Primary Care Network


Primary Care Network


Primary Care Networks (PCNs) from NHS England

Since the NHS was created in 1948, the population has grown and people are living longer. Many people are living with long-term conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, or suffer with mental health issues and may need to access their local health services more often.

To meet these needs, practices have begun working together and with community, mental health, social care, pharmacy, hospital and voluntary services in their local areas in Primary Care Networks.

Primary Care Networks build on the core of current primary care services and enable greater provision of proactive, personalised, coordinated and more integrated health and social care. Clinicians describe this as a change from reactively providing appointments to proactively caring for the people and communities they serve. Where emerging Primary Care Networks are in place in parts of the country, there are clear benefits for patients and clinicians.

Primary Care Networks are based on GP registered lists, typically serving natural communities of around 30,000 to 50,000. They are small enough to provide the personal care valued by both patients and GPs, but large enough to have impact and economies of scale through better collaboration between practices and others in the local health and social care system.

For more information:

Structured Medication Review:

A Structured Medication Review takes place with a Clinical Pharmacist and is a comprehensive review of your medications to ensure they are prescribed safely and appropriately, as well as confirming that medicines you have been taking for a long time are all still necessary. The Clinical Pharmacist will discuss your medicines with you and answer any questions or concerns you may have. 

There are several reasons why you may have been offered this review. These include but are not limited to:

  • You are taking a large number of different medicines
  • You are taking medicines which are frequently associated with medication errors
  • You are taking medicines which can be addictive
  • You have recently been discharged from hospital

Please allow up to 40 minutes for this appointment.  If your appointment is face to face, please bring your medicines with you. You may wish to have a family member, friend or carer with you.

Overview of South Rural PCN

South Rural Primary Care Network (PCN) was formed in June 2019 and is made up of five individual, well-established practices:

  • Bildeston Health Centre
  • Constable Medical Practice,
  • Hadleigh Boxford Group
  • Holbrook & Shotley
  • Needham Market Country Practice

Between us we look after around 55,000 patients and that number continues to grow.  

The PCN is lead by two enthusiastic Clinical Directors who are Dr Chris Lewis (Needham Market) and Dr Carrie Everitt (Hadleigh). Our PCN Manager is Amy Vivian who works alongside the clinical directors on PCN projects.  

By working together our vision is to provide a joined up service for local communities. By diversifying our workforce and benefitting from a greater skill mix we can in turn create and develop a better care package for our patients.

Currently as a PCN:

  • We offer extended hours appointments to our patients
  • We provide an enhanced health in care homes service to the 16 care homes across our area
  • We employee additional health care professionals to support our practices. The roles we currently have in place are:

o    Clinical Pharmacists

o    Pharmacy Technicians

o    Trainee Nurse Associates  

o    Care Coordinators

o    Health and Wellbeing Coaches

o    First Point of Contact Physiotherapists

o    Paramedic/Emergency Care Practitioners

o    Mental Health Practitioners

Visit the NHS Suffolk and North East Essex website to learn more about the different health care professionals working in GP surgeries:

  • We provide peer support to each other sharing best practice and learning outcomes
  • We are working to improve early cancer diagnosis rates through increasing national screening uptake
  • We are using population health management tools to understand our patient population and tailor services to improve outcomes for our patients

Over the next two years, we hope to be able to bring more new roles and services into our practices. We will keep you updated as the South Rural Primary Care Network develops.