• Tara Humphrey

How to Negotiate your Primary Care Network Services (2022)

Updated: Apr 27

This blog is for Primary Care Networks that commission services on behalf of their network.

You may commission your Federation to deliver services, host the employment of staff on your behalf, or you may commission other parties to deliver projects, the management or clinical services.


Whatever the arrangement, if money changes hands, both parties must agree on what is value for money and what the deliverables and outcomes should be.

How to negotiate your PCN Services

To support this negotiation, it's vital to be clear on:

  • The what - A detailed description of services

  • The why – The benefits of the service

  • The who – Which roles will manage the services, and what is the escalation channel to manage risks and issues?

  • When will the agreement start, and when will contract reviews take to ensure both parties meet regularly to keep things on track.

In a re-negotiation, an annual report of deliverables may also be helpful as evidence and confirmation of what has been achieved.


Words of warning for providers and commissioners of Primary Care Network services. You will invite room for conflict if;

  1. You rush the partnership and fail to do your due diligence

  2. Your arrangements are based on a verbal contract, as this will leave too much open for interpretation and a mismatch of expectations

  3. You are not clear on what is wanted or needed

  4. You fail to raise or address the risks and issues

  5. You fail to manage the contract

  6. You put pressure on the other parties to deliver things that were not agreed

  7. You withhold information relating to the services

  8. You are dishonest

  9. You fail to deliver the services or support

  10. There is no champion or sponsor of the project once implementation has started

  11. You underestimate the mobilisation process

  12. You have not been transparent with the procurement of services and finances

  13. The majority of the network never wanted the service in the first place

  14. There are no clear points of contact or communication

To support you with your next partnership, check out 'Questions that will inform your next Primary Care Network Partnership' and use the checklist to dot the I's and cross the T's. The blog can be accessed here.

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Tara provides project and network management and training to Primary Care Networks and coaching support to clinical leads and has worked with 11 Training Hubs and 19 Primary Care Networks to date.


Tara has an MBA in Healthcare Leadership and Management, is published in the London Journal of Primary Care, is the author of over 200 blogs also hosts The Business of Healthcare Podcast.


Find out more about THC Primary Care at www.thcprimarycare.co.uk


And follow Tara on Twitter @THCPrimarycare