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Frequently asked questions

What does PCN stand for? 

A PCN is a Primary Care Network.

Why do I need to know about PCNs? 

There are two main reasons to tell patients about our network: 

Firstly, if you are contacted by or referred to a member of our network team, then it’s easier for patients to verify staff’s identities. 

Secondly, as PCNs are still relatively young, it’s a chance to introduce patients to these new services and the staff who deliver them. 

What staff and services does the PCN offer? 

Each network chooses the services and staff that will most benefit patients in their area. 

Follow the link to meet our team.

Which practices are in the PCN? 

Weymouth and Portland PCN comprises 6 GP practices –  The Bridges Medical Centre, Cross Road Surgery, Dorchester Road Surgery, Royal Crescent Surgery, Royal Manor Health Care, Wyke Regis & Lanehouse Medical Practice.

Visit our Practices.

How long have PCNs existed? 

Since 2019, when they were introduced alongside the NHS Long Term Plan and the revised GP contract. 

What are PCNs for? 

To provide new, easily accessible services that meet the changing needs of people in the local area. There is a particular focus on helping the increasing number of people with long-term conditions manage their health and promoting positive, preventative healthcare. 

How do they work, and who runs them? 

Each network has a Clinical director – ours is Dr Laura Godfrey, and a board made up of representatives from each practice.  

NHS England gives each network funding based on the number of patients their member practices look after. The board and Clinical Director decide which services patients would most benefit from and recruit specialist staff to provide those services. 

Are PCNs anything to do with privatisation? 

No. They exist solely within the NHS. All network funding comes centrally from NHS England, and all PCN services are available to patients through their GP practice. 

What does it mean for patients? 

There is a broader range of specialist services that are now easily accessible through GP practices and tailored to the specific needs of the patients. It also means patients will get to the best person to help them sooner. 

What does it mean for practices? 

There are clear and consistent pathways for practices to refer patients to the specialist services that patients need.


How do I access PCN services? 

The best route is through your GP practice. Depending on the service, a member of the admin or reception team may be able to refer you. For some services, it will require a Doctor to make a referral.  

A member of PCN staff has contacted me; how can I verify their identity? 

There is a list of our current staff in a previous answer in the FAQs. Team members will also be able to confirm information with you that your GP practice holds. 

Do you have another question?

If you’d like to know something about PCNs or our team and services that we haven’t answered, then why not let us know?

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