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NHS England Publishes Summary of PCN DES Engagement

Publication date: February 2020

NHS England has published its summary of the recent engagement on the draft PCN DES specifications. 

Over 4,000 responses were received to the proposals, which has prompted an overwhelmingly negative reception from GPs when they were released in December. See our earlier news story on the national response from the BMA and how Humberside LMC is working to ensure that the concerns which our constituents have expressed are heard. 

NHS England's summary concludes with this message:

"Our goal is to provide PCNs with certainty and confidence about their future as rapidly as
possible, as part of the process for agreeing the GP contract with the BMA GPC.

The engagement feedback has already been informing discussions about the final contract
deal, with both NHSE&I and BMA GPC working to address the core concerns raised in a way
that continues to respect the existing five year deal, sustains general practice, and secures
improvements for patients.

The scale and feedback received demands a clear response, in the form of an updated
overall contract package, as part of which we want to agree a significantly reworked set of
service specifications."

In other developments, the BMA has published the results of their recent survey of PCN Clinical Directors. The survey asked clinical directors about their experience of being involved in the creation of PCNs, recruitment of a new workforce, delivery of new services, and also views on the future of PCNs: 

"The results reveal that whilst there is considerable optimism amongst clinical directors
about what PCNs can achieve if given the resources, time and practical support to thrive,
there are also concerns about the scale of the challenge facing these new structures and the
expectations being placed on them. This has most recently been evident in the widespread
serious concern raised following NHS England and NHS Improvement’s publication of draft
PCN service specifications."

We will keep you informed of further developments with the PCN DES specifications. Read NHS England's summary of engagement.  ​​​​​