About Us

Learn more about our Primary Care Network

Folkestone Hythe and Rural PCN is located in the East of Kent, covering the coastal towns of Hythe and Folkestone and the surrounding rural villages including Lyminge and Hawkinge. With its rolling countryside and coastal views, busy market towns, and views of the French coastline, this area of natural beauty exemplifies the reason Kent is known as the Garden of England. East Kent is the home of the Channel Tunnel providing speedy access to the continent, as well as the home to many large companies such as Saga and Holiday Extras, making this area a popular place to live and work.

The surgeries within this PCN provide general medical services as well as services tailored to the specific demographics for the population they serve. The PCN's current footprint is the combined boundaries of the constituent practices traveling west as far as Folkestone, North to Hawkinge and East to West Hythe.

Folkestone Hythe and Rural PCN have been working with system partners as well as healthcare organisations to improve the services provided to our patients.

a wooded area

GP practices work together in order to standardise the care across the practices in our area.

We work in close collaboration with other health care providers such as Kent and Medway Partnership Trust and Kent County Council. Our primary care network brings together the experience and skills of its doctors, nurses, pharmacists, practice managers and other non-clinical staff. We work closely with our Patient Participation Group to deliver appropriate services. Our PCN Patient Participations Group has representatives from each of the individual practices' PPGs as members.

image depicting care network

What is a PCN?

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, GP practices are working together with community, mental health, social care, pharmacy, hospital and voluntary services in their local areas in groups of practices known as primary care networks (PCNs).

Primary care networks (PCNs) build on existing primary care services and enable greater provision of proactive, personalised, coordinated and more integrated health and social care for people close to home. Clinicians describe this as a change from reactively  providing appointments to proactively caring for the people and communities they serve. Where emerging PCNs are in place in parts of the country, there are clear benefits for patients and clinicians.

Primary care networks are based on GP registered lists, typically serving natural communities of around 30,000 to 50,000. They should be small enough to provide the personal care valued by both patients and GPs, but large enough to have impact and economies of scale through better collaboration between practices and others in the local health and social care system.

PCNs form a key building block of the NHS long-term plan. Bringing general practices together to work at scale has been a policy priority for some years for a range of reasons, including improving the ability of practices to recruit and retain staff; to manage financial and estates pressures; to provide a wider range of services to patients and to more easily integrate with the wider health and care system. In addition, PCN funding provides the opportunity to recruit a more diverse skill mix into general practice, through recruitment of roles such as first contact physiotherapists, social prescribers and physician assistants.

What benefits do Primary Care Networks have for patients?

  • They offer a larger range of care services that weill be close to patient's homes, as well as improved access
  • PCNs merge with a wider range of health and community services
  • Patients will be able to receive support for a more complicated conditions, and will have access to the health and care services that can support them
  • Patients will be able to have more of a role in making decisions around their own health and the care they receive.

What can you expect from your PCN?

Additional healthcare professionals are being recruited to work on behalf of Primary Care Networks. Roles include Clinical Pharmacists, Frailty Teams, Mental Health professionals and Social Prescribing Link Workers. By introducing a greater skill mix, local people will get more access to the support they need to keep people healthy and independent. 

Find out more about the roles that are available in this PCN

The ultimate aim is to deliver better health outcomes for the local population, as well as a reduction in health inequalities. 

We also have doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals working collectively to try to anticipate a patient's needs, to avoid getting unwell in the first place. This will be part of a wider campaign to make people aware of the importance of taking better care of themselves to avoid future health issues.