What is 'Primary Care Services North Cumbria'?

“The front door of our NHS in North Cumbria”.

Primary Care Services North Cumbria is a collaboration of NHS Primary Care Networks and Partner Organisations working together to build resilience and improve patient outcomes.

It is supported by the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board at Place.

This collaboration has grown from long established working relationships across and between NHS general practices in North Cumbria, which have been strengthened following the formation of Primary Care Networks.

We serve a population of approximately 320,000 people across our eight Primary Care Networks. Work is ongoing with our health and care partners in community pharmacy, general ophthalmic, and dental services to bring all of our primary care together under the single umbrella of Primary Care Services North Cumbria  -  to facilitate better conversations between professionals and more joined up care for patients.

Primary Care Services North Cumbria is an emerging collaboration and aims to support resilience across primary care by being a platform to aid recruitment, service development, support, training and wellbeing for our primary care organisations.

Members of primary care staff at work

What is primary care?

The way primary care is offered has changed a lot over the last few years. We have 33 practices in North Cumbria – some are very small and some are much larger.

The definition of primary care includes wider health partners including pharmacy, dentistry, optometry, as well as the wide range of roles in general practice.

It’s worth noting that practices offer a variety of face-to-face, online and telephone appointments. All practices will triage you over the phone this allows the most urgent cases to be prioritised and you will be contacted by the most appropriate health care professional.

Most have problems recruiting GPs because there simply aren’t enough of them, so health organisations in North Cumbria have been working hard to broaden the workforce in primary care. This means you may not need to see a GP for your particular concern or health condition and instead will see a different specialist in the wider primary care team.


What are Primary Care Networks?

Primary care networks (PCNs) are GP practices working together with community, mental health, social care, pharmacy, hospital and voluntary services in their local areas. They 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. 

The 33 GP member practices in north Cumbria have been divided into their 8 Primary Care Networks (PCNs). Clinicians describe this as a change from reactively providing appointments to proactively caring for the people and communities they serve. 

More on our PCNs in North Cumbria here.


Map showing the areas of the Primary Care Network Areas in North Cumbria