Primary Care

About us

The Primary Care Programme has been established to transform London’s experience of primary care. It was originally established to help deliver a new offer for patients with the aim of working with local areas to realise the vision laid out in the London Strategic Commissioning Framework, GP Forward View, Planning Guidance and local primary care strategies. The recent publication of the Long Term Plan and the new GP contract have introduced new areas of focus which have been incorporated into the programme

The Primary Care Programme supports London area sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) with the delivery of the next steps on the NHS Five Year Forward View.  It supports the delivery of more convenient patient access to care, a stronger focus on population health and prevention, more GPs and a wider range of practice staff, operating in more modern buildings, better integrated with community and preventive services, hospital specialists and mental health care.

Our aim is to empower, connect and accelerate systems. Our core offer includes:

  • Supporting and working in partnership with London STPs/CCGs to deliver national and local primary care strategies (GPFV, Long Term Plan, local primary care strategies, 19/20 planning guidance requirements) via a responsive and flexible approach
  • Working with all our stakeholders to help shape the strategic direction of primary care transformation
  • To provide clinical leadership and to support partnership working and resilience of clinical leadership across the system
  • Provide specialist expertise to support local systems including supporting the development of plans and trajectories
  • Ensure relevant regional primary care funding allocations are managed and released to the system
  • To identify and maximise opportunities to bring additional primary care funding into London
  • To collate relevant primary care information to understand/measure progress, assure and share data with local systems to support their delivery of associated work
  • To act as an interface with the national team and local teams including making recommendations on national direction of travel and assurance
  • Develop, hold and facilitate forums where regional primary care transformation can be discussed and moved forward
  • Once for London approach – to avoid duplication, reduce burden and to support, where appropriate/beneficial, the establishment of single solutions or operating procedures for London and to disseminate this
  • To work across regional teams such as urgent care, primary care contracting to ensure integration of delivery of work and support to STPs/CCGs
  • To engage and work with a range of stakeholders and partners to align and maximise transformation across London
  • To have an understanding of the London primary care picture in order to:
    • Identify issues/blockers and if relevant then agree regional solutions
    • To identify resources/work needed to deliver against transformation agenda and develop associated plans
    • Identify, hold and share best practice
    • Develop agreed regional guidance and tools
    • Support evaluation, innovation and new ways of working
    • Provide assurance to relevant individuals and teams.
    • Offer bespoke support to local areas where needed and within resources
    • Support agreement of funding allocations and spend working with STPs
    • Improve quality, outcomes and reduce unwarranted variation across London

Find out more about Next Steps Commissioning Framework, Resources and Toolkit

You can see the main focuses for our work by clicking the buttons below and also read  more about the exciting development of primary care networks.  If you require any further information please contact the team:


Primary Care Networks

Since the NHS was created in 1948, the population has grown and people are living longer. Many people are living with long term conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, or suffer with mental health issues and may need to access their local health services more often.

To meet these needs, practices have begun working together and with community, mental health, social care, pharmacy, hospital and voluntary services in their local areas in primary care networks.

Primary care networks build on the core of current primary care services and enable greater provision of proactive, personalised, coordinated and more integrated health and social care. Clinicians describe this as a change from reactively providing appointments to proactively care for the people and communities they serve. Where emerging primary care networks are in place in parts of the country, there are clear benefits for patients and clinicians.

Refreshing NHS Plans for 2018-19 set out the ambition for CCGs to actively encourage every practice to be part of a local primary care network so that these cover the whole country as far as possible by the end of 2018/19. Primary care networks will be based on GP registered lists, typically serving natural communities of around 30,000 to 50,000. They should be small enough to provide the personal care valued by both patients and GPs, but large enough to have impact and economies of scale through better collaboration between practices and others in the local health and social care system.

Read this case study to find out more about how GP practices are joining up in London.

Watch a short animation that explains the concept of primary care networks (PCNs) and how this new way of working enables health and other services to work together to provide better access for patients.