LMC Advice: Primary Care Networks (PCNs) and the Extended Hours DES
One of the significant changes that the introduction of Primary Care Networks will bring is how National Enhanced Services are commissioned. In future, instead of these services being commissioned from individual practices, these will be commissioned through the Network, with PCN member practices agreeing how to deliver the requirements.
The first Service due to migrate to PCNs in July 2019 will be the Extended Hours DES along with the funding of £1.45 per head of population. Nationally around 25% of practices are opted out of the Extended Hours DES. When it is transferred to PCNs in July they will be required to provide the service to 100% of the population they cover. For a population of 50,000, this equates to 25 additional hours.
The Extended Hours DES is not to be confused with the Improved Access (IA) service that started last year and is being provided by federations/practices across most of Kent and Medway. Once these contracts expire it is currently expected these will also be offered to PCNs as part of the Network contract.
As you begin to have your discussions about forming PCNs you will need to consider how the Network will provide coverage and there may need to be some difficult conversations with those who are currently opted out. The LMC are available to support practices in these conversations so please let us know if you need us.
More information about this and other contract changes can be found in “Investment and Evolution: A five-year framework for GP contract reform to implement The NHS Long Term Plan” .
Practice Liaison Officer