Care Networks

Primary Care Networks (PCNs) were formalised into the NHS in July 2019, helping practices to work together and share resources.

DDHF provides core services and staff on behalf of the three PCNs in Durham Dales. Our 12 member practices are grouped geographically to make up each of the networks.

How DDHF works with PCNs

There are 3 PCNs in Durham Dales, each comprising a geographically grouping of our member practices.

As DDHF was set up in 2014 by the 12 practices to promote close collaboration and integration of healthcare, it was a logical progression when all 3 PCNs formally partnered with us to provide these new and additional services to patients.

We recruit, develop and manage specialist staff and deploy them to work across the networks on behalf of the PCNs.

With a streamlined process, shared learning and the benefit of DDHF’s experience of innovation and delivery, patients have seamless access to new and specialist services.

How it helps patients, practices and staff

For patients, PCNs mean they get appointments with specialists in their own local surgery. Clinical Pharmacists, for example, provide longer and more frequent medication reviews, while a network physio can be accessed quicker than through referral.

Practices in each of the three PCNs know they can rely on DDHF to bring into their practices fully trained, high-quality staff whose recruitment, management and professional development is all taken care of.

For current and future staff, they know they are providing vital services to patients, working in practices with shared values and a common mindset, and with an organisation that priorities staff development and resilience, all in an area of outstanding natural beauty.


“The introduction of Primary Care Networks means we can do more to meet the changing needs of our patients, in partnership with our neighbouring practices. 

As one of DDHF’s founding practices, it made sense to appoint them to deliver our PCN services. Their track record of delivery and innovation meant we knew we’d get highly trained healthcare professionals, who would fit perfectly into our practice and put the patients first.”

– Dr Daniel Wilmer, Clinical Director, Dales 1 PCN


A map of the 3 Primary Care Networks in Durham Dales