Since April 2019, individual GP practices have been able to establish or join PCNs. A DES (directed enhanced service) supports the development of PCNs and covers a number of areas, including funding for the provision of additional workforce roles (ARRS roles that are increasing year on year) and services that the PCN will be required to provide.
They provide a platform for providers of care being sustainable into the longer term. The PCNs allow for the retention of what constitutes the very best of how general practice and wider primary care currently operates, retaining and building on the national GMS contract and the partnership models in place, while finding improved ways to deliver care that offer tangible benefits and improvements to patients, clinicians and the wider primary care team with the local population being the main driver for changes within services. Individual practices joining the network will retain their GMS or PMS contract, with the PCN DES being a contract to be delivered across the PCN in a collaborative fashion understanding that many practices have already been working collaboratively, sometimes as part of informal networks, on their own initiative.