‘ARRS cannot plug gaps in the GP workforce’ says College Chair

College Chair Professor Kamila Hawthorne featured in the Observer responding to reports that GPs are struggling to find work, calling on the government to allow practices to recruit GPs with ARRS funding. 

Professor Kamila Hawthorne, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "We urgently need more GPs. General practice has faced decades of neglect, underfunding and poor workforce planning, and now we don’t have the GPs to keep up with the growing need for our care. So, it’s extremely frustrating to hear accounts that some GPs are struggling to find vacancies. 

"While many practices are desperate for more GPs to ensure that they can give patients’ access to safe and timely care, the rules around the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) are limited. While members of the wider practice team are highly valued, these roles aren’t substitutes for GPs and mustn’t be used to plug gaps in the workforce. The College has been calling on the Government to allow practices to use ARRS funding to recruit more GPs and to increase the overall funding for general practice so we can recruit all the staff we need to meet patients growing levels of demand. 

"General practice is the bedrock of the NHS, but right now we are struggling. Our manifesto outlines seven solutions – including proper funding for recruitment and retention - to ensure that there are enough GPs to safeguard the future of general practice. This is the best and most effective route to ensuring patients can get the care they deserve, and all political parties must take heed." 

Further information

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Notes to editors

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 54,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.