Helen Salisbury: Primary care networks in a tangle

Primary care networks (PCNs) were established in 2019 as groups of general practices working together to provide services for a local population. Each PCN receives a budget for additional staff, such as pharmacists and physiotherapists, based on the number of patients. However, the setup has led to complicated situations, with some practices merging and others struggling to find and pay staff. The current system has caused geographic and financial issues, leaving the integrated care board to mediate disputes. Many GPs view the PCN project as disappointing, with little new development and minimal collaboration among practices. Uncertainty looms as a new contract is set to take effect on April 1.

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