Connecting the people within Integrated Care Systems

We are often asked by those working within the pharmaceutical industry how you connect an individual patient or General Practice or Primary Care Network (PCN) to an Integrated Care System?

The model below is a left to right model where, unless people are asylum seeker, homeless or choose not to be, they will be registered with a General Practice. According to this report in GP on line:, there are 6,822 GP practices in England.

By July 2019, those practices had formed 1259 Primary Care Networks, where we have a very small number of General Practices who chose not to join a Network.

Where practices didn’t join a PCN as part of the Primary Care Network Directed Enhanced Service Agreement, the patient population for those practices was allocated to another local PCN for all services expected of the network, which in 2019/20 was the provision of Extended Hours.

Many, but by no means all, PCNs then work with a GP federation, to connect them into the Integrated Care System (ICS); for those that don’t they will connect directly to the ICS. Working with or through a GP federation provides a route to having one strong and coherent voice for General Practice within the ICS, where they will work with the Hospitals, Community Services, Community and Voluntary Sector, CCG and other local stakeholders. Our view remains that working that way it is easier to engage right across the population within an ICS.

Next time we will look at an example of an Integrated Care System and show you where the Primary Care Networks and GP federation fit, alongside explaining the role/function they deliver. We will also consider where the large merged super practices fit and, what happens when the local hospital runs General Practices. This will enable you to then map your local Integrated Care Systems and the key people within them.

Scott McKenzie is an independent management consultant supporting GP Practices, GP Federations, Primary Care Networks of 30k-50k structure correctly to then deliver high quality patient outcomes with financially viable solutions. Scott is working to support the Pharma, Med Tech and Device Companies better engage and access the NHS. For more information on how we can support you please contact Frances on 0845 388 0302 or email

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