GP Federation Agreement

Primary Care Wirral supports member practices by providing legal, HR and financial expertise to facilitate their transition to a Primary Care Network, and implement the future changes included in the NHS Long-Term Plan and GP Contract 2019.

We are designing an attractive and cost-effective ‘GP Federation Agreement’ offering for practices that want us to play a greater role within their network.

This involves assisting GP networks in areas relating to Governance, HR, Finance and Operational Management.

These services are available for PCW member practices and any other Wirral practices.

Would like to know more? Please, get in touch.

PCN - GP Federation Agreement

What are PCNs?

Primary Care Networks are groups of local general practices that work together to deliver integrated healthcare services within their communities.

PCNs are organised around neighbourhoods and cover a population of between 30,000 and 50,000 people.

Practices remain independent, but share funding for specific staff roles, including: clinical pharmacists, social prescribers, physiotherapists, physician associates and paramedics.

PCNs Timeline

2014 / 2019 - ANTECEDENTS

22 Oct 2014 - NHS Five Year Forward Review

Introduced a vision for greater collaboration between GP practices, and collaboration between practices and wider community: health services, hospitals and social care.


NHS Five Year Forward View

April 2016 - General Practice Forward Review

Introduced a voluntary Multispeciality Community Provider (MCP) contract to integrate general practice services with wider health care services. GPs were encouraged to work collectively to provide extended access.


31 March 2017 - NHS Next steps on the five year forward view

 Announced the intention to ‘encourage’ practices to work together in networks of between 30,000 and 50,000 patients.



7 Jan 2019 - The NHS Long Term Plan

Primary Care Networks are formally announced as one of the key changes within the NHS 10 Year Plan. For first time, formal collaboration between practices would happen under a shared network agreement and with a shared income stream for the practices that belong to the same PCN.


NHS Long Term Plan

31 Jan 2019 - 2019/20 GP Contract

The 2019/2020 GP Contract is designed to deliver the commitments made in the NHS 10 Year Plan. It includes details of what PCNs would be and what they might be expected to do.


29 March 2019 - Network Contract Directed Enhanced Service 2019/20

The focus of the Network Contract Directed Enhanced Service 2019/20 is establishing networks. It includes details regarding how much money PCNs will receive and what exactly is expected from them.


Network Contract DES Specification

15 May 2019 - Network agreements signed and sent

Deadline for practices to organise themselves into PCNs, appoint a Clinical Director (CD) and submit their network agreement to their Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

Joining a PCN is not compulsory. However, a substantial proportion of the increased funding for General Pratice will now be channelled through PCNs instead of going directly to individual practices.

June 2019 - Brighter Birkenhead PCN is officially created

Brighter Birkenhead PCN is officially agreed and signed off by NHS England.

The practices that form Brighter Birkenhead Network are:

  • Devaney Medical Centre
  • Hamilton Medical Centre
  • Paxton Medical Centre
  • Riverside Surgery
  • St Catherine’s Surgery
  • The Villa Medical Centre
  • Whetstone Medical Centre


From 1 July 2019

Hiring Additional Roles

  • Clinical Pharmacist (70% ARRS)
  • Social Prescribing Link Workers (100% ARRS)

From 2020

Hiring Additional Roles

  • Physician associates (70% ARRS)
  • First contact physiotherapists (70% ARRS)
  • First contact community paramedics (70% ARRS)

Delivery of Service Specifications 1 to 5 (2020/2021)

  • Structured medicines review and optimisation
  • Enhanced health in care homes
  • Anticipatory care
  • Personalised care
  • Supporting early cancer diagnosis

From 2021

Delivery of Service Specifications 6 and 7 (2021/2022)

  • Cardiovascular disease prevention and diagnosis
  • Tackling neighbourhood inequalities

Network Contract Details

PCN DES Contract Specification (PDF)

This specification applies to the first year of the Network Contract (from 1st April 2019 to 31st March 2020).

The focus for this period is to support the establishment of primary care networks (PCNs) and the recruitment of new workforce (Clinical Pharmacists, Social Prescribing link workers), with the bulk of service requirements coming in from April 2020 onward (until March 2024).

Following sign-up to the Network Contract DES, the requirements on GP practices apply from 1st July 2019.


This guide provides additional information to support the 2019/20 Network Contract DES.

Mandatory Network Agreement and Schedules

This Mandatory Network Agreement provides the main body to the Network Agreement.

The Schedules to the Mandatory Network Agreement are used to support the delivery of the DES contract.

Network Contract DES and VAT

This document is an information note from NHS England regarding the Network Contract DES and VAT.

PCN Frequently Asked Questions

This document provides answers to the most common questions regarding PNCs.