Integrating additional roles into PCNs - The Kings Fund Report

Tuesday 5th May 2022

Our latest blog has been written by Daniella Fakhouri, Associate Director at Soar Beyond.  Daniella gives her view on the latest report from The Kings Fund which looks at how the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) has been received by those within primary care.

Why is it agonising for PCNs?


Reliance, retainability and optimisation goes beyond the introduction and recruitment of ARRS roles for PCNs. With these roles being in place since 2019, there is still a lack of shared understanding about the purpose or potential contribution of the roles, combined with an overall ambiguity about what multidisciplinary working mean for GPs.

Findings of the King’s fund article on Integrating additional roles into primary care networks highlighted that many PCNs do not share a team identity thus making staff deployment challenging due to their non-aligned strategies. The article also highlighted confusion around the objectives of the ARRS roles and whether they were implemented to deliver PCN DES requirements or core GP work

The unfavourable effect?


As human beings can we live without an identity or even in uncertainty?  In modern day life you cannot have a bank account without an identity so why should the working culture be any different? How can a feeling of inclusion be created amongst a high performing team?

Coupled with not sharing a team identity and uncertainty in funding for 2023/24, huge concerns have started to grow amongst individuals. Recruitment and retention of these AARS roles have started to take its toll and pressure has started to mount on PCNs and GPs.


How to turn unfavourable into outcome?


ARRS roles have the potential to make a significant contribution to the quality of patient care in general practice and represent a significant investment in the future
sustainability of general practice. They promote a multi-disciplinary model of working across general practice.

PCN managers and clinical directors do not have the capacity or tools to be able to deploy the new roles effectively which is why Soar Beyond created the SMART Workforce Platform. Deployed in over 450 practices in the UK the platform supports PCNs by:

·       Providing role clarity to new and existing staff

·       Supports non clinicians to manage clinical teams

·       Provides a framework for competency assessment and assurance

·       Allows you to capability map your entire workforce to understand what your gaps in service are

·       Intelligently informs your training and recruitment strategies

With its selection as one of 21 for Digital health London accelerator programme, the platform gives PCNs everything they need to recruit manage and retain their ARRS workforce.


Press Release

Meet the Innovator

Tuesday 24th January 2022

We caught up with Tiba Rao, Director of Innovation and Co-founder, Soar Beyond Ltd; the SMART workforce platform helping health and social care teams to manage and accelerate safe workforce capability development and impact to meet individual, organisational and system needs.

Tell us about your innovation in a sentence

The SMART workforce platform helps you to manage, integrate and accelerate the impact of your clinical and non-clinical team members using innovative competency assessment and capability mapping tools.


What was the ‘lightbulb’ moment?

As a provider of clinical services and training to primary care, we needed to set and manage expectations of what new roles could deliver safely and competently from day one in practice and what they were working towards. I scribbled three concentric circles on a piece of paper and asked the team “what if we had a tool that you could drag and drop competencies into and define clearly what is ‘out of scope’, ‘stretch’ and ‘in scope’ and additionally, what if you could watch your circle of competence physically grow as you and your team develops?”.

The simplicity of the concept, the visual nature and relatable language immediately captured interest – we started doing this in poster and sticker format at face to face training workshops then evolved this to an interactive tool on our i2i and SMART platforms. SMART can now capture this individually and collectively with bespoke clinical and leadership competencies for any established or novel role at team, organisation, practice, department and even system-level now!


What three bits of advice would you give budding innovators?
1. “Conceive, Believe and Achieve” – adapted from Napoleon Hill
2. Start small but think HUGE!

3. Sell, then build!


What’s been your toughest obstacle?

Going through so many demos and pitches with NHS personnel in 2021 from practice-level to federation to NHSE and AHSN-level – all of whom immediately grasped and valued the SMART Workforce platform only to say “but I don’t know how to pay for it, which pot of money would it come from?” – it can be very testing and we often feel like truffle hogs foraging for the truffles at times!


