Primary Care Additional Roles

Spring Hall Group Practice is part of Central Halifax Primary Care Network (PCN), along with The Boulevard Medical Practice and King Cross Surgery to provide shared services to our patients in Central Halifax. We work alongside Pennine GP Alliance to do this.

Pennine GP Alliance employ a number of clinicians and healthcare professionals who work across four of the Primary Care Networks (PCNs) in Calderdale. This includes recruitment and induction right through to supporting them in role. We do this to help relieve pressure on GP practices and to provide care to patients across a Primary Care Network Footprint. 

Sometimes referred to as ‘additional roles’ or ‘ARRS’, these highly skilled professionals are embedded within GP practices and local communities, working alongside traditional general practice roles such as a GP, practice nurse, healthcare assistant or phlebotomist. 

AARS, which stands for Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme, is a programme in the UK designed to expand the primary care workforce by introducing additional roles in general practice, therefore enhancing the quality-of-service patients receive and supporting GPs in managing demanding caseloads.

Care Coordinators

Care coordinators can support people to become more active in their own health and care and are skilled in assessing people’s changing needs. They are effective in bringing together multidisciplinary teams to support people’s complex health and care needs and can be an effective intervention in supporting people to stay well, particularly those with long term conditions, multiple long-term conditions, and people living with or at risk of frailty. 

Clinical Pharmacists

Clinical pharmacists work in primary care in a patient facing role to clinically assess and treat patients using their expert knowledge of medicines. They will be prescribers, or if not, are working to complete an independent prescribing qualification following completion of an approved 18-training pathway or equivalent. They work with and alongside the general practice team, taking responsibility for patients with chronic diseases and undertaking structured medication reviews to proactively manage people with complex poly pharmacy, especially for the elderly, people in care homes and those with multiple comorbidities. 

Learn more: NHS England » Clinical pharmacists 

First Contact Practitioner Physiotherapists

First contact practitioner physiotherapists are qualified autonomous clinical practitioners who can assess, diagnose, treat, and manage musculoskeletal problems and undifferentiated conditions. Where appropriate, they are also able to discharge a person without a medical referral. First contact practitioner physiotherapists working in this role can be accessed directly by patients, or via referral from other members of staff. They can establish a rapid and accurate diagnosis and management plan to streamline pathways of care. 

Learn more: NHS England » First contact physiotherapists 

Mental Health Practitioners

Mental health practitioners support adults whose needs cannot be met by local talking therapies, but who may not need ongoing care from secondary mental health services. The practitioner can be taken on by a wide range of clinical and non-clinical roles with mental health expertise, such as a community psychiatric nurse, clinical psychologist, mental health occupational therapist or a peer support worker.     

Pharmacy Technicians

Pharmacy technicians complement the work of clinical pharmacists, through utilisation of their technical skillset. Their deployment within primary care settings allows the application of their acquired pharmaceutical knowledge in tasks such as medicines reconciliation, audits, prescription management support, and where appropriate, advising patients and other members of the PCN workforce. 

Physician Associates

Physician associates are healthcare professionals, with a generalist clinical education, who work alongside GPs to provide care as part of the multidisciplinary team. They provide care for the presenting patient from initial history taking and clinical assessment through to diagnosis, treatment, and evaluation. Whilst physician associates currently do not have prescribing rights, they can prepare prescriptions for GPs to sign. 


A paramedic in primary care can provide a rapid response to deteriorating patients and patients with long-term conditions, minor injuries, and minor illness. They can also support patients who require wound care, have fallen, have musculoskeletal problems, and have urinary tract or respiratory infections. Paramedics can supply a range of medicines through patient group directions, including antibiotics and analgesics. 

Paramedics can support PCNs in responding to on the day demand by offering telephone triage or undertaking home visiting. They can also support PCNs to improve access to care by managing minor ailments and seeing patients in care homes. 


Podiatrists have been trained to diagnose and treat foot and lower limb conditions. They provide assessment, evaluation, and foot care for a wide range of patients, which range from low risk to long-term acute conditions. Many patients fall into high-risk categories such as those with diabetes, rheumatism, cerebral palsy, peripheral arterial disease, and peripheral nerve damage. 

Social Prescribing Link Workers

Social prescribing link workers help people focus on what matters to them as identified in their care and support plan. They connect people to community groups and agencies for practical and emotional support. Link workers typically work with people over six to 12 contacts (including phone calls and meetings) over a three-month period. 

General Practice Assistant

General practice assistants deliver a combination of routine administrative tasks and some basic clinical duties in the general practice setting. Their focus is on supporting GPs in their day-to-day management of patients, specifically aimed at reducing the administrative burden and making best use of consultations. Administrative support includes letters, completing forms for GPs to sign, and explaining procedures to patients prior to appointments. Examples of clinical support include referrals, arranging follow up appointments, and conducting simple clinical observations.

Non-patient facing roles

We also employ non-patient facing on behalf of Primary Care Networks, who carry out important tasks that support the improvement of patient access and care. 

Digital and Transformation Leads

Digital and transformation leads support increased access to care for patients, through the adoption of new technology and other initiatives to improve the care offer. This enables PCN staff to work more effectively and improves the sustainability of general practice services.

Digital and transformation leads can: 

  • Develop strategic plans to optimise the use of clinical systems and build a robust digital infrastructure for PCNs working on a range of digital transformation projects such as the use of cloud telephony, digital triage, online signposting, social media, digital wayfinding, promotion of the NHS App. 
  • Deliver broader transformation projects to: 
  • improve access to care and support the adoption of population health management 
  • drive operational efficiency 
  • enhance staff experience 

They support the adoption of national and local initiatives, including integrated working at neighbourhood and place level to improve access to services for patients. 

12/10/2023 Information taken from: NHS England » Expanding our workforce 

Videos from NHS East of England and West Yorkshire ICB.