The government has named 10 'fast-track' teams which will receive £1m each to tackle heart disease.
Junior health minister Gisela Stuart said the schemes, which start work in October, would provide rapid response for heart attack patients, and followup care planning.
But members of the coronary heart disease (CHD) partnerships - which bring together staff from health authority, trust and primary care - have moved to distance themselves from the 'spin' placed on the announcement, saying it 'overplays' an emphasis on emergency and rapid response work.
National heart director Dr Roger Boyle described the Department of Health press release flagging up the government's 'two-pronged attack' as 'misleading' - a view echoed privately by a number of teams involved.
Dr Boyle told HSJ : 'I think the press release is misleading: what we are doing is developing collaborative ways of best practice and testing them out on small slices of the population. The idea is to implement that locally and disseminate [the findings] both locally and nationally.' He said the principle behind the schemes was to 'tweak' the 'management of systems to ensure that small things are done well, that the right staff are doing the right jobs'.
Dr Boyle said he expected 'some radical things could emerge' from 'what is essentially a re-engineering of clinical delivery through management'.
The DoH also announced an extra£10m to extend CHD capacity in existing hospitals. The programmes will focus on six areas identified in the national service framework for CHD:
secondary prevention, care for patients with suspected or confirmed heart attacks, angina, management of heart failure, revascularisation, and rehabilitation.
Dr Roger Johnson, medical director for Manchester HA and chair of Salford, Manchester and Trafford cardiac board, said he 'did not share the cynicism of some' about the notion that small programmes such as these were evidence of 'more project-itis'.
'I can see it that way: that everybody has to jump through a hoop to get the bid through, but it has given us a real sense of discipline and a determination to get the results.'
Murray Cochrane, director of performance at Cornwall HA, said the programme aimed to 'streamline pathways of care for individual patients and to speed treatment up'.
Dr Sushil Jathanna, deputy director of public health and policy for North Essex HA, said there would be have to be 'very radical changes made' if the framework targets were to be met.
The successful partnerships are from: North Essex; North West London; East London and the City;
Manchester, Salford and Trafford; East Riding and Hull; Southampton and South West Hampshire HA and Winchester; South West Peninsula;
Dorset and Southampton; North Trent; the Black Country.