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Primary Care Networks: how to succeed in reducing inequalities


Blog headlines

  • Reading Well for young people consultation
    14 October 2021

    The blog this week is from Reading Well. They support people to understand and manage their health and wellbeing using helpful reading.

  • Special school eye care service
    7 October 2021

    This week we are sharing an article on improving eyecare services for children and young people with learning disabilities and/or autism who are 28 times more likely to have a sight problem. This piece explores how a service has been developed to improve outcomes for these children.

  • Using P-D-S-A, patients can take control of their own health & wellbeing trajectories
    30 September 2021

    This week we are sharing how patients in partnership with the NHS can self-manage long term conditions. Improvement science methodology has enabled Julian Simcox, a patient leader in North Somerset to develop a personalised care approach to support him to manage his long term conditions.

  • Chronic Low Back Pain Phase I (FIH) Clinical Trial at NHS sites
    23 September 2021

    For networks this week we are sharing information about a clinical trial at NHS sites, the first part of the trial has just been completed – at two NHS sites during the pandemic.

  • ‘There is nothing so practical as a good theory’
    16 September 2021

    The Networks blog this week comes from the Staff College: Leadership in Healthcare (Staff College) is a national charity dedicated to promoting great leadership for the public good.

  • Reflections on a ‘new’ NHS and its impact on general practice
    10 September 2021

    This week’s blog we are sharing reflections by William Greenwood on the direction for the health service and potential impact on general practice.

  • When facilitation could turn into mediation
    3 September 2021

    Requests to attend a meeting, to help find a way forward, to help with planning, to redesign a care pathway, and numerous other reasons are not always what they seem. Sometimes you will be asked to facilitate, or just asked to attend. What then happens in the room may not be the meeting that you are expecting. Other situations, such as tensions between practices, departments or teams may give a more obvious sign that what is needed goes beyond just attending or facilitating a little.

  • Population Health Management?
    26 August 2021

    One of the frequently heard phrases of the moment is population health management – but what is it and does it work. The blog is from a longer article by Monica Duncan exploring the topic.

  • The future must be primary care
    19 August 2021

    The blog this week is by Professor David Colin-Thomé, chair of PCC.

  • Preparing for winter 2021/22
    13 August 2021

    One of the hottest days of the year saw people from practices, primary care networks (PCNs) and federations gather to start to think creatively about managing their winter pressures in this session hosted by PCC and the NHS Confederation PCN Network.

  • Building the collaboration
    5 August 2021

    Prior to COVID-19 primary care network (PCN) community pharmacy leads (representing a group of pharmacy contractors in their locality) were starting to contact the clinical director for their allocated PCN to discuss how pharmacy services could develop and adapt to help address community health needs.

  • Audit into action… with a pandemic thrown into the mix!
    29 July 2021

    A blog from the Clinical Leads for the National Audit of Care at the End of Life (NACEL).

  • GP partnership uses new video to highlight benefits of its merger-led transformation
    23 July 2021

    An East Cheshire-based GP practice, the Middlewood Partnership, which formally merged in order to successfully transform its clinical and business models, is sharing insights, via a new video, with colleagues across the health and social care sector.

  • Early evaluation of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Trailblazer
    15 July 2021

    The Birmingham, RAND and Cambridge Evaluation Centre (BRACE) is funded by the National Institute for Health Research to conduct rapid evaluation of promising new services and innovations in health and social care. The BRACE Rapid Evaluation Centre and Policy Innovation and Evaluation Research Unit have published findings from the early evaluation of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Trailblazer programme.

  • Learn from reflection
    8 July 2021

    We are sharing an article by Helen Northall, chief executive, PCC this week on learning from reflection.

  • Link of the week: National Thank You Day
    1 July 2021

    This week we are featuring National Thank You Day.

  • North East Essex integrated discharge single point of access - implementing the Coronavirus Act 2020 and Covid-19 hospital discharge service requirements
    24 June 2021

    The blog this week is from Frank Sims, chief executive of Anglian Community Enterprise and shares learning on collaboration and redesign to support hospital discharge.

