FSRH consultation response: Primary Care Networks service specifications by NHSE

Posted 15 January 2020

Date: 15 Jan 2020

Type: FSRH Consultation Responses

We respond to the public consultation on Primary Care Networks’ (PCNs) Network Contract Direct Enhanced Service (DES) service specifications by NHS England (NHSE).

In our response, we signpost NHSE to best practice in innovative, collaborative commissioning in SRH services including in Primacy Care as showcased in our latest report revealing big untapped potential to embed SRH in new models such as PCNs in England.

NHSE consulted on five service specifications for PCNs, and our feedback focused on the early cancer diagnosis service specification, specifically cervical cancer. In our response, we:

  • Fully support the requirement for PCNs to work with Public Health commissioning teams on early diagnosis of cervical cancer via the development of local screening improvement plans
  • Call on NHSE to embed key elements of the national ‘Service specification no.25 Cervical Screening’ into the PCN service specification for early cancer detection whilst striking a balance on prescriptiveness
  • Support the proposal to appoint a clinical lead who will be responsible across the PCN for the delivery of the early cancer diagnosis service requirements. and suggest a specific focus, for this clinical lead, on increasing uptake of National Cancer Screening Programmes in practices and increasing awareness amongst practices of NHSE’s Public Health functions and obligations on cervical screening
  • Suggest more concrete metrics to gauge the success of the service such as indicators on cervical screening from the Public Health Outcomes Framework (PHOF) (‘Cancer screening coverage - cervical cancer age 25-49’ and ‘Cancer screening coverage - cervical cancer age 50-64’)

However, we also noted that the consultation period is too short to be meaningful, and NHSE risks missing contributions from important stakeholders.

Read our full response