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NHS England tasks GP with reviewing ‘next steps’ for PCNs within ICSs


primary care review


NHS England has asked a GP ICS lead to look at the ‘next steps’ for how PCNs will work in integrated care systems (ICSs).

It today announced that its chief executive Amanda Pritchard has asked Dr Claire Fuller, GP and senior responsible officer of Surrey Heartlands ICS, to set out ‘the most promising next steps’ for how services including primary care ‘should develop’ within ICSs.

Dr Fuller will present these ‘next steps’ by March 2022, ahead of ICSs becoming statutory organisations the following month.

NHS England said: ‘The NHS will set out the next steps for how primary care networks will work with partners across newly formed integrated care systems to meet the health needs of people in their local areas.’

It added that Dr Fuller has been asked to set out how ICSs can ‘accelerate’ the implementation of ambitions in the NHS Long Term Plan related to primary care, out of hospital care and prevention, as well as encouraging better-integrated primary, community and social care services locally.

Her work will ‘take a view on how services should develop, as well as setting up the most promising next steps in the short-term’, it said.

She has been asked to examine how PCNs can assist ICSs, of which there are 42 across England, by enabling local partners to jointly improve care and tackle health inequalities, it added.

NHS England said ICSs would play a ‘pivotal role’ to focus on the needs of the local communities and help the NHS collaborate with ‘wider partners to take collective responsibility for people’s health and wellbeing’.

Dr Fuller said: ‘This is about working collectively to support our most vulnerable citizens and to reduce the inequalities in health we know exist for many communities.’

Ms Pritchard said she is ‘delighted’ Dr Claire Fuller will be undertaking the work, as ‘the examples seen in her local area show how partnership working particularly between GP practices and wider partners can deliver better experiences for patients’.

Speaking at the NHS Confederation ICS conference earlier today, health secretary Sajid Javid said ‘we are at an inflection point for our ICSs’ and that ICSs are ‘the right way forward’.

It comes as LMCs will this month debate GP representation on ICS boards at the BMA’s annual LMC conference for England.

In June, NHS England guidance revealed that just one GP will be required to be appointed to the boards of the ICSs which are set to replace CCGs as commissioners of health services.

READERS' COMMENTS [4]

C P 10 November, 2021 7:35 pm

PCNs are dead in the water.

Not on your nelly 10 November, 2021 8:58 pm

^^Hopefully.

Turn out The Lights 10 November, 2021 9:07 pm

PCN are an underfunded mess and have hit the rocks of a workforce crisis.Doomed from the start.

David OHagan 11 November, 2021 8:41 am

PCNs are now ‘the only game in town’ not just for GPs who joined them in hope of improvement, but also for NHSE.
Sadly they have believed their own hype about how well PCNs have been doing.
They have ignored the lack of uptake of ARRS, due to lack of available staff.
They have ignored the delayed outcomes framework, as that was only because of covid.
They have ignored the fact that they have no buy in whatsoever from the majority of PCN practices, and less from GPs.

They now believe that by ratcheting up the role of PCNs they will be able to reduce ‘variation’.
They believe that if 2 points are drawn on a graph the straight line accurately describes the whole of the data.

It is going to get rough, and quite quickly….

Centralising NHS control into NHSE would work if they had any clue about what they were doing. The problem is they have spent 10 years feeling aggrieved that CCGs had any role.