Think in - The future of primary care: PCN Network conference session summary

Talking points on the future of primary care.

1 December 2020

Catch up on the talking points at this PCN Network virtual conference session.

Chair and panellists

  • Richard Murray, Chief Executive, The King’s Fund
  • Nigel Edwards, Chief Executive, Nuffield Trust
  • Marie Gabriel, Chair, North Easr London STP; Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust; and NHS Race and Health Observatory
  • Dr Tom Micklewright, Associate Medical Director, Push Doctor
  • Dr Rebecca Fisher, Senior Policy Fellow, The Health Foundation
  • Mike Farrar, Independent consultant (Chair)

Key points

Impact of COVID-19
Significant challenges but it has brought stakeholders across primary care together like nothing else – big increase in partnership working in several areas (including resource sharing), which bodes well for the coming years.

Richer skill mix
The Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) is bringing in a wider range of skills into primary care and this will serve patients well over the coming years. Support is needed as the nature of primary care changes.

‘Showing our worth’
Dr Fisher would like primary care to do more with data to prove the value of the sector to health and care in England. There is also a need to focus delivery on equity – the potential of PCNs to deliver improvements in health inequalities is significant.

Using tech effectively
There is an opportunity for patients to see the right clinicians first time. Here, use of e-Triage will be key and encouraging patients to start adopting and using digital tools. Ultimately there is potential for this to save significant time for both clinical and non-clinical staff. We must ensure expansion of digital is to the benefit, not the detriment, of health inequalities.

Key quote

“PCNs in their most fulfilled version will be embedded within, and working for, the needs of their communities. They therefore need control and NHSEI must trust those within primary care to lead.”

Questions for consideration

  • As data starts to become more precise about need, will primary care necessarily need to become more targeted at the expense of a ‘focus on all’?
  • Is it time to have a more equitable financing model than Carr-Hill?

View all PCN Network virtual conference session summaries.