Health Creation: How can PCNs succeed in reducing health inequalities?

Emerging Primary Care Networks (PCNs) will be expected to deliver ‘locally agreed action to tackle health inequalities’ by 2021. The good news is they don’t have to do it alone.

While PCNs are uniquely placed to lead and support general practice and primary care practitioners to play their part in reducing health inequalities, the wider transformation that is taking place across public services will help. It provides opportunities to develop a new dynamic in the relationship between primary care, the communities they serve and other local partners in pursuit of better health. And there is increasing evidence that this can significantly reduce the burden on traditional health services.

New NHS Alliance and RCGP Health Inequalities Standing Group are hosting a series of events to explore in some depth how PCNs can best lead and support these changes.

The events are supported by NHS England and NHS Improvement and a range of partner organisations including: Health Foundation, Carnegie (UK) Trust, Power to Change, Accord Housing, Walsall Housing Group, Birmingham VCS, Royal College of Nursing, Queen’s Nursing Institute, Institute for Health Visiting, Association of Directors of Public Health.

The Birmingham event will explore the following specific themes with key speakers:

• Understanding recovery journeys and how they might drive PCNs

• Social Prescribing and community strengthening

• Should PCNs have a ‘community strategy’?

  • Dr Vish Ratnasuriya MBE, Birmingham GP and Chair Our Health Partnership (tbc)
  • Maxine Espley, Executive Director Health, Social Care and Support, Accord Care and Support
  • Connie Jennings , Head of Health and Wellbeing, Walsall Housing Group
  • Dr Janet Harris, Parliamentary Fellow Integration of Health & Social Care, NIHR Fellow in Knowledge Mobilisation, University of Sheffield
  • Roy Eyers, CEO Telford After Care Team
  • Deborah Cadman OBE, Chief Executive, West Midlands Combined Authority
  • Dr James Matheson, Incoming Chair, RCGP Health Inequalities Standing Group and Oldham GP

They will build on an event that NNHSA and RCGP Health Inequalities Group jointly hosted in London in July 2019. Here is a link to a short report and video from that event:

“To be successful, PCNs should aim to develop a culture and ‘business as usual’ approach of working in partnership with their local community, connecting with community assets and ensuring that the views and experiences of local people can influence all aspects of the design and delivery of care” - Olivia Butterworth, Head of Public Participation, NHS England and NHS Improvement