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What is primary care? 

Most people get most of their care through their family doctors, but the way primary care is offered has changed a lot over the last few years. We have 35 practices in north Cumbria – some are very small and some are much larger.

Most have problems recruiting GPs because there simply aren’t enough of them, so we have been working hard to broaden the workforce in primary care so you may not need to see a GP for your particular concern or health condition.

Practices offer a variety of face-to-face, online and telephone appointments. All practices will triage you over the phone which means the most urgent cases can be prioritised and you will be contacted by the most appropriate health care professional.

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Ed Tallis
Director of Primary Care

Ed has significant experience in the NHS in north Cumbria, and has also worked in the private and charitable sectors, most recently with Macmillan Cancer Support.

You can reach our Primary Care Team at: cuccg.primarycare@nhs.net


•    35 GP practices in North Cumbria, ranging in size from 800 patients to 36,600 patients with an average list size of around 7,500.   Total population 323,000

•    Approximately 1.6 million appointments are provided in General Practice in North Cumbria in a year.

•    Plus 36,000 Extended Access appointments per year 

•    Out of hours services are provided by Cumbria Health on Call (CHoC) which were rated outstanding by CQC.

•    North Cumbria GP vacancy rate averages around 20% with some areas in the west of Cumbria as high as 39% - National GP vacancy rate is around 12%.  

•    Demographic pressures, patient expectation and more care provided in the community has seen a rise in demand of 33% in five years

•    National Patients survey shows that North Cumbria practices meet or exceed national average.  General Practice in North Cumbria has historically been of high quality and continues to perform well.

Find out more including the areas each ICC covers here.

An integrated care community is where teams work together to improve the overall health and wellbeing of their community.

How will we do this?

  1. Joining up health and care services to work better together
  2. Providing more care out of hospital where possible
  3. Supporting people to have information about their health conditions

Health and social care professionals, GPs, the voluntary and third sector along with the community will work as one team to support the health and wellbeing of local people.

North Cumbria has been divided into 8 ICCs based on groups of GP practices and their patients.

By understanding the challenges that each area faces, it is hoped that the community can work together with health and care organisations to improve the health and wellbeing of local people.

A new GP contract was agreed between NHS England and the British Medical Association (BMA) in January 2019.  It sets out how GP services will help deliver the NHS Long Term Plan published in January 2019.

The NHS Long Term Plan committed £4.5 billion more for primary medical and community health services by 2023/24.

The Primary Care Networks (PCNs) are made up of all the GP practices and mirror the ICC areas. Each PCN has a Clinical Director as detailed in the drop down box below.

•    Addressing workload issues

•    Developing Primary Care Networks (PCN)

•    Improving Quality and Outcomes Framework

•    Joining up urgent care services

•    Using digital technologies

•    Delivering new services

•    Providing more certainty about funding for 5 years

•    Setting up a new clinical negligence scheme


A few clips from some of our past GP conferences where GPs from across north Cumbria came together for development and learning.

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