ARRS funding should be available for GP and nursing roles recruitment – RCGP responds to QNI report

Responding to a report by the Queen’s Nursing Institute’s International Community Nursing Observatory looking at the impact of the introduction of the ARRS on the general practice nursing workforce in England, Professor Kamila Hawthorne, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: 

“This report raises some important challenges with the current Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS). General practice nurses are a hugely important part of the general practice team and the RCGP has long called for greater flexibility of the scheme to enable it to be used for them. In our recent budget submission, we have called on the Government to allow ARRS funding to be used to recruit both GP and nursing roles.

“The lack of comprehensive guidance on the different roles currently included within the ARRS has been challenging for employers, and the Government needs to ensure greater clarity about how these roles should be integrated into primary care teams to improve patient care. Those undertaking these roles should only be taking on activity clearly within their competencies and expertise, and their clinical activity must be under the overall supervision of a GP. The evidence around ARRS also needs to be strengthened to make sure that new staff are having a positive impact on patient outcomes and on the overall workload in general practice.

“Further resource also needs to be provided to general practice to support supervision, alongside concerted efforts to recruit and retain more GPs as well as nurses. We also need to see investment to support induction programmes for any new role working with general practice. GPs do not have protected time for supervision, nor do practices have access to large HR departments to support the integration of new roles. This report demonstrates that the additional workload that comes with supervision of new roles has not been properly accounted for in the past and this needs to be addressed urgently.”

Further information

RCGP press office: 0203 188 7659

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.