In January 2019, the NHS published three documents that together formed the basis of its most significant commitment to General Practice in many years. The common theme within these publications (the NHS Long-Term Plan; the GP Contract Reform Five-Year Framework; and the GP Partnership Review) is the Primary Care Network.
This statement outlines Vision’s support for Primary Care Networks (PCNs) and our commitment to the seven new service specifications PCNs are set to deliver.
A primary care network consists of groups of general practices working together with a range of local providers, including across primary care, community services, social care, hospitals and the voluntary sector, to offer more personalised, coordinated and integrated health and social care to their local populations.
Workload is a key issue for General Practice and to help address this there needs to be a significant expansion of the workforce. The PCN Directed Enhanced Service (DES) will make £1,799 billion available to GP practices in PCNs by 2023/24 to ensure that over the next five years there will be a significant expansion of the workforce supporting general practice. This is essential for its sustainability.
In addition, there will be a financial incentive for practices (approximately £14,000 for a typical practice) to work collaboratively in their communities to develop and support a more community based model of care and reduce the growing dependency on hospital based care.
With most PCNs servicing populations of between 30,000 – 50,000 patients, seven new service specifications have been identified as key to improving local population health. These include:
- Structured medication reviews
- Enhanced care in care homes
- Anticipatory care
- Personalised care
- Early cancer diagnosis
- CVD prevention and diagnosis
- Tackling inequalities
How can Vision support our general practice partners within the new PCN infrastructure?
We have made a significant investment over the last few years to expand and develop our product portfolio in anticipation of the future needs of GP practices, Primary Care Networks and CCGs.
PCNs and the service specification they will deliver require smarter, better ways of working, with greater agility and interoperability between networks; shared appointment systems and shared clinical records; as well as in-depth clinical reporting that together enable healthcare professionals to work together around a shared group of patients whilst also meeting the needs of individual practices today.
With our solutions today already supporting 100s of practice across the UK in delivering and developing shared services, Vision is fully supportive of the NHS’ commitment to General Practice; a shared vision of interoperable, healthcare system designed to facilitate working together at scale for the care and health of local populations.