From 1 July 2019, GP practices across Northamptonshire will organise themselves into new collaborative groups known as Primary Care Networks (PCNs). This is a requirement of the new national general practice contract which comes into effect on the same day.

Designed and agreed by GP practices themselves, PCNs will have responsibility for the health and wellbeing of local populations between 30,000 and 50,000 (though some may be larger). Each PCN will be led by a clinical director and, within the next three years, the care the networks provide will be supported by new primary care roles.

Here in Northamptonshire, a number of Primary Care Networks have been proposed by local GPs to cover the entire county population, and an announcement will be made this month once our PCNs have been formally approved.

NHCP is putting in place a programme of support for the successful development of our PCNs, and this work is being led by our county’s Local Workforce Action Board and Primary Care Workforce Group.

This will include leadership development, analysing workforce requirements for each PCN and providing human resources support for recruitment.

The programme is being co-developed by members of the workforce boards and PCN clinical directors, and the first development event took place in Moulton on 29 May 2019.

The successful session was attended by more than 50 local general practice leaders and provided a valuable opportunity to discuss and develop ideas collaboratively for PCN leadership and recruitment in Northamptonshire.

Guest speaker Dr Robert Varnam, director of professional leadership for improvement at NHS England and NHS Improvement, said: “I really congratulate NHCP for having a whole development session looking at PCN workforce. It’s particularly encouraging to see it delivered as a conversation so leaders can shape what is done.”

WATCH: Dr Robert Varnam’s full presentation from the Northamptonshire Primary Care Networks workforce development day.

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