The British Medical Association has backed a GP-led petition for Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) funding, the BBC reports.
Dr Stephen Katona, a GP in Didsbury, told the BBC: “Unfortunately a lot of GP practices don’t have enough money to pay for GPs and nurses directly so they are relying on this pot of money to fund staff. All we’re asking is to add GPs and practice nurses to that list.”
At the time of writing his petition had attracted almost 10,000 signatures – the number at which the government would respond. At 100,000 signatures, the petition will be considered for parliamentary debate.
The NASGP has called for ARRS money to be offered to GPs as well as ARRS roles since last November. Dr Katona launched the petition in late December.
Support for the petition grew after a new analysis by the Lib Dems found GP funding had been slashed £350m since 2019, in real terms. The same analysis also found one in 20 patients now waits four weeks or more for an appointment.
Dr Richard Fieldhouse, GP and NASGP chair, said: “We’re extremely grateful that Stephen’s campaign has gained so much already, especially with the BMA weighing in and lending their support too. So it’s surprising that MPs haven’t yet started to raise this in Parliament.
“This isn’t asking for new money – simply for the restriction to be lifted so that practices can use the funding to provide clinical support in a way that suits their population, and that helps retain their local GP locum workforce.”
Read the petition online.