Case study: SHAPE Primary Care Network

Improving condition management and saving time with batch SMS messaging

In 2020, Clinical Director of SHAPE Primary Care Network Dr Bharan Kumar started a transformative project to improve hypertension outcomes with Accurx.
Using Accurx’s batch messaging and patient questionnaires, the PCN has saved time, improved patient outcomes and transformed their management of long-term conditions.
Discover patient questionnaires
Female patient with arm in cast uses phone to communicate with network of healthcare professionals

Impact at a glance:

19% increase in controlled
blood pressure across patients

75% fewer hours spent 
contacting patients each months

QOF targets hit 
three months quicker

Context: a message from the CQC

SHAPE PCN serves a population of 28,000 patients and covers an area of Slough with a high prevalence of cardiovascular disease. As the PCN’s Clinical Director, Dr Kumar set out to improve outcomes in two practices: Bharani Medical Centre and Ragstone Road Surgery.
Historically, these practices were unable to meet QOF targets for hypertension and diabetes because they couldn’t get patients to attend reviews.Then, a day before the first national lockdown in 2020, the CQC informed staff they needed to improve the management of long-term conditions as a matter of priority.

Patients would typically come in and see someone to have their blood pressure recorded, or they might have  to provide it to a receptionist over the phone if they had a BP monitor. This took up a lot of time and resources.

Dr Bharan Kumar, Clinical Director of SHAPE Primary Care Network

In 2020, the PCN began using batch messaging to...

Send patient questionnaires (Floreys) to all hypertension patients to ask if they had a blood pressure machine and, if so, to submit their readings

Send follow-up messages to patients with high readings, asking them to submit readings over 4-7 days via a Florey

Help adjust anti-hypertensive medications and take a more holistic approach to cardiovascular disease

How have they used batch messaging?

Dr Kumar sent an SMS message to all of the patients on the hypertension list. Patients responded directly via the link provided. This avoided the need for third party administrators or for patients to take up practice phone lines with their responses.
All responses came straight through to Dr Kumar’s inbox in real time, with not only the readings but an automated average – and all necessary SNOMED codes. For patients without a blood pressure machine, or those unable to use the link, Dr Kumar used batch messaging to invite them for a review or provide further information.
Having up-to-date blood pressure readings enabled the team to adjust patient medications effectively, and develop a team of “metabolic pharmacists” to tackle cardiovascular disease risk.
Watch Dr Kumar tell the full story

When you have people like me who lead very busy lives, it helps me and it will help a lot of other people because you don’t have to wait for an appointment or spend hours ringing the Surgery.

Surrinder, patient of Bharani Medical Centre

Impact so far

19% increase

in controlled blood pressure across the practices’ patient population

75% fewer hours

spent contacting hypertensive patients each month – from 20 hours to just 4

3 month reduction

in the time needed to hit QOF hypertension targets

With Accurx, SHAPE PCN has improved outcomes, efficiencies and morale

  • 19% more patients across the two practices now showed controlled blood pressure where they had not before. In total, 79% of hypertensive patients showed controlled blood pressure readings – compared to the wider ICS average of 61.3%.
  • Across the two practices, staff have more time to spend with those who really need to be seen, while experiencing greater job satisfaction and delivering better outcomes for patients.
  • User-friendly and cost effective software has helped the team to establish a more efficient and sustainable way of managing long-term conditions.

The two practices we trialled this with received 2,000 responses within the first few weeks. We’re thrilled to have achieved incredibly positive outcomes for patients and staff, while also reducing costs and improving the patient experience. Accurx has been vital to this. I’m confident that this way of managing long-term conditions in general practice can serve as a model for primary care organisations nationwide.

Dr Bharan Kumar, Clinical Director of SHAPE Primary Care Network