Primary Care Networks : The proposed evolution of the Network Contract DES

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The much-anticipated draft specification for the revised Network Contract Direct Enhanced Service Network Contract (DES) was released on the 19th December and is open for consultation until the 31st January 2020.

The draft specification establishes the requirements for Primary Care Networks (PCNs) in respect of five of the seven national service specifications that will ultimately be added to the Network Contract DES. 

The first five services cover:

  1. Structured medication reviews and optimisation
  2. Enhanced health in care homes
  3. Anticipatory care
  4. Personalised care
  5. Supporting early cancer diagnosis

Whilst the draft specification confirms that 99% of GP practices in England have signed up to the Network DES (creating around 1250 networks), there can be no doubt that PCNs are in their infancy and many were cautiously waiting to see how far reaching the service specifications are. 

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