Since July 2019, most GP practices have joined with other practices and care providers in their local area to form one of around 1,250 Primary Care Networks (PCNs). Instigated as part of the NHS long-term plan, PCNs were created to provide accessible and integrated primary, mental health, and community care for patients.
The PCN contract was introduced 1 July 2019 as a Directed Enhanced Service and initially aimed to fund 20,000 additional health and care professionals, to strengthen primary care, improve community-based care and reduce the need for hospital treatment. For more information on PCNs, see the Primary Care Network Workforce publication.
Payments relating to PCNs were presented for the first time in the 2019/20 publication. Table 4 of Annex 1 (available to download under 'Resources' on the Overview page) presents payments at PCN and CCG level, which have been calculated by summing the payments made to constituent practices. PCN membership is optional and so not all practices are part of a PCN. Some practices changed PCN during the year. Payments have been assigned to the PCN the practice was a member of on 31 March 2021, or the most recent PCN the practice was a member of if it was no longer a PCN member on 31 March 2021.
The payments relating to PCNs cover seven categories - PCN Participation, PCN Leadership, PCN Support, PCN Workforce, PCN Care Home Premium, PCN Extended Hours Access and PCN Investment and Impact Fund. PCN Leadership, Support, Workforce, Care Home Premium, Extended Hours Access and Investment and Impact Fund pertain only to PCN lead organisations and are therefore not included in the practice level Table 2 of Annex 1 (available to download under 'Resources' on the Overview page), the NHS England and NHS Improvement Region-level Table 3 of Annex 1, or the total payments and average payments per patient figures in these tables. However, total payments and average payments per patient figures have been calculated both including and excluding these three payment categories for comparison purposes and are presented in Tables 1a and 1b of Annex 1.
PCN Participation payments, which relate to all practices taking up membership of a PCN, are included in all tables, averages and totals.