In our last Bucks ICS article, we told you about Primary Care Networks – PCNs for short.

These new networks will bring together several GP practices in each local area so that they can share resources to provide better care to the people in the community.

Now, we have reached the point where our GP surgeries have to meet to decide who they will join to make up these new groups.

The doctors also need to decide how they are going to work together and what services they will provide.

The PCNs begin on July 1 this year.

Before then, each one will have to register with the Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group (Bucks CCG) by May 15th. So they don’t have long to work out which surgeries and other services will come together.

Bucks CCG includes all our local GPs and other healthcare professionals. It’s responsible for planning, designing and paying for your NHS services

Each of the new PCNs will work out how best to shape the services in their areas. The idea is to build services around the patient in the community.

The aim is to to provide care closer to home and to offer more services locally so fewer of us have to travel to hospital for treatment.

According to those in charge of the Bucks ICS which is joining up health and social care across the county

PCNs will put general practice at the heart of community care.

These networks will provide the basis for other services. They will help those in charge to join up our health and care systems and make them better for everyone.

PCNs will support each other on a larger scale through the county-wide ICS. Each one will have a Clinical Director who will be responsible for its success.

Over the next five years, each PCN will recruit a workforce of clinical pharmacists, social prescribers, physiotherapists, physician associates and paramedics.

Your opinion matters

We will keep you updated on these important changes over the next few months but you have a role to play.

Make sure you know how your GP and other health and care providers are going to work in the new system. Make sure you understand how the changes will affect you and where you go for care.

Check your doctors’ website or ask about their plans at reception. They should be able to tell you about their new network by May 15th.

These changes are to serve you better. Tell us at Healthwatch Bucks if you have any concerns or if everything is working out well for you and your community.

We can get your views across to the people in charge. They really want to get it right.

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