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Primary Care Networks (PCNs)

Service Specifications for Primary Care Networks (PCNs)

The BMA’s GP England (GPCE) committee has voted to accept a package of changes to the GP contract for 2020-21, which includes funding to attract more doctors to take up partnership roles and expand the practice team seeing patients in surgeries. There is more detail on the BMA website .

The agreement, which builds on the five-year deal announced last year , is the result of months of negotiations between the BMA and NHS England and NHS Improvement and comes three weeks after GPCE rejected an earlier deal.

Draft service specifications for Primary Care Networks (PCNs) – outlining the responsibilities of these groups of practices and community providers in the coming years – have been significantly pared back after widespread criticism from the profession that draft versions published by NHS England and NHS Improvement at the end of last year were unfair, unrealistic and burdened already struggling-practices with unsustainable workloads.

YORLMC released a position statement on the earlier draft PCN service specifications.  Please see here.

BMA’s England GPC statement is also available here


Introduction to Dr John Crompton, PCN & System Integration Lead

John has been a GP partner (and LMC Member) for over 25 years at Church Lane Surgery, Boroughbridge. Following 2 years as Vice Chair of the NY Branch of YORLMC, he held the position of Chair for 12 years where he represented GPs and practices providing high quality care across the area. John remains passionate about the importance of strong general practice.

The NHS Long Term plan and 5 year contract for GP reform sets out a major challenge for General Practice and, John has taken on the new role of PCN and System Integration Lead within YORLMC to work with emerging PCNs and the emerging ICSs. Attached is a summary of the new role.


PCNs are groups of general practices working closely together, with other primary and community care staff and health and care organisations, providing integrated services to their local populations.

The BMA has launched a PCN handbook which marks the start of a series of resources to be provided over the coming weeks to support practices in establishing primary care networks.

The handbook provides detailed guidance for those starting discussions about forming a network, with considerations, options risks and opportunities, and should be used to inform decisions around governance, structures, employment models, funding flows etc. The resource will be updated with practical tools and advice so that the content of the handbook can be tailored to your specific needs.

NHS England Primary Care Network guidance and information are available at the links below:

Network DES Specification

Network DES Guidance

Network DES Registration Form

Network Agreement

Network Contract VAT Information Note


PCN blogs

GPC England executive team member Krishna Kasaraneni has written four informative blogs on PCNs:

Primary care networks : an introduction to PCNs

The right structures for PCNs: what you need to consider at this early stage

LMCs and PCNs: how local medical committees can support practices to engage with PCNs

Primary care networks: how the new workforce expansion will support GPs and practices





The voice for NHS GPs and Practice Teams across North Yorkshire, the City of York, Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale & Craven districts.