Primary Care Network

What is a Primary Care Network (PCN)?

Western Dales Primary Care Network supports a population of approximately 20,000 patients in a semi-rural community within the boundaries of Bentham Medical Practice, Lunesdale Surgery and Sedbergh Medical Practice. The aim is to work closer together to deliver services to our patients, in addition to the terms and conditions each individual practice signs up to within their General Medical Services Contract with NHS England. Primary Care Networks were introduced as part of the NHS Long Term Plan whose ambition is to deliver more joined up, proactive and personalised care. The Western Dales PCN has signed up to deliver specific service requirements and to expand our team to help manage patient care both within our Practices and in the Community, with a strong emphasis on collaborative working to encourage efficiency, shared learning, delivering services to our patients with the involvement of the wider health and social care community. Working with our patients and colleagues in support of a sustainable, proactive and efficient NHS for the future, When Patients contact the surgery often the first question asked is I need an appointment with my GP. What Primary Care Networks are enabling Practices to do is to introduce a wider group of health professionals who also have the skills to help you. For example, Western Dales Primary Care Network now has a First Contact Practitioner working across the three Practices. Stephen can assess and recommend treatment plans for musculoskeletal problems, releasing time for the GP to deal with other clinical issues. We also have additional Clinical Pharmacists, Mental Health Counsellors , and Social Prescribers to help with organisations outside of the NHS offering support, and we are looking to recruit further in the future. These staff are becoming embedded in our Practices and should be viewed as an integral part of what you might think of as a traditional General Practice Team. More information on Primary Care Networks and the NHS long term plan can be found at:

Community Support Fund:

Western Dales Primary Care Network is looking at ways to reduce health inequalities and engage with/support initiatives within our communities. Lifestyle changes, socialising, fresh air and exercise contribute to helping us live healthier and happier lives. We are fortunate to live in an area of natural beauty where small groups or organisations deliver various events/gatherings reaching out to our population. We recognise these often small volunteer managed groups offer a valuable support across all ages. It might be a one off community gathering or a weekly mums and children get together, possibly a lunch for the elderly or a youth group. The Community Support Fund would like to contribute to these groups or perhaps help them to get started. If you would like to be considered please contact the Practice Manager for further details and an application form.