North Connect is one of your local NHS Primary care networks (PCN) with a network of 7 local GP practices working together to enhance and deliver patient care. Primary Care Networks were established in 2019 under a five year framework which is due to be reviewed in 2024/25.

Our North Connect PCN network is led by two Clinical Directors, Dr Diviash Thakrar of Acre Surgery, and Dr Martin Hall of Devonshire Lodge Surgery and covers approximately 52,000 residents in Northwood, Northwood Hills, Eastcote, Harefield and parts of Ruislip. 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). The North Connect member practices are Acre Surgery and Carepoint Practice (based at Northwood Health Centre), Acrefield Surgery in South Ruislip, Devonshire Lodge in Eastcote, Eastbury Practice in Northwood, The Harefield Practice and The Mountwood Surgery in Northwood.

The aim is to 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. 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. Our PCN has recruited a growing workforce of pharmacists, mental health workers, health and wellbeing coaches, social prescribers, physiotherapists and other clinical roles that will deliver services for patients across the neighbourhood and help them if they need to access other health or social services if needed.

So far we have held two roadshows taking health services into the community, working with our partners and offering on the day blood pressure readings, booking health checks, and letting people know about the new services available such as social prescribing and health and wellbeing coaching. Our most recent Community Roadshow was at Emmanuel Church, Northwood HA6 1AS on 5th September, where we had 482 patients from all practices within the PCN attending for health advice and check-ups, with 474 blood pressure readings completed.

Each GP practice has a Patient Participation Group (PPG) which is a group of volunteer patients who work together to improve services and patient experience. PPGs are often looking for new members and some practices have a PPG application form on their web site if you want to join. Alternatively, contact the Practice Manager at your local practice to find out how to get involved in your local PPG.

Information on your PCN as it develops will be sent out through your GP practice so watch their websites and communications for updates and information. New websites are in the process of being built so you’ll find a new and updated practice website soon.