NHSE recently announced the introduction of the GP Assistant role to the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) in late September 2022 to scale up additional roles in primary care, as well as increasing flexibility for primary care networks (PCNs) to do this to support general practice. The aim is to boost capacity within Primary Care and the NHS ahead of winter pressures. with details outlined in the following letter sent by NHSE to GP Practices and Primary Care Network leads on 26 September 2022: https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/supporting-general-practice-primary-care-networks-and-their-teams-through-winter-and-beyond/
FAQs to support – Introduction of GP Assistant (GPA) role in the ARRS Scheme
NHSE have since provided further FAQs (below) to support implementation of the GPA role, and have asked to direct any general queries on the inclusion of the GPA role in the ARRS scheme to: email@example.com
1. Where should we direct queries about the inclusion of the GPA role in the additional roles scheme?
Please direct all queries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Where should we direct staff members who would like to take up the accredited national GPA training offer?
Please direct them to email@example.com.
3. Can I receive ARRS funding from Oct onwards for a GPA who is currently studying on the accredited programme?
Yes. GPAs were not included in PCN baselines. As such, PCNs are able to employ GPNs, and claim reimbursement for their salaries as with any other additional role, if staff meet the requirements outlined in the Network Contract DES.
4. Once the GPA has completed training and moves from Trainee GPA to GPA, are they still eligible for funding?
5. Is back dated funding available for a GPA who has already passed the accredited programme and hired into the role?
No, PCNs can only claim reimbursement for GPA salaries from the point at which the role is introduced in the Network Contract DES. It is not possible to claim funding for back dated salaries prior to that date.
6. Is there a cap on numbers for Trainee GPAs?
No, recruitment is not capped.
7. Can non-accredited GPAs move between practices?
Yes, hiring decisions are made by individual PCNs, which hold responsibility for ensuring that staff meet the requirements of the DES.
8. Can each practice interpret what the job role will be, or will there be a requirement for them to choose either a non-clinical or ‘hybrid’ role (clinical and non-clinical)?
PCNs practices can choose how to deploy staff in this role, within the outlines of the competency framework and role description.
- GPA e-lfh link (includes GPA competency framework): https://www.e-lfh.org.uk/programmes/general-practice-assistant/
9. Is there any support offered/monitoring of progress or will this be down to the GP practice? How will learners complete if no evidence has to be submitted?
GPAs can choose to take part in the formal accreditation programme. If they do not, they will be expected to develop competencies, under the supervision of a GP, in line with the competency framework.
10. What are the implications on indemnity and public liability insurance and/or arrangements?
GPAs will operate under the contract, guidance and supervision of GPs, as with other ARRS roles. GPs hold responsibility for services delivered under their contract.
Table to show capabilities across Band 7 and Band 8a (AfC) in Primary Care.
|First Contact Practitioner Band 7||Advanced Practitioner Band 8a|
|Manages undifferentiated undiagnosed conditions.||Manages undifferentiated undiagnosed conditions.|
|Able to identify red flags and underlying serious pathology and take appropriate action.||Able to identify red flags and underlying serious pathology and take appropriate action.|
|Works within practice, across PCN, multiorganisational, cross professions and across care pathways and systems including health, social care, and the the voluntary sectors.||Works within practice, across PCN, CCG and ICS, multi organisational, cross professionals and across care pathways and systems including health, social care, and the voluntary sectors.|
|High level complex decision making to inform the diagnosis, investigation, management, and on referral within scope of practice.||High-level of complex decision making to inform diagnosis, investigation complete management of episodes of care within a broad scope of practice.|
|Actively takes a personalised care approach to enable shared decision making with the presenting person.||Flexible skill set to adapt to and meet needs of the PCN Population and support public health|
|Contributes to audit and research projects.||Manages medical complexity.|
|Contributes to education and supervision within their scope of practice for the multi-professional team.||Actively takes a personalised care and population centred care approach to enable shared decision making with the presenting person.|
|Facilitates interprofessional learning in area of expertise.||Actively engages in care from a Population care viewpoint.|
|Promotes and develops area of expertise across care pathways.||Leads audit and research projects.|
|Working toward Advanced Clinical Practice (level 7 across all 4 pillars).||Leading audit within areas of capability.|
|Provides multi-professional AP clinical and CPD supervision across all four pillars with relevant training.|
|Leads education in their area of expertise.|
|Enables, facilitates, and supports change across care pathways and traditional boundaries|
|Working toward level 8.|