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Labour pledges to review ARRS and cut GP red tape

Labour pledges to review ARRS and cut GP red tape

Labour has pledged to review the additional roles reimbursement scheme (ARRS) and cut GP bureaucracy if the party wins next week’s general election.

Doctor leaders have called for the addition of GPs to the scheme as it gives a ‘perverse incentive’ for PCNs to hire less-qualified healthcare professionals in the place of doctors, having inadvertently created an unforeseen GP employment crisis.

Now shadow health secretary Wes Streeting has said he will review the scheme, should he become the next health secretary, a Labour Party spokesperson confirmed to Pulse.

The party also told Pulse it will ‘consult with GPs’ regarding what unnecessary GP bureaucracy needs to be cut. This would include looking at the wellbeing QOF indicator to reduce GP burnout risk that was introduced last year, Pulse understands.

And, in order to fulfil its commitment to ‘bring back the family doctor’ and offer GP continuity of care where patients want this, the party confirmed that a financial incentive would be brought in for practices.

It said its commitment to update and improve the NHS App would come from within existing funds for digital transformation and IT, however.

And its promises to train more GPs are in line with the NHS’s own long-term workforce plan, which the party stressed it helped to bring about.

The party has previously said that it wants to increase the share of NHS funding for primary care but, asked by Pulse, the party would not be drawn on a timeframe for this.

It would also not commit to tearing up the unpopular 2024/25 GP contract, which is subject to a dispute between NHS England and the BMA, with GP partners currently being balloted on collective action.

Labour’s GP pledges

  • Training thousands more GPs
  • Updating the NHS App so patients can easily book and rearrange appointments
  • Cut the red tape that ties up GPs time so they can spend more time with patients
  • Bring back the family doctor, so patients can see the same GP each appointment if they choose to
  • Trial new Neighbourhood Health Centres, which will bring together family doctors, physiotherapists, mental health specialists, dentists, district nurses, care workers, and health visitors all under one roof.

According to the party’s election manifesto, published earlier this month, ‘GPs are the front door to the health service for most people’, with ‘excellent primary care’ the ‘key to earlier diagnosis’. However it claimed that ‘too often it is not possible to get an appointment, so Labour will reform the system’.

It has said this will happen by trialling ‘neighbourhood health centres’ which would have GPs and other community health staff ‘under one roof’.

Mr Streeting said: ‘Labour will provide the investment and reform needed to get patients seen on time again and bring back the family doctor.

‘In 2024, patients should not have to queue up at 8am on the phone to book an appointment, or worse still queue around the block. We will end the 8am scramble by allowing patients to easily book appointments to see the doctor they want, in the manner they choose. But that change will only happen if people vote for the NHS and vote Labour on 4 July.’

A Cogora survey has shown that the issues surrounding GP recruitment is the key item which GPs wish the new Government to focus on.



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Nathaniel Dixon 27 June, 2024 5:15 pm

“reviews” are an old New labour tactic to kick things into the long grass, in case anyone was wondering help is not coming.

Not on your Nelly 27 June, 2024 5:43 pm

Funny how there is never any details about how they would stop the 8am Rush. The appointments are fixed and limited. The demand and expectation unlimited. Continuity is impossible as no one in their right mind works full time. So how is any of this going to work?? Still nothing about getting patients seen in secondary care in less than 1 year. Increase appointments in primary care is just going to increase that back log without proper appointments in all departments up stream. Waste of everyone’s time all round.

Yes Man 28 June, 2024 7:09 am

Wouldn’t it be funny if Labour was the party that started charging patients for GP appointments?

Peter Jones 28 June, 2024 9:25 am

More GPs and lower list sizes per GP, with money diverted from ARRS.

Adam Crowther 28 June, 2024 12:43 pm

Rather than stoking demand and entitlement is any political party going to address the capacity issue which requires huge investment and commitment to continue to do so 🤔

Nicholas Marotta 2 July, 2024 12:44 pm

All airy fairy bollox. Will be more cuts. Only greens have a concrete manifesto to raise tax and increase wages in the nhs