Now is the time to act. The judges give their final advice on writing up your project and submitting your entry

Entries for the 2005 Awards close at the end of June so there is still time to write up and submit your initiative.

Entry to the main Award category is open to NHS healthcare professionals involved in implementing national evidence-based guidance in any clinical area in primary or shared care. There are also 10 sponsored categories for primary and shared care projects to implement national evidence-based guidance in the following clinical areas:

  • Asthma
  • CHD and hypertension
  • COPD
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Medicines management
  • Mental health
  • Older people
  • Smoking cessation
  • Stroke and TIA.

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.

Many practices have been very successful in tackling the indicators in the nGMS contract and have developed innovative ways of working to achieve this. 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 why not give it a go.

Below we have set out some examples of changes you may have made in your practice which have enabled you to tackle the indicators, in one or more disease areas, successfully. Check through the list to see which elements may apply in your practice and could form the basis for, or be part of, your entry.

We have provided some tips to help you succeed (see Box), 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 knowledge and competency 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.

The entry form plus full details on how to enter the Awards can be found online at here.

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


Have you taken an innovative approach to tackling the nGMS contract?
Examples of practice changes you may have made to achieve the indicators

New ways of working
Building the process into scheduled care
Changes in consulting arrangements
Development of specific clinics led by: nurse/doctor/pharmacist/other healthcare professional

Team working
Developing specific roles
Introduction of lead clinician: nurse/doctor/other healthcare professional
Involving other staff: new/additional/community
Initiating a process to encourage greater collaboration

Skill mix
Addressing training needs: in-house/local or national courses
Extending staff roles even across professional boundaries
Using/employing new professional groups

Developing protocols
Defining individual staff roles
Ensuring comprehensive care
Clearly defined exception reporting

Methods of communication
Includes all team members/associated professionals/patients
Keeping everyone informed, e.g. by newsletter/bulletin board/intranet
IT Data capture methods and computer input
Processes for updating database/registers
Inputting laboratory results
Providing incentives
Encouraging patients to attend/using extended home visiting
Extended hours access
Staff incentives
Liaison with other services
Primary care organisation run services, e.g. smoking cessation clinics
Local agencies/charities/voluntary sector/specialist services, e.g. Macmillan Nurses
Engaging with patients
Developing concept of expert patient
Local campaigns: flu/BP/stroke days
Health promotion: specific initiatives/using new methods of dissemination
Audit: showing an improvement
Show that changes that are introduced are effective and lead to improvements in care


Guidelines in Practice, May 2005, Volume 8(5)
© 2005 MGP Ltd
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