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.

Cramlington and Seaton Valley Logo

Cramlington & Seaton Valley Primary Care Network

Cramlington & Seaton Valley PCN have recruited clinical pharmacists, social prescribing link workers, paramedics, pharmacist technicians and mental health practitioners to work alongside general practices, creating additional resources for patients to access healthcare. The PCN are also working with community services and secondary care services.

Clinical Pharmacists

Clinical pharmacists have made a unique and valuable contribution to the primary care skill mix. Pharmacists contribute significantly to patient safety, bring medicines and prescribing expertise, support with prescribing tasks, support for patients with long term conditions including support for healthy lifestyles.

Social Prescribing Link Workers

What is Social Prescribing?

Social prescribing provides a 1:1 personalised support service with a Social Prescribing Link Worker (SPLW).

They will help you with a wide range of social, emotional, and practical needs with a focus on ‘What Matters to You’ helping to improve your mental/physical wellbeing and general health.

What can your SPLW support you with?

  • Housing, Finance, Benefits
  • Long term conditions
  • General and Emotional Wellbeing
  • Social Isolation and Integration
  • Volunteering, Employment and Learning

How will your SPLW support you?

Face to face or telephone sessions to support you to the right support by:

Working with you on what matters to you by:

  • Signposting – information and encouragement to access services
  • Facilitation – Information and support to access services
  • Navigation – Support to engage and access a service

How do you access the SPWL service?

Speak to your reception staff at your GP practice for further Information.


Paramedics can recognise and manage the deteriorating patient and can manage patients with long term conditions, minor injuries, and minor illness. They can also support patients who require wound care, have fallen, have MSK problems, and have urinary tract or respiratory infections. Paramedics can supply a range of medicines through PGDs, including antibiotics and analgesics.

Paramedics can support PCNs in responding to on the day demand by offering telephone triage or undertaking home visiting. They can also support PCNs to improve access to care by seeing minor ailments and injuries in surgery. Paramedics can support PCNs with the delivery of Enhanced Health in Care Homes and overall, their intervention should reduce the need for admission to hospital.

Pharmacy Technicians

Pharmacy technicians play an important role within general practice and complement the more clinical work of clinical pharmacists, through utilisation of their technical skillset. Working within primary care settings allows the pharmacy technician to apply their acquired pharmaceutical knowledge in tasks such as audits, discharge management, prescription issuing, and where appropriate, informing patients and other members of the primary care network (PCN) workforce. Work is often under the direction of clinical pharmacists as part of the PCN pharmacy team.

Mental Health Practitioners

Mental Health Practitioners (MHPs) support people of all ages with problems resulting from physical, mental, social, or development difficulties. MHPs offer urgent mental health appointments that would normally be booked with the Duty GP if they cannot wait for a routine GP appointment. Providing assessment, interventions, and support for people with mental health issues that can be managed within primary care, from initial presentation and ongoing.