GP contract agreement puts pressure on PCNs to succeed

The BMA and NHS England have released an update of the GP Contract for 2020/21 – 2023/24.

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As stated by NHS England and the BMA (2019) in the Investment and evolution: a five year framework for GP contract reform to deliver the NHS Long Term Plan, the contract update confirms that they are “committed to amending the Network Contract DES from 2020/21 to include collaboration with non-GP providers as a requirement, and that the Network Agreement will be the formal basis for working with other non-GP providers and community-based organisations. We expect that in many cases PCNs are already collaborating with local non-GP providers and have agreements in place about what this looks like. Cementing these relationships further, from April 2020, in order to deliver the requirements of the Network Contract DES, PCNs will need to agree with their local community services provider(s), community mental health provider(s), and community pharmacies how they will work together.”

Having a robust Network Agreement between the core members is a vital first stage, and then having clear defined terms on which new members are invited in, is the second stage. The terms may be different depending on the organisation being invited to join, but a framework in Schedule 7 stating the basis for admitting non-core members is an important start to provide certainty as to the basis on which non-GP providers will be approached. A preliminary exercise is to consider what your PCN members want, and what other organisations offer the PCN.

Now is the time to consider, agree and record your approach in your PCN agreement.

For guidance and support, please contact one of our primary care leads.


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.

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