Practices that are fighting to keep their head above water are understandably reluctant to identify themselves as “struggling”. In our latest podcast, former practice business manager and GP federation manager Tracy Green explains why resilience is not just about averting an imminent crisis but about building the resources to cope with whatever the future holds.
We have pulled together some of the latest information about PCNs, including funding details and key dates in this slide pack. It also covers the policy background to PCNs and explains where they fit in the wider integrated care systems. Feel free to use all or part of the pack to keep your team and patients informed about PCNs.
PCNs provide an opportunity to rethink how patients are involved in decisions about local services – and for practices to consider how working with patients could make a positive contribution to the aims of the PCN. Here we talk to the PPG chair in Buckinghamshire where five surgeries’ PPGs have come together to form a PCN patient group. The offer that got the attention of the PCN leadership and earned the group a seat on the network’s board was a simple one: “How can we help?”
Community pharmacies are in a similar position to general practice. Core income is shrinking and pharmacies need to consider new ways to make money. Under a new contracting deal, a national scheme to offer consultations is due to start from October. Patients could be referred to pharmacies by GPs, the NHS 111 service and possibly also by urgent care centres and emergency departments. As a result, medicines use reviews currently carried out by community pharmacies will be done instead by practice based pharmacists under the new name of “structured medication reviews”, but pharmacies will be able to offer a broader range of clinical services, such as routine monitoring of patients on repeat medication, which could potentially reduce general practice workload. In our latest podcast, PCC’s community pharmacy lead Charlotte Goodson, explains why PCNs have every reason to be interested in the changes.