The judges give practical advice on submitting entries for this year's Awards plus their tips for success

This month we are launching the fourth annual Guidelines in Practice Awards for innovative primary and shared care initiatives to implement national evidence-based guidance in the NHS.

Entry to the Guidelines in Practice main Award category is open to GPs and other members of the primary healthcare team, members of PCOs, and other healthcare professionals within the NHS involved in implementing national evidence-based guidance in any clinical area. The winning team will receive a cheque for £4000 to help continue their project.

In addition, there is a wide range of sponsored categories for primary and shared care projects to implement national evidence-based guidance in the NHS in specific clinical areas (see entry form here).The winning team in each of these categories will receive £3000.

This year we have broadened the entry criteria to include projects related to the indicators in the nGMS contract as well as initiatives based on the NSFs and NICE, SIGN or academic professional body guidance.

Across the country many healthcare teams are working hard to implement national evidence-based guidelines locally and are tackling the indicators in the nGMS contract.

The nGMS contract has dominated disease management in general practice for the past year. Levels of achievement are improving – demonstrably so, and we are sure that there are many examples of good practice associated with fulfilling the indicators that would form the basis of a suitable project to enter.

So, if you are involved in an innovative or creative project that meets the entry criteria, then do submit it.

  • We have provided some tips to help you succeed (see Box below), and you may find the following general observations about last year’s entries useful.
  • Establishing or redesigning a service or model of care, especially if a novel approach is taken, is important if patient care is to be improved, but you must show it works.
  • Disseminating information and improving the knowledge and competency of health professionals is something to aim for, but you must also show that you have put the improved skills into practice.
  • Prescribing reviews are an important component of good clinical care, but carrying out a desk-top audit and forgetting about the patient is far from ideal.
  • Keep it simple. Care pathways must not be too complicated, and it is essential to avoid a multiagency project mushrooming and soaking up a huge amount of resources – at least, until it has been shown to be effective.

Many of last year’s projects were at an early stage, with work in progress but showing lots of potential, so please continue with your good work and we look forward to receiving both new and updated entries this year.

The closing date for entries is 30 June 2005. The entry form plus full details on how to enter the Awards can be found here. Entry forms are also available in Guidelines in Practice.

Judges’ tips for success
  • Keep the project simple
  • Being innovative is important and will catch the judges’ attention
  • Ensure that any change in clinical practice will improve patient care
  • Set clear audit criteria and agreed standards
  • An educational component is important but not sufficient on its own
  • A multifaceted approach to implementation is the ideal
  • Re-audit your work to show that your intervention has been effective
  • Re-audit the same parameters so that they are directly comparable
  • Rolling audit programmes over a period of time which show a continuing improvement in patient care are always impressive


Guidelines in Practice, January 2005, Volume 8(1)
© 2005 MGP Ltd
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