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Somerset Primary Care Board (PCB)

Updated on Thursday, 30 July 2020, 101 views

Somerset Primary Care Board (PCB): What is it and why do we need it?

What is the PCB?
The PCB was formally established in June 2020 and replaces the Somerset GP Board.

Why do we need a PCB?
The Somerset Health and Social Care System (HSCS) is moving to an Integrated Care System (ICS). The PCB is a unified entity that brings together expertise from across General Practice in order to create a single formal representative “voice” that can effectively represent the views of Primary Care providers on the ICS. The ICS cannot liaise with nearly 60 individual General Practice providers; The PCB has therefore been established to fulfil this function.

Who is in the PCB?
There are 3 main “arms” to the PCB: The LMC members providing “contractual and negotiating” input; The PCN CD members providing clinical input; The SPH members providing the “operational arm” of the PCB.

There is, additionally, input from the Acute Trusts through their Directors of Primary Care, from the CCG as the commissioner of Primary Care, and from the Somerset Training Hub (STH) to provide education and workforce expertise.

Who are the members of the PCB?
The PCB comprises 3 LMC representatives, 4 PCN CD Board members, 3 SPH Board members, 2 CCG members, 2 Trust Medical Directors, and 1 STH representative.

A full list of the members can be found via this link PCB Members (you will need to be logged into this website to view this page)

What are the Terms of Reference for the Board?
The Collaborative Agreement can be found here

What is an ICS?
The Somerset Integrated Care System (ICS) will bring together all commissioners and providers of health and social care in the county. It will comprise a Strategic Commissioner (SC), who will develop a long term population health based strategy, then commission an Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) comprising all providers to provide integrated services based on a long term contract (typically 10 years) with population based outcomes.

Why do we need an ICS?
It will bring together health and social care, and should allow providers to work collaboratively to improve patient care and optimise the cost effectiveness of care provision. It will also facilitate investment in preventative care and the shift of resources from secondary into primary and community care.

Where will General Practice fit into the ICS/ICP model?
Commissioners and other Providers in Somerset recognise the value of Primary Care to our System, how effective and cost effective it is, and the need for it to remain stable and to thrive. Moreover, there is an ambition to invest additionally in Primary Care, in the expectation that this will not only improve care but will also help to “balance the books” in the HSCS. Primary Care will be expected to support the remainder of the System to optimise care, but will be supported and funded to do so, and will share in the reinvestment of any resulting “savings”.

The PCB will need to have substantial input into the ICS/ICP in order for this to become a reality.

How will the PCB influence the ICS/ICP?
The fact that the PCB is a unified “voice” for Primary Care helps the CS and ICP to think of Primary Care as an important part of the ICP and to accept its views. The PCB will exert influence by having representation on the ICS and ICP Boards, and is already doing so on the shadow ICS Board and the Provider Collaboration Forum currently being established (see the following link: Collaboration Flowchart).

What powers will the PCB have?
The nature of General Practice means that, whilst the PCB can represent the interest of practices globally, it will not have the statutory power to compel individual practices to engage in the commissioning and provision decisions made by the ICS and ICP (which would be negotiated by the LMC once proposed). This is the same as the current situation, whereby the LMC is able to recommend (or reject) a Primary Care Service proposal, but cannot compel practices to follow its advice. If the PCB operates successfully, however, the majority of practices should see the benefit of participating.

How will the PCB be funded?
Until April 2021, the PCB will be funded from the Primary Care Transformation Fund. We will need to agree the source of funding beyond the above date; this will be dependent in part on the progress made towards the implementation of the formal ICS and ICP in Somerset. It is likely to be funded by the Somerset System that requested it.

Dr Berge Balian
Chair, Somerset Primary Care Board

Somerset Primary Care Board minutes of meetings  (you will need to be logged into this website to view this page)

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