What is a PCN in the NHS?


CAre network

are groups of GP practices


each other

What is a primary care network?


More services are being delivered by primary care. Groups of practices working together to deliver services.


usually a group of practices covering a population of about 50,000 to 70,000 patients.


Collaboration of practices, so some services will be delivered by other local practices.

What is a primary care network?

What are NHS PCNs? Essentially, they are groups of GP practices or Primary Care Networks (PCN) delivering care for a population of about 50.000 to 70,000 patients. The idea is that practices can help and support one another to help more services to all patients than they could by themselves. In addition, there are opportunities to collaborate with other healthcare professionals. We also get the change to collaborate to improve access.

Our PCN is Great West Road (GWR) PCN, in Hounslow. We started off life as a ‘locality’ which was a less formal organisation but trying to achieve the same outcomes. Here is a summary of the meeting that we had in 2015. We work with GPs, Practice nurses, managers, district nurses, community matrons, care navigators and mental health. It was a lively afternoon with some challenging and thought-provoking issues.


The key take home messages.

  1. We have some amazing people in our locality.
  2. We need to get on at least try things for ourselves, rather than waiting for others.
  3. Develop leadership and key areas for development.
  4. Engage staff (clinical and non clinical) and patients.

We have identified some of the key areas and will develop them in the next few months.

They include supporting innovation testing and trying new ways of delivering care buy working with our staff and patients.

Staff & patients

PCN Staff

Staff need to be supported with training and development to cover both leadership and clinical skills. Practices will be supported to being training practices. We need to ensure that GWR is a great place to work and develop careers.


We need to find new ways to engage and support patients with their care. Encourage more opportunities for patients to engage and support group consultations. We want to make it easy for patients to have the information they need to self care.

A snapshot of a PCN

Here is a summary of what was discussed. This will help us not only to deliver the evening and weekend work but also to have the building block for more collaborative working. 

Building GWR Locality
What is a PCN in the NHS

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