Primary Care Networks (PCNs) were formally established in July 2019. These are groups of GP practices that work together. PCNs cover local populations of between 30,000 and 50,000 people and were set up with the intention to finally 'dissolve the historic divide between primary and community health services'.
It is intended that PCNs deliver the following for patients:
- better, more personalised health and care services, delivered more conveniently in settings closer to home
- support for individuals with more complex conditions that is better coordinated across different health and care services
- stronger support for patients to play a much greater role in making safe and informed decisions about their own health and care, taking full advantage of all local resources.
In Sutton, 4 PCNs have been created to cover Carshalton, Wallington, Central Sutton and Cheam & South Sutton.
We have been commissioned by the former Sutton Clinical Commissioning Group (now NHS Sutton) to provide support to Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) and the Sutton Patient Reference Group (PRG) since 2014.
We wanted to support GP practices in the development of PCNs and agreed to carry out this survey to provide PCNs with intelligence that could be used to develop their organisations and the services they provide.
We worked with PCNs and the GP service commissioner (with input from patients) to develop a series of survey questions.