It has been announced by the BMA GP Committee England that occupational therapists will be included in the new GP contract as one of the professions in the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme. There will now be 100 per cent reimbursement for all additional staff recruited via Primary Care Networks (PCNs). For the average PCN in 2020/21, the funding equates to around seven Full Time Equivalent staff through an average reimbursement pot of £344,000.
This development is in response to PCNs recognising the need for greater workforce flexibility. Inclusion within the scheme is subject to satisfying three criteria:
– adequate supply nationwide to meet demand;
– demand from general practice for the roles; and
– a guarantee that the roles are additional to those that are already in place to avoid the risk of diverting funding for existing primary care staff with no net increase in capacity.
At the request of PCN clinical directors, from April 2020 PCNs will be able to recruit from a range of roles within the scheme to make up the workforce they need. These include: