.

Typically it is between 5 to 10 GP practices covering a patient population of 30,000 to 50,000.

You WILL STILL be registered with your GP practice and will continue to access GP services in the usual way.

Which PCN are you in?

Our PCN is called Waterside Health Network. It is made up of;

Devonport Health Centre, St Levan Surgery, Adelaide Surgery, West Hoe Surgery, Stoke Surgery, Peverell Park Surgery & University Medical Centre and St Neots Surgery.

We have a patient population of Circa 63,0000

We have 2 Clinical Directors that are practicing GPs to provide leadership and a PCN manager to develop the services we can offer to you, the patient.  

 What do Primary Care Networks do?

PCNs provide proactive, coordinated care to their patients, in different ways to match different people’s needs, with a strong focus on prevention and personalised care. 

 What will change for you?

Nothing, however the GP practices in the PCN will work in partnership. This enables patients to access additional health services provided within the PCN GP practices.

You may not notice much change to begin with, but over time you will see a wider range of services becoming available in your GP practice or at another practice within your PCN such as Physiotherapy.

 What difference will primary care networks make for you?

Primary care networks have the potential to benefit patients by offering services earlier or later than our core hours and on weekends. To extend the range of services available to you, to integrate primary care with the wider health and community services.

 How can patients have a say in any planned changes?

We are keen to involve our patients in our PCN development. We encourage you join or liaise with your practice Patient Participation Group. Every practice has a Patient Participation Group and these details can be found on our member practices’ individual websites or your own practice will be able to tell you about how their group operates. From time to time the PCN will conduct a patient survey to find out what is important to you, what services you would like to see or be increase and what yu like and don`t like.

A PCN is designed to free up time for GPs as up to a third of appointments do not need to be with a family doctor. By recruiting other clinical specialist it will allow the GPs to focus more on supporting patients with the greatest needs and the most-complex conditions, offering longer appointments to those who need them.

GP practices will be able to drive further action on detecting and preventing conditions such as cancer and heart disease, as well as doing more to tackle obesity, diabetes and mental ill health, and support older people at home and in care homes.

PCNs are a key part of the NHS Long Term Plan for improving services, published in 2019. They will bring billions of pounds in extra investment nationwide to sustain general practice in the short term and to improve access and care in the longer term.

This short animation provides information on PCNs and how they enable health and other services to work together to provide better access to services for patients.