• Run by Shropshire Doctors Cooperative, in partnership with Powys Teaching Health Board.
  • Targeting rural populations in Shropshire and Powys, Wales.
  • Aiming to increase access to timely, appropriate primary care, reduce secondary care demand, improve the patient experience and increase GP availability.
  • Introducing PACT teams and a technology enabled way of working that allows expert clinical opinion to be provided at the time of need and as close to the patient’s home as possible.
  • This project will run from January 2017 to April 2018.

Patients living in rural areas often have to travel considerable distances or wait a long time to see GPs, who are struggling to manage ever increasing workload pressures.

This project arose from a learning partnership with the Veterans Health Association in the USA. It develops a new model of care that aims to address this issue by putting in place a patient centred, technology enabled way of working that provides expert clinical opinion at the time of need and as close to the patient’s home as possible.

A patient-driven, proactive, personalised approach, based on the Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) model will be introduced in Shropshire and Powys. This collaborative approach will ensure that the most appropriate level of care for the needs of the individual are provided, improving safety, clinical outcomes and patient and staff satisfaction.

Health technologies will be used to support clinical decision making and access to care. Urgent care practitioners (advanced nurse practitioners or paramedics) will assess patients in their homes and, where necessary, use video technology via a smart phone to allow remote interaction with a doctor. They will also carry out point-of-care testing to aid diagnosis and use mobile texting to support patients with self-management. 

Anticipated patient benefits of this innovative approach include rapid access to appropriate treatment, improved experience of care and reduced need for secondary care. Benefits for GPs include reduced demand for home visits, more availability to see patients at the surgery or those who have greatest need, and improved working relationships with the wider multi-disciplinary team.