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Only ‘enhanced level’ GPNs to be included in ARRS

Only ‘enhanced level’ GPNs to be included in ARRS

The Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) is being expanded to include only the role of general practice nurses (GPNs) who work at what is deemed an ‘enhanced level of practice’, it has been confirmed.

A letter from NHS England setting out the GP contract arrangements for 2024/25 has today revealed that enhanced practice nurses – who hold a level seven or above postgraduate certification or diploma in one or more specialist areas of care – can be recruited via the ARRS.

However, the contract offer states the role will ‘initially be capped’ at just one enhanced nurse per primary care network (PCN) – and two where the patient list size is 100,000 or over.

According to the Primary Care and General Practice Nursing Career and Core Capabilities Framework, enhanced practice nurses are a level above registered nurses and below advanced and consultant level practice nurses.

It was first revealed earlier this month that nurses would be added to the scheme as part of the new contract, and it was believed this would be GPNs more widely. However, it emerged this week that the move had ‘not been signed off’.

Speaking at a webinar on Monday, Royal College of Nursing (RCN) primary care lead Heather Randle had said the union did not know what the nurse role or its requirements would look like.

Meanwhile, the British Medical Association’s GP Committee deputy chair Dr David Wrigley – who is involved in negotiations with the government and NHS England on the GP contract – said there had been ‘no hint at all of practice nurses being included’.

The ARRS, introduced in 2019, allows PCNs to reimburse the salaries of some staff, including nursing associates, advanced nurse practitioners and pharmacists.

This is a breaking news story, more to follow…

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