GP Practices

Primary care is the day-to-day healthcare available in every local area and the first place people go when they need health advice or treatment. It’s the first stop for symptoms that are new or for concerns about physical or mental health.

Primary care includes:

  • GPs (general practitioners) – the family or local doctor; out of hours GP services
  • Pharmacies (chemists)
  • community and practice nurses; community midwives and health visitors
  • family planning or sexual health clinics
  • dentists; opticians; hearing care providers

Primary care professionals – such as GPs, practice nurses or pharmacists – help take care of the basics of care, focusing on preventing illness, making diagnoses, and treating conditions that don’t need hospital care. Another important part of the work is preventative medicine and health promotion. This can include clinics for child immunisations and smoking cessation as well as advice on lifestyle during the GP consultation. GPs also have a vital role to play in safeguarding vulnerable children and adults, and involving appropriate agencies. GPs have an important role to play in the management of not just of acute problems but also of chronic diseases and the treatment of patients with multiple health conditions, particularly in an ever increasing older population.

Primary Care Networks

NHS England’s Long-Term Plan outlined the ambition for Integrated Care Systems and the BMA GP (England) committee and NHS England agreed through national contract negotiations for the development and roll out of Primary Care Networks (PCNs). From the 1 July 2019, 9 PCNs were established in Bolton.

Also see the Geographies section of this website for a map of GP practices and the PCN each is part of.

The King's Fund has a short animation on the health and social care system under the Health and Care Act (2022) How does the NHS in England Work?


The Bolton picture

Further useful links