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Primary Care Networks

This practice is part of the City Centre & Ancoats Primary Care Network (PCN). It is comprised of the following practices with a total population of around 35,000 people:

  • New Islington Medical Practice
  • Urban Village Medical Practice
  • City Health Medical Practice

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. PCNs were formally established on 1st July 2019 and continue to grow from strength to strength.

You can learn more by watching this short video

As the NHS workload gets more complicated, medicine is becoming more of a team sport.   As members of PCNs we are required to deliver a set of national service specifications.

To do this we are expected to provide a wider range of primary care services to our patients, involving a wider set of staff roles than might be feasible in our individual practices. Examples include first contact physiotherapy, extended access and social prescribing – all of which are already up and running in our PCN. We shortly expect to recruit extra pharmacists, mental health workers and physiotherapists to help us provide care more effectively than ever.

The NHS expects us to provide a set number of services via our PCN’s. Two started in 2020/21: structured medication reviews and enhanced health in care homes. A further four are also set to follow very soon – anticipatory care (with community services), personalised care, cardiovascular disease case-finding, and locally agreed action to tackle inequalities. The COVID-19 pandemic has understandably delayed progress a little in the last year.

PCN’s are also be the footprint around which other community-based teams will develop further, and our community and mental health services already configure their services around our PCN boundaries.

Current PCN Services

  • COVID-19 Vaccination – we have grouped together with two other PCNs to provide the COVID-19 vaccine centre at the Vallance Health Centre in Ardwick. Due to its size and complexity this is a service that individual practices would have struggled to do. We now have satellite sites running at Ailsa Craig Medical Practice, The Docs Medical Practice, Cornbrook Medical Practice and we are also utilising the availability at the Etihad National Tennis Centre.
  • Care Home Team – we have a dedicated care home team producing high quality proactive care to our care home residents.
  • Extended Hours – for a little while now we have provided extra access to Primary Care at weekends and in the evenings.
  • Pharmacist Team – our PCN pharmacists greatly assist us in safer and more effective prescribing.
  • First Contact Physio – the ability to get assessed directly by a physiotherapist for musculoskeletal complaints without having to go through a GP first.

The NHS is planning for the role of the PCN to increase in the next few years with plan being for us to offer a wider range of services closer to home in the next few years. This will hopefully allow us to provide a better level of care, closer to your home.

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