Finding the right federations and PCNs to work with

Updated: May 20

Whether a Sales Representative, Healthcare Development Manager, Key Account Manager, Secondary Care Specialist, or part of the Market Access Team, being able to identify the right client base to target and work with is essential.

Two of your targets are likely to be the GP federations and Primary Care Networks.

For the GP federations, our sense is that you are looking for those that are business-ready and have a track record of high quality and consistent delivery over a number of years. In our experience, they are likely to engage quickly and want to get to delivery. They will see the relationship as two way and will work with you in order to support you to support them.

So how do you identify GP Federations and PCNs?

For the GP federations, the place to head to online is Companies House: When you arrive on the front page, you then need the exact name of the company. This website does not work like Google and will not search for you.

Once onto the company record, you will have three tabs: overview, filing history and people.

Overview: Here you can see how long the company has been in business, which then comes in handy when you move to the second tab.

Filing history: On this tab we are looking for their most recent accounts. The accounts will give you an indication of turnover and income over the last 2 years (you can go back further if you wish) and show whether the company is fully functioning as a business. If the company has been running three or four years and there is no income to speak of, I would move on and find another target.

People: This tab will give you an up to date list of the Board of Directors, which of course provides you with a list of people to target speaking with, as they are responsible for the day to day running of the company.

Lastly, you may then search for a company website and see what services they are running and, if they share their plans, what they have in development. In doing this piece of work before you make an approach you will know whether they are functioning, what has been achieved to date, what their plans are and who is on the Board. Working this way, you can ensure you target the right federations.

For Primary Care Networks, NHS Digital has published ODS codes for all PCNs. In addition to the PCN codes, ODS data will include information on the core partner relationships from practices to PCNs and the relationship between the PCN and a Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

You will be able to access the details for all 1259 PCNs on there and can then map them to the local GP federation. From there you can start to identify who the key people are in the PCNs. You may also then want to map the PCNs to the local GP federation and see if there is any overlap in people. It is not uncommon to find Clinical Directors and Practice representatives in the PCN also sitting on the Board of Directors for the PCN.

There is a lot more you can do beyond this information, but this is a good place to start. Next time we will have a look at who the customer is, who to try and see and who you may want to avoid and why.

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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