What’s been your innovator journey highlight?
Co-desiging the SMART workforce solution based on real customer needs. For example, we provided visibility and clinical assurance for the whole of the national programme in Northern Ireland (350 GP Pharmacists across 17 federations with 30+ line managers”

Of course, being selected to take part of the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator Programme in 2022 – knowing that others also believe in the transformative nature of the SMART Platform.


Best part of your job now?

Having the freedom to innovate and evolve solutions to meet customer needs and best of all, seeing the real impact and difference our services have on confidence and competence of HCPs.


If you were in charge of the NHS and care system, what’s the one thing you’d do to speed up health innovation?

Overcome resistance to change.


A typical day for you would include…
My days are quite long and I tend to do most of my thinking and creativity in the morning if possible.

Quick check-in on our “musts” for the week with the Soar Beyond team.

Some social media – Twitter or LinkedIn.

Pitches and exploratory meetings with pharma or NHS clients.

Internal scoping meetings on project delivery or product development.

Interview published here: https://healthinnovationnetwork.com/insight/meet-the-innovator-tiba-rao/

Press Release

Tuesday 18th January 2022

Today Soar Beyond is proud to announce that they are one of the 21 digital health companies selected for DigitalHealth.London’s Accelerator programme for its SMART Platform. The 21 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) selected for the Accelerator 2022 programme have digital solutions or services that have the highest potential to meet London’s NHS and social care challenges.

Now in its sixth consecutive year, the NHS-delivered programme, match funded by the European Regional Development Fund, has supported some of the most effective digital innovations now being used by the NHS.

Jenny Thomas, Programme Director, DigitalHealth.London, said:

“We are delighted to announce today the 21 digital health companies joining our sixth DigitalHealth.London Accelerator cohort. The application process for this year’s programme was competitive as ever and as such, the final 21 companies truly are the ones to watch in the digital health space. We look forward to working with them and continuing to play our part in supporting the NHS and social care through digital transformation.”


Shailen Rao, Managing Director, Soar Beyond Limited, said:

“Soar Beyond is honoured and excited to have our SMART platform selected as a digital innovation as part of the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme and we look forward to the wealth of support and expertise this programme. We innovated the SMART platform to address the eternal NHS struggle with recruitment, development and retention of workforce using our understanding of the challenges integrating the GP clinical pharmacist role. This milestone marks an exciting chapter making 2022 the year we scale up SMART to deliver wider workforce and healthcare transformation at system, pathway and population-level”


Sonia Patel, Chief Information Officer, NHSX, said:

“The DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme has established itself as an important player in supporting the NHS and social care to make the most of the opportunities digital health offers. I look forward to seeing the next group of innovators bringing their solutions to London’s NHS.”


DigitalHealth.London’s Accelerator aims to speed up the adoption of technology in London’s NHS, relieving high pressure on services and empowering patients to manage their health. for every £1 spent on the programme through the AHSNs, £12.70 is saved for the NHS*. It works with around 20 high potential SMEs over a 12-month period, giving bespoke support and advice, a programme of expert-led workshops and events, and brokering meaningful connections between innovators and NHS organisations with specific challenges. The companies successful in getting onto the Accelerator programme have been chosen through a rigorous and highly competitive selection process, involving expert NHS and industry panel assessments, interviews, and due diligence checks.


This year the companies on the programme will benefit from international partnerships with two US Accelerators, Cedars-Sinai and Mass Challenge**. The two partnerships will provide opportunities for the companies to network with global peers, showcase their products/services to key international stakeholders and gain the tools to navigate a new global market.


DigitalHealth.London Accelerator Interim Evaluation report available to download here: digitalhealth.london/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Digital-Health-Accelerator_Interim-Report_v1-2.pdf

** Cedars-Sinai partnership announcement:
Mass Challenge partnership announcement: https://digitalhealth.london/digitalhealth-london-and-masschallenge-partner-to-support-international-adoption-of-us-and-uks-best-health-tech