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Ensuring successful implementation of a PCN Directed Enhanced Services Contract

We planned and supported the implementation of services in Southport and Formby GPs, in accordance with the latest Primary Care Network Directed Enhanced Services Contract.

Southport & Formby Health GP Federation was commissioned to implement the services detailed in the Primary Care Network (PCN) Directed Enhanced Service (DES) Contract specification 2020/21 to the nine practices that are not part of the local PCNs. MLCSU was commissioned to establish a robust project management structure and support and mentoring to the in-house project team.​

The objective of the project was to develop a structured plan that supported the implementation of the PCN DES for the identified population within Southport and Formby ensuring:​

  • Risks and issues to successful implementation were identified, managed and reduced with mitigations agreed and actioned​
  • A governance structure was developed to support the progress of the project and to provide appropriate assurance to the Southport & Formby Health Board of Directors and the clinical commissioning group
  • A communications and engagement plan was developed to ensure effective communication with all key stakeholders​
  • All planned actions and recruitment were completed and the project workstreams were fully implemented ​
  • Service delivery commenced for all service lines within the expected timeframes.​


Key outcomes – The Federation successfully implemented the project and its deliverables, developing a programme of audits and reviews to capture the improvements and benefits against the baselines and in line with the specification. The project team has developed strong lines of communication and is building good relationships with key stakeholders. In addition the team has increased their knowledge and practical experience of project management.​

Improved engagement with care homes – The GP Federation team had already made a good start on the project, making strong links with key stakeholders. This level of commitment to support all stakeholders highlighted a need to find the most effective ways to communicate with the care homes, which were under extreme pressure and had low expectations of any real impact from working within the DES. The team, however, kept up the momentum of regular contact, identifying WhatsApp as a useful alternative contact method, and ensuring the care coordinators prioritised understanding of how they could best work with care homes to ensure they were an integral part of the patient planning cycle.​

Matching patient needs to additional capacity – The level of uptake of the Extended Hours was much less than anticipated, so in discussion with practices and patients they looked at other ways to utilise this capacity to meet patient needs.​

Increased use of technology – The team reviewed the level of technology in use across health and care partners in the community in order to plan the requirements for future alignment and use of single platforms or of multiple platforms with the required level of connectivity and interface.​

The whole team would like to thank you for your support.​ It truly has been a pleasure working with you. We all feel your strong leadership gave us the direction and momentum we needed. You were able to pull together all our good ideas and plan the project in an efficient way. You taught us communication is the key to success and applying this within the organisation and to other stakeholders certainly helped us get to a place we never thought we would be. Your offer of ongoing support and the suite of documents will help us embrace future projects with confidence.”

Dr Lindsay McClelland, Southport & Formby Health GP Federation