This site is intended for health professionals only
NHS England has pledged to introduce more than 20,000 additional clinical staff to general practice by 2036/37, building on ‘the success’ of the additional roles reimbursement scheme (ARRS).
Coming as part of today’s long-term workforce plan, NHS England said it would look to increase capacity and free up available appointments in general practice by bringing in 15,000 non-GP direct patient care (DPC) staff and more than 5,000 primary care nurses.
It said it sought ‘to extend the success’ of the ARRS, but NHS England did not specify if this meant it would introduce new roles to the scheme or add to the total available funding pot.
NHS England said: ‘This expansion would be carefully managed taking into account additional training of pharmacists, to ensure the growth in workforce is sustainable, and considers the additional capacity required to staff roles across primary care.’
Data published in May revealed PCNs and GPs had hired 29,103 more full-time equivalent (FTE) DPC staff, delivering on the Government’s manifesto commitment.
NHS England also announced today that it would support 3,000 pharmacists who have graduated – but who have not completed an independent prescriber course – to train to prescribe as independent clinicians.
Today’s plan also pointed to the need to embed personalised care roles into multidisciplinary teams (MDTs), targeted in areas with the greatest need, including primary care, mental health, and learning disability and autism services.
It cited estimates that one-in-five people who go to their GP do so with concerns that cannot be addressed with medical treatment.
According to current projections, by 2036/37 this expansion would see the number of care co-ordinators increase from 4,000 to 12,000; the number of social prescribers boosted from 3,000 to 9,000; and the number of health and wellbeing coaches increased from 1,000 to 6,000.
It is unclear if these roles are counted toward NHS England’s newly pledged 15,000 non-GP direct patient care (DPC) staff.
Earlier this year, Pulse PCN revealed that at least £64m of funding available under the ARRS for 2022-23 was forecast to go unspent, with less than a fifth of that sum set to be reallocated to PCNs.