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Dec 10,2021
As a small token of our appreciation for the commitment shown by everyone in primary care throughout the pandemic, we have produced a DR Solicitors Covid Collaboration Agreement template which is free to download here. Our template is based on the NHS national template which many of you will already be familiar with, but with recommended amendments and guidance notes to assist when drafting. As with any template, you will still need to apply some thought when completing it, but this will...
Apr 29,2021
PCNs have now successfully established themselves, and are beginning to find their place in the NHS. They have usually engaged a number of ARRS resources, are normally delivering the COVID vaccines, and have, in general, achieved more in the last 2 years than many people believed possible. With 99% of practices now members of a PCN, many of the key organisations in healthcare are talking about how PCNs can deliver for them and their patients. In many ways it is hard to describe PCNs as anything...
Mar 25,2021
NHS England recently issued a consultation on significantly extending the role of Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) in the NHS. The proposals are very far reaching for Primary Care as well as other NHS providers, and the consultation is set to close on 8 January 2021 so time is short. What are the Proposals? ICSs have been around for a couple of years now, and bring together CCGs, Trusts, Councils and other NHS Organisations to ‘take collective responsibility for managing resources, delivering NHS...
Oct 13,2020
PCNs were set up at great speed last year. They were usually established as a cost-sharing arrangement between practices that had signed the PCN DES. This has worked well but problems are beginning to emerge as PCNs gain scale. This video blog examines the various emerging issues, and explains how incorporating a PCN can address many of them. It also explains the steps you will need to take to incorporate your PCN.  There are currently very few incorporated PCNs, but many of our PCN...
Jun 30,2020
Primary Care Networks (PCNs) are now a year old. The first year was a time of building foundations, but the 98% sign up to the 2020/21 DES proves that PCNs have become an important part of the primary care landscape in England. We can now expect to see a rapid build up in PCN resources, as PCNs take up increasing responsibility for local healthcare issues. What’s the problem with existing models? While PCNs were operating at a small scale it made sense to keep them simple. Understandably, many...
Mar 27,2020
The new GP Contract for 2020/21 was recently published. Unsurprisingly, it contained a big emphasis on Primary Care Networks (‘PCN’s). It is becoming increasingly clear that PCNs are here to stay, and a significant share of future monies to General Practice will be routed through PCNs. There are already more additional PCN roles which have been set out in the new contract, and it is a reasonable expectation that by 2025 an average PCN will be responsible for managing costs of around £1m. With...
Apr 08,2019
The national template Primary Care Network Agreement has just been published by NHS England. As readers should be aware, the new Network Contract DES requires participating practices to form their PCN and submit various information by 15 May 2019. A completed ‘initial’ Network Agreement is the most substantial part of this submission and use of the national template is mandatory. The Network Agreement must then be finalised and signed by latest 30 June 2019. What is needed by 15 May? The...
Apr 02,2019
Practices have, in principle, always been able to use a limited company as a business vehicle, but few have done so because it requires the consent of NHSE to migrate the core contract into the company. We’ve noticed a recent increase in the number of practices successfully persuading NHSE to provide consent, so we have set out in this blog some of the opportunities and challenges associated with running the practice through a limited company. Why convert? Most obviously, running the practice...
Mar 04,2019
One of the big initiatives in the new contract is the Primary Care Network (PCN) DES. PCNs must be geographically contiguous and comprise practices with total list sizes of 30-50,000 patients. The DES will provide funding for additional resources at a network level, who will then be expected to work within the member practices. Initial funding will be for one clinical pharmacist and one social prescriber per network, and later funding streams are expected to support other types of resources...
Jan 16,2019
There is a tendency when new plans come out of the NHS for people to say they have seen it all before. Would this be a wise response to the Long Term Plan? Pleasingly, there is an acknowledgement of the many issues in primary care and a commitment that investment in primary medical and community services will grow faster than the overall NHS budget. Spend should be at least £4.5bn higher in 2024, but the extra money will come with strings attached. If applied consistently, this will mean...

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