Feature Content, Primary Care News

How can PCNs and practices help to manage their ARRS roles more effectively?

Content by Agilio Primary Care.

The Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) was first launched in 2019, offering primary care networks (PCNs) a way to alleviate some of the growing pressures on their GPs and practices and be able to maintain a high standard of care for their patients.

The aims of the ARRS scheme are to:

  • Improve patient access to primary care: With the introduction of the ARRS roles, it means that patients have access to a much wider range of healthcare services which in turn, helps to address the current issues of longer waiting times and delayed access to necessary care.
  • Help to address the shortage of GPs and other healthcare professional roles.
  • Enhance the quality of care that is provided through additional support and resources. ARRS roles help to contribute to improving the quality of care provided to patients, including more time diagnoses, more effective treatments, and significantly better follow-up care.
  • Support the new model of care, such as multi-disciplinary teams, which helps to address the increasing demand for health care services and the changing needs of patients.

As effective as these ARRS roles are, supporting the development and coordination of these individuals can come with its challenges and many organisations are ill-equipped to be able to find an effective way to manage these roles within their own PCN.

So how can these PCNs and practices help to manage their ARRS roles more effectively?

  1. Define the right roles and responsibilities: primary care organisations need to work with their ARRS staff members to correctly define their roles and responsibilities. This would include defining the remit of their work, identifying how they will work with other staff members, and determining the extent of their authority.
  2. Provide education and training: primary care organisations can provide ARRS staff with the necessary education and training resources to develop their skills and knowledge. This can include access to training courses, shadowing opportunities, and support for their continuing professional development.
  3. Encourage an effective team environment: good communication and teamwork are essential for effective service delivery in primary care. PCNs and GP practices should provide opportunities for ARRS staff to work collaboratively with other staff members and support them in building and nurturing effective working relationships.
  4. Establish clinical governance arrangements: primary care organisations should establish clinical governance arrangements that cover their ARRS staff. This should include clear policies and procedures, clinical supervision, and access to education and training.
  5. Provide appropriate HR support: primary care organisations should provide appropriate HR support to their ARRS staff. This includes supporting recruitment, induction, training, appraisal, and performance management. It should also ensure that staff members are aware of the practice’s HR policies and procedures and that these arrangements are reviewed regularly.
  6. Coordinate working arrangements: primary care organisations should coordinate working arrangements for their ARRS staff, ensuring that staff members have access to the necessary equipment and resources and ensure that their work schedules are managed effectively.

Tools to Support the Coordination of Development of ARRS Roles

To help PCNs and practices effectively manage their influx of ARRS-recruited staff and continue their development, Agilio Software’s range of online tools help to ensure that ARRS-recruited staff members are deployed correctly and can provide essential support to the practices and their patients.

Tool 1: Clinical Supervision, Competency Frameworks, Appraisals, and Career Portfolios

Ensuring your permanent staff keeps on top of their appraisals and develops correctly can be difficult at the best of times, but throwing ARRS-recruited staff into the mix can make the task almost impossible. Through Clarity Additional Roles, you can easily track and support the continuing professional development of these Additional roles as well as First Contact Practitioners (FCPs).

The software is designed to streamline the appraisal and development process, making it easy for practitioners and clinical supervisors to track progress against capability frameworks and Roadmaps to Practice, and identify areas of improvement.

Tool 2: Improving communication and instant access to local practice information

As ARRS-recruited staff move between multiple practices, you want to ensure that the right information for the right practice is available to them at the click of a button so they can hit the ground running.

TeamNet offers an easy way for all members of the team, including temporary roles, to access important practice-related information from policies, procedures, contact lists, to staff directories and more.

TeamNet, which is trusted by 70 percent of GP practices across England, is used to support day-to-day operations and provides a solution to support effective and seamless communication and collaboration between healthcare teams.

Tool 3: CQC and Governance (HR and training compliance)

As the responsibility of staff being fit to practice and remaining compliant falls on the GP practices, you want to ensure that all staff whether permanent, locums, or ARRS roles can easily complete the necessary training.

TeamNet, when used across a PCN, provides a simple way for Practice Managers to track all their staff’s progress and ensure they’re on track with their mandatory training. Additionally, through a  licence to iLearn for TeamNet, ARRS staff employed by the PCN can be added to a practice portal where they can access their mandatory training records and ensure the training is up to date, all in one place.

So, when ARRS staff are working across multiple sites, their HR record/passport (containing evidence of credentials, immunisation records and training) will move with them. So when the CQC inspector arrives, Practice Managers can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that their training records are all up to date, in one place, and instantly accessible.

Tool 4: Scheduling

Creating rotas and scheduling staff in Primary Care requires careful planning, communication, and flexibility to ensure that the needs of the service are met while also considering the needs and preferences of staff. This can prove complex and time-consuming, especially when dealing with staff working patterns, training, holidays, last minute absences and rooms, and resource allocation.

Through TeamNet, complex rotas can be built and easily maintained at the practice level without the need for spreadsheets. By using a TeamNet PCN portal, ARRS staff can be scheduled directly into the desired rotas meaning there’s no need for different emails, spreadsheets, or phone calls to be flying around so your workloads and work placements are managed more efficiently.

Tool 5: Education & CPD

Though it may feel like there isn’t any free time for Continuing Professional Development (CPD), all healthcare professionals must continue to take part in ongoing learning, training, and development to maintain and improve their knowledge and skills.

Through iLearn, ARRS staff can track their primary care clinical education that is regularly updated and relevant to their practice as well as seamless CPD recording to their portfolio to help them save time.

Want to know more about how Agilio Software can transform how you manage your staff? Click here to speak with one of our experts.