A PCN is a network of GP surgeries covering around 30,000-50,000 patients each. First announced as part of the NHS long-term plan, around 1,000 PCNs will be set up by Monday (July 1) as the new contract takes effect. NHS England says they will “be responsible for delivering joined-up health and social care services through multiprofessional teams to patients in the community”.
NHS England has predicted that within four years, a typical PCN of 50,000 patients could employ around six full-time “clinical” pharmacists. They will be among 20,000 staff PCNs are recruiting in total across the country, chiefly funded under the GP contract. By 2023-24, the cost is expected to equate to £1.79 billion – or £1.47 million for an average network.