Episode 161 – The challenges and impacts of the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) in general practice

In this episode, we talk to Dr Zoe Anchors, a Research Fellow based at the Centre for Health and Clinical Research at the University of the West of England.

Title of paper: A qualitative investigation of the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme in primary care

Available at:

The government has delivered on its commitment of recruiting 26,000 more primary care professionals through the ARRS in order to reduce patient waiting lists, widen the range of healthcare services and meet the needs of local populations. This qualitative analysis supports the positive impact of these additional roles in broadening the healthcare available to patients, and finds similar challenges (i.e., lack of career progression and supervision; lack of understanding of role descriptions and scope creep; problematic roadmaps; and poor integration) to implementation previously identified. However, our data reveals the scheme’s inflexibility and lack of available workforce particularly impacted Primary Care Networks in deprived areas resulting in the potential exacerbation of health inequalities, with the needs of populations not necessarily being met. More flexibility needs to be provided about who and what is funded under the scheme, with particular focus in areas of higher deprivation.

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