  • Helping your patients making an informed choice: Medical or Surgical abortion?
    17 June 2021

    This week the blog has been submitted by MSI Reproductive Choices UK and is about supporting patients to make an informed choice based on NICE guidance.

  • The potential for case finding patients with cardiovascular disease in a dental setting
    10 June 2021

    The blog this week is by Wendy Crew, PCC adviser, considering the opportunity to case find patients with cardiovascular disease in a dental setting.

  • Using population health data to inform ARRS recruitment
    3 June 2021

    Funding for the additional role reimbursement scheme (ARRS) has increased nationally from £430m (2020-21) to £746m max. (2021-22) with an allocation available for each primary care network (PCN) depending on the size of the population it covers. Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) draw down the funds but only as new roles are recruited within PCNs. PCNs are therefore being strongly encouraged to make use of their ARRS allocation to ensure people in their neighbourhoods benefit from the funding available.

Thursday, 15 April 2021

Primary Care Networks: how to succeed in reducing inequalities

For the blog this week we have an article submitted by Merron Simpson from the Health Creation Alliance.

Primary Care Networks: how to succeed in reducing inequalities

According to a recent report from the RCGP, developing the community health function of general practice is one of three features of the COVID-19 response that has the potential to transform general practice radically and permanently . And primary care networks (PCNs) are NHS England and NHS Improvement’s chosen vehicle to drive engagement between primary care and communities, supported by the network directed enhanced services (DES) contract.

There is a problem, however, with how ‘communities’ are understood and with the tools that have been provided to do this job. The new roles available through the additional roles reimbursement scheme (ARRS) do help, but only a little. Here’s how one local authority communities programme lead described the issue: “the DES contract has put the operational level in … the social prescribing link worker is that connector. But the strategic role … there’s a gap between the clinical director and the strategic level”.

In every place, beyond the boundaries of the NHS, there are many groups, organisations and networks that are fully bought into tackling health inequalities; addressing the wider determinants and supporting the social processes involved in creating health which mainly happen in people's homes, neighbourhoods, workplaces and wider networks. They are enabling individuals and communities of all ages to have better physical and mental health and a good life and the networks between them have been strengthened, not weakened, through COVID-19.

Many within primary care are becoming more aware of the potential of connecting with this large pool of possibility. One PCN clinical director expressed this saying, “you need to be in the forum, to be in the conversations for all the other possibilities to emerge”.

The Health Creation Alliance has set about unpacking this ‘community layer’ for the NHS and helping primary care to connect constructively with it. Our recent report ‘How can Primary Care Networks succeed in reducing health inequalities?’, jointly published with the RCGP, builds on the premise that ‘lasting reductions in health inequalities will only be possible through working in genuine partnership with communities… by seeing them as part of the system and a significant part of the route to lasting solutions’.

A quick start guide for PCNs

  1. Don’t wait until the Tackling Neighbourhood Inequalities DES kicks-in, start now.
  2. Involve your local communities and local partners in shaping your PCN.
  3. Make sure your PCN governance arrangements include people from diverse communities.
  4. Share the process of developing your actions for tackling health inequalities with local partners.
  5. Support member practices to work with communities as equal partners in pursuit of improved population health.

‘How can Primary Care Networks succeed in reducing health inequalities?’ can be found here.

The Health Creation Alliance is the only national cross-sector movement addressing health inequalities through Health Creation. You can join for free and receive newsletters and updates here: Members | The Health Creation Alliance.

Anonymous says:
Apr 22, 2021 12:15 PM

I would like to understand the practices for the use of Bevacizumab in the NHS for AMD. Is Avastin still used or has there been a move to switch to a biosimilar.

Anonymous says:
Apr 22, 2021 12:15 PM

Apologies this has come up on the wrong blog.

Anonymous says:
Apr 22, 2021 12:15 PM

Apologies this has come up on the wrong blog.