FALQ: Do we need to prepare bespoke schedules for our PCN agreement, or can we use the published templates?
What are Primary Care Networks (PCNs) asking us? Welcome to the fourth article in our five part series exploring frequently asked legal questions typically asked by PCNs.
Question 4 – Do we need to prepare bespoke schedules for our PCN agreement, or can we use the published templates?
There have been a number of template schedules issued and many PCNs understandably took advantage of using these in the run up to the July deadline. However, we strongly advise that you review these now that the immediate pressure of the July deadline has passed. This is for four main reasons:
- there are a number of gaps in many of the template schedules, particularly around matters such as risk and liability sharing and exit terms;
- it is important that your member practices engage in discussion about how your PCN operates – this process is important to ensure that all the practices feel properly part of your PCN rather than just adopting generic arrangements which might not be best suited to their local situation;
- provision should be made for bringing in new members as you move towards being an integrated care organisation;
- it is important that the schedules are legally binding on your members; this means that care needs to be taken to ensure that the provisions in the schedules are clear and unambiguous, that the members are clearly identified and that they correctly execute the agreement incorporating the schedules. Many agreements that we have reviewed do not satisfy this test.
If you would like to find out more about PCN structures and agreements and how we can assist generally, please contact our specialist team.
We have also developed a training programme on this, and other topical themes, which we would be happy to discuss with you. Download the training programme HERE.
Contact our GP advice line
Dial 020 7839 0278 and ask for the GP Advice Line.
Our team of experts can offer GPs and members of their teams up to ten minutes’ free preliminary advice with a solicitor.