Expanding the Horizon: Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme in NHS General Practice

May 19, 2023


The National Health Service (NHS) is the backbone of healthcare in the United Kingdom, delivering high-quality services to millions of patients every year. General practice, in particular, plays a vital role in providing primary care services to patients in their local communities. However, with increasing demands and evolving healthcare needs, the NHS has recognised the importance of expanding the workforce within general practice. 

To address this, the NHS introduced the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) as a transformative initiative to bolster the capabilities and effectiveness of general practice teams. 

In this blog post, we will explore the significance of the ARRS in enhancing patient care and the benefits it brings to both practitioners and the healthcare system as a whole.

Enhancing Patient Care:

The ARRS aims to alleviate some of the workload pressure on general practitioners (GPs) by introducing a range of additional roles into general practice teams. These roles include physician associates, clinical pharmacists, social prescribers, paramedics, physios , GP assistants , digital transformation lead and health coaches, among others. By integrating these additional roles, patients can benefit from a more holistic and comprehensive approach to their care.

Physician associates and clinical pharmacists, for instance, can provide support by assisting with medication reviews, chronic disease management, and minor ailments, thereby freeing up GPs' time to focus on complex cases. They can also help with signing of scripts , actioning of documents and path results and also patient triage.

Social prescribers play a crucial role in connecting patients with community resources and support services, promoting overall well-being and addressing social determinants of health. Paramedics bring their expertise in urgent care and emergency situations, enabling timely responses to acute conditions within the general practice setting.

Digital Transformation Lead role is fully reimbursable role to help practices embark on their digital journey. GP assistants ( are up skilled non clinical staff ) and can be used to help relieve pressure of clinical staff.

Benefits to Practitioners:

The ARRS not only benefits patients but also presents numerous advantages for healthcare professionals working in general practice. By introducing additional roles, GPs can delegate certain tasks, allowing them to concentrate on more specialised aspects of care. This redistribution of responsibilities leads to a better work-life balance and reduced burnout rates among practitioners.

Collaboration among different healthcare professionals within the general practice team fosters a supportive and inclusive work environment. It encourages multidisciplinary learning and skill sharing, leading to a more cohesive and effective delivery of care. The diverse expertise brought by the additional roles broadens the scope of practice, providing GPs with opportunities for professional development and expanding their knowledge base.

Benefits to the Healthcare System:

The ARRS has a positive impact on the healthcare system as a whole. By relieving pressure on GPs, it helps reduce waiting times for appointments and improves access to primary care services. The integration of additional roles strengthens the resilience of general practice teams, making them better equipped to handle the increasing demands and complexity of patient cases.

Furthermore, the ARRS contributes to cost-effectiveness by optimizing the allocation of resources. The diverse skill sets brought by the additional roles allow for more targeted care, reducing unnecessary referrals to secondary care and alleviating the strain on hospitals. This integrated approach enhances care coordination, reducing duplication of services and improving overall efficiency in the healthcare system.


The Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme represents a significant step forward in the evolution of NHS general practice. By integrating various additional roles, the ARRS enhances patient care, improves practitioners' well-being, and benefits the healthcare system as a whole. This collaborative and multidisciplinary approach paves the way for a more sustainable and resilient primary care system, capable of meeting the evolving healthcare needs of the population. 

As the ARRS continues to expand, it holds the potential to revolutionise the way healthcare is delivered, empowering both patients and practitioners to achieve better health outcomes and overall well-being.

How can Exelcius Health help ?

1. We can with ARRS staff recruitment especially clinical pharmacists , physician associates , GP assistants and Digital Transformation Lead.

2. There is no additional cost to the practice or the PCN in using our services. We will allocate staff to your practice or PCN using your underspent of ARRS funds.

3. You will not be responsible for any HR matters pertaining to staff recruited by us.

4. Many PCNs across the country are using our services to digitally transform their PCN or practices using the ARRS funded Digital Transformation Lead role.

5. Contact us today for a FREE and no obligation strategic conversation around how we can help your practice and or practices in your PCN

Author : Sindhu Balakrishnan, an experienced General Practice Senior Practice Manager , COO ( Exelcius Health )