Funding allocations for PCNs – 15 January 2020 deadline to provide feedback on the proposals

Draft PCN DES specifications have been published. The outline service specifications for the network contract can be found here and practices have until 15 January to provide feedback on the proposals.

The five service specifications which will go live in April 2020 are:

  • Structured medication review and medicines optimisation
  • Enhanced health in care homes
  • Anticipatory care
  • Personalised care
  • Supporting early cancer diagnosis

The outline sets out the first two specifications above will be deliverable in full for 2020/21.  The requirements for the remaining specifications will be phased in 2023/24.  The detail of this phasing will be subject to further negation between NHSE/I and the GPC.

The outline states: “Funding is not allocated directly for delivery of the service specifications; rather, the largest portion of network funding (£257m in 2020/21, rising to £891m in 2023/24) provides reimbursement for additional workforce roles that PCNs can engage to support the delivery of the specifications and alleviate wider workforce pressures”.

The outline notes the practices will continue to receive funding through the participation payment and contribution for the clinical director.

The outline specifications are subject to change, and the outline is presently out for consultation.  NHSE/I is offering webinars on the proposed specifications, and the opportunity to feedback on the proposals.

Details of the webinars and opportunity to provide feedback can be found here.


Last year saw the agreement of the GP Contract Framework and the introduction of primary care networks (PCNs) to general practice.  It was agreed that the new primary care networks would deliver seven national service specifications under the DES. Five of these services will come into effect in April 2020. Two further specifications will follow in April 2021.  NHS England and NHS Improvement report that 99% of practices are now in a PCN with approximately 1,250 PCNs across England.

Just before Christmas, NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE/I) published draft Outline Service Specifications for the Network Contract.  This can be found here.

Hempsons has a dedicated primary care team who have been assisting practices and PCNs with a range of contractual and regulatory issues over the past year.  Please contact Justin Cumberlege, Ross Clark or Alison Oliver with your queries.


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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