Wantage Primary Care Network (PCN)

What is a Primary Care Network (PCN)

Q : What is Primary Care Network (PCN)?

A : Primary Care refers to healthcare provided by General Practice, Community Pharmacy, Dental Care, District Nursing, Health Visiting amongst others. Primary Care Networks were introduced by NHS England in 2019 to align Primary Care with the NHS Long-Term Plan. The aim was to bring healthcare closer to home for patients and promised to do this by expanding the team working in General Practice so offering increased access to local patient centred care. Practices were encouraged to form a close working relationship with other practices in their geographical area to create a shared patient population of between 30,000 and 50,000 – hence the joint working between the Church Street and Newbury Street Practices.

Q : How does it work?

A : A PCN must have a Clinical Director who is a practicing clinician from within the PCN’s member practices, who is accountable to the PCN members, provides leadership for the PCN’s strategic plans and works collaboratively with Clinical Directors from other PCNs within their local Integrated Care System (ICS). The post is usually for 2 years. 

Q : How is it managed?

A: The Partners and Practice Managers (of both Church Street and Newbury Street) and the newly appointed Operations Manager, form the Executive Committee for Wantage PCN. They meet monthly to review and agree the strategic development of the PCN, its finances, whether it is meeting the key performance indicators (KPIs) and discuss any major and significant updates to the contract.

Currently the Wantage PCN team consists of:

  • 2 clinical pharmacists
  • 1 pharmacy technician
  • 1 physiotherapist
  • 2 social prescribers
  • 1 paramedic
  • 1 mental health practitioner
  • 1 health and well-being coach

It is currently reviewing its budget and workforce requirements for 2023/24 and 2024/25