Approximately 7,000 GP surgeries have come together to form more than 1,200 Primary Care Networks (PCNs). The intention of PCNs is to bring together specialist care services such as pharmacists, physiotherapists and paramedics which will free up GP time to focus on vulnerable patients.
This is a great initiative which has already been rolled out in parts of the country (https://bit.ly/2NmsJ40).
It will be interesting to see how these new ways of delivering healthcare will change the way the NHS manages its current estate and delivers new estates. We certainly see linkages between the town centre regeneration work we are doing at Montagu Evans and the potential for the NHS to be an important stakeholder in helping to deliver a new consumer/patient experience in our town centres across the country. This could be through incorporating new health hubs into shopping centres and high streets, thus allowing consumers/patients to shop and then visit a podiatrist or specialist nurse, for example. Health hubs could be delivered alongside other specialist healthcare providers (from both the public and private sector), noting that any new premises need to be future-proofed to allow health practitioners to deliver specialist care that can react to changing healthcare needs.
Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England and part of the senior leadership team for NHS Improvement, said: “Strengthening general practice is a central part of the long-term plan, and primary care networks [PCN] have the potential to bring about the biggest improvement for a generation.