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How pharmacies will work alongside PCNs: what we do (and don't) know

C+D spoke to Dr Watson MBE at a King's Fund event on PCNs
C+D spoke to Dr Watson MBE at a King's Fund event on PCNs

C+D spoke to senior GP Nigel Watson about the potential for community pharmacies to collaborate with PCNs – and the many areas that still need to be explored.

Since primary care networks (PCNs) – networks of GP surgeries covering around 30,000-50,000 patients – launched in June, they have been a hot topic in community pharmacy. C+D caught up with Dr Watson at a King’s Fund event in London last month, following his appearnce on a panel discussing PCNs, to find out more about the role the sector could play.

In 2018, Dr Watson independently chaired the Department of Health and Social Care’s review of GP partnerships. He is also chief executive of Wessex local medical committee.

Listen to the podcast to find out more about:

  • Which pharmacies will find it easier to build relationships with PCNs?
  • Where will all these new PCN pharmacists come from?
  • How will PCNs develop?
  • What is the ‘holy grail’ of PCN collaboration?
  • Which pharmacist skills are PCNs hoping to make use of?
  • How could community pharmacists and PCN pharmacists work together?

You can listen to the podcast below. Alternatively, subscribe to all of C+D's podcasts on iTunes or by searching 'Chemist+Druggist podcast' on your preferred android podcast app.

Have you had any contact with your local PCN?

Kevin Western, Community pharmacist

There are obviously huge opportunities here and we are ideally placed to help PCNs achieve some of their targets, BUT and its a huge but, The Doctor says, in his video - there is no money from PCNs to spend in Pharmacy. Even if there was, once again we are reliant on a GP organisation deigning to acknowledge our presence as part of the Healthcare offering. I have tried to get a response from both of my local PCNs and so far absolutely nothing, not even a wait until we get organised, holding mail.



N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

As someone said before, they would only look outside their circle when the work has no pay attached. They think the community Pharmacy sector is more of Charitable Institute where inward flow of the cash is from the owners.

Dodo pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Nope too busy trying to keep the doors open and the lights on

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