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Six PCNs from across the country have been shortlisted for the GP Awards’ Primary Care Network of the Year award.
The PCNs were recognised for their work to reduce disparities among their patient populations, their outreach clinics and services, and for their collaboration.
The GP Awards recognise the hard work an innovation that primary care teams carry out across the UK. The winner will be announced on 8 December.
Those six PCNs nominated for the award, sponsored by Hill Dickinson, include Healthy Hyde PCN in Tameside, Leamington PCN in Warwickshire, Cheltenham Central PCN in Cheltenham, Central Camden PCN in central London, Foundry PCN in Sussex and Springfield Park PCN in North East London.
Springfield Park PCN – a three practice network – was recognised for its outreach services intended to mee the needs of its Orthodox Jewish community, which constitutes 40% of its 38,000 patients.
The PCN said that preventative service uptake is extremely poor, with cancer and vaccination services the lowest in the UK, and with outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles, common.
Springfield Park PCN opened its practices on Sundays to offer walk-in childhood immunisations and cervical screenings, and offers pop-up vaccination clinics on Thursday afternoons.
Leamington PCN introduced the first PCN lifestyle clinics in the country, which is focussed beyond prevention and dedicates staff time to helping patients ‘avoid disease’.
It also launched a PCN-wide health and wellbeing festival by re-investing vaccine income, with 7,000 patients accessing NHS health checks and exercise groups.
Central Camden PCN, working with University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, identified which elective procedures could be undertaken in primary care.
It developed an integrated asthma and COPD service, delivered by ARRS staff, and allowing standardised diagnosis and chronic disease management across the PCN.
There has also been a reduction in acute admission, outpatient referrals and unnecessary antibiotic prescribing.
Tameside – where Healthy Hyde PCN is based – is one of the ten poorest communities in England. The healthy life expectancy in Hyde is five years lower for men and six years lower for women than the national UK average.
The PCN has set up a number of services to tackle health inequalities, integrating with existing services including the Job Centre, Domestic Violence Services, Drug and Alcohol Services, the Alzheimer’s Society, and Foodbanks.
Cheltenham Central PCN was noted for tis work beyond its PCN boundary, working with local schools to establish a population health management (PHM) project and identify and intervene to support children and young people at risk of future negative consequences.
Foundry PCN was named in the Fuller Stocktake report in 2022 and the Primary Care Access Recovery Plan for its model of care, which saw the creation of an urgent same-day access hub.
An independent evaluation of the Foundry model found that its way of working reduced onward utilisation of the acute care system equivalent to 14,500 bed days – or £2.5m – over a three-year period.
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