Primary Care Networks, choice and access

In line with the national direction of travel, all Doncaster GP practices are part of a primary care network, set to further improve access, availability and quality of primary care services.

Five networks exist in Doncaster, providing services for similar numbers of patients:

  • North primary care network
  • South primary care network
  • East primary care network
  • Central primary care network
  • 4Doncaster primary care network.

Primary care networks are a key feature of the NHS Long Term Plan and will build support the development of proactive, personalised, coordinated and more integrated health and social care services.

Health and care professionals commonly describe this as a change from reactively providing appointments to proactively caring for the people and communities they serve.

Patients are not likely to notice much of a difference at first to the care they receive as care in Doncaster is already provided in a way that aligns with the formation of primary care networks. An example of this was the roll out of the More Choice, More Appointments service in 2018, led by Primary Care Doncaster which provided and will continue to provide extra appointments for patients that could not easily access GP or nurse appointments during working hours.

A key feature of practices coming together as part of a primary care network means that every patient registered at those practices will now be able to access appointments early in the morning, later in the evening, as well as making use of those practices that open at weekends. It doesn’t mean that every single practice will open earlier and close later, it means that a number of practices within each network will be able to offer these appointments to all patients across the network.

The formation of the five networks in Doncaster also brings considerable funding to primary care services across the borough.

Each primary care network in Doncaster now has the ability to employ a Clinical Pharmacist. They will support all practices in their network and are highly qualified experts in medicines that can help people in a range of different ways. This includes carrying out structured medication reviews for patients with on-going health problems and improving patient safety, outcomes and value through a person-centred approach.

The introduction of Clinical Pharmacists in each network will support GPs to focus their skills where they are most needed, such as diagnosing and treating patients with more complex conditions. This will ultimately help GPs to manage the demands on their time.

Primary care networks will continue to develop at pace and over the next four years, a number of additional roles will be added to each network. These include:

  • First contact Physiotherapists
  • Physician Associates and
  • Community paramedics.

Which practices fall under which network?

A document is available including basic details of each primary care network. It includes the name of the network, the practices included, the Clinical Director and the number of patients at each practice.

Watch a short animation below to find out more about the development of primary care networks nationally.




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Latest newsletter – September 2020

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