Primary Care Networks (PCN)

Since the NHS was created in 1948, the population has grown and people are living longer. Many people are living with long term conditions such as diabetes and heart disease or suffer with mental health issues and may need to access their local health services more often.

To meet these needs, GP practices are working together with community, mental health, social care, pharmacy, hospital and voluntary services in their local areas in groups of practices known as primary care networks (PCNs).

PCNs build on existing primary care services and enable greater provision of proactive, personalised, coordinated and more integrated health and social care for people close to home. Clinicians describe this as a change from reactively providing appointments to proactively caring for the people and communities they serve.

Each of the 1,250 PCNs across England are based on GP registered patient lists, typically serving natural communities of between 30,000 to 50,000 people (with some flexibility). They are small enough to provide the personal care valued by both people and GPs, but large enough to have impact and economies of scale through better collaboration between GP practices and others in the local health and social care system.

PCNs are led by clinical directors who may be a GP, general practice nurse, clinical pharmacist or other clinical profession working in general practice.

Who are we – Chester South PCN?

In 2015 the Lache Health Centre, City Walls Medical Centre, Handbridge Medical Centre, and Western Avenue Medical Centre started working together, since then, this collaboration has developed into the Chester South Primary Care Network (CSPCN).

We continue to see the benefits of working together, forming Chester South Primary Care Network to enable greater sustainability and improved patient care for just over 34,000 local people.

As a PCN, we aim to focus on the wider health of our local population and take a proactive stance towards the management of our patients health requirements. You may be more used to seeing us as individual practices but by working together as a PCN we are able to share services to benefit our population that we couldn’t do as individual practices.

The addition of more supplementary roles to our general practice teams allows all of our patients to be seen by a health care professional with the right expertise, at the right time, in order to better patient outcomes. These team members work across all four of the practices and our receptionists will help signpost you to the appropriate team member to make sure you receive the best and most appropriate care.

It also enables our GPs to focus their skills where they are required the most, for example, in diagnosing and treating patients with the most complex conditions.