Practices were asked to complete and return their PCN registration forms - naming an ‘accountable clinical director’ - by 15 May 2019 to sign up to the network contract DES.
According to NHS England, the clinical director ‘will provide leadership for the PCN’s strategic plans, working with members to improve the quality and effectiveness of the network services’.
Although guidance says the clinical director role would ‘most likely’ be fulfilled by a GP, NHS England confirmed that ‘this is not an absolute requirement’, adding that the job could be taken on by any ‘practising clinician from within the PCN member practices able to undertake the responsibilities of the role and represent the PCN’s collective interests’.
Primary care networks
BMA sessional GPs subcommittee chair Dr Zoe Norris told GPonline that she was taking on the role of clinical director at Bridlington PCN, in Yorkshire, but expressed concern that locum and salaried GPs were being left out of emerging networks in many areas.
NHS England’s director of primary care Dr Nikita Kanani has said on Twitter that she had heard of ‘one trainee and plenty of sessionals’ stepping into clinical director roles.
However, GPonline’s latest survey finding showed that just one in 20 locum GPs were involved in setting up primary care networks (PCNs) across England, and only one in 10 were consulted.
Addressing the figures, Dr Norris said: ‘We would encourage all salaried and locum GPs to get involved, it is vital that LMCs, federations and practices engage with them and ensure they are represented.’
In Brentford, south west London, a clinical pharmacist has been chosen to take on a PCN clinical director role.
Honoured to have been elected to serve 59,566 patients and 7 GP practices as Primary Care Network Clinical Director for Workforce in Brentworth PCN. Exciting times for #MDT working in #generalpractice #PCN #GPPharmacists @rpharms pic.twitter.com/ozWPkDQml7— Graham Stretch (@GrahamStretch) May 14, 2019
In his role, Graham Stretch of the Argyle Health Group will be responsible for leading seven GP practices - responsible for 59,566 patients in the area.
According to GPonline’s latest survey, all of the roughly 150 GPs who said they were involved in setting up a PCN, said a GP had been appointed to the clinical director role.