Winner: West Midlands Ambulance Service trust

A technologically impressive system that allows accident and emergency to get up to speed with patients' data as it is captured by the ambulance crew

The West Midlands Ambulance Service electronic patient record has been implemented as part of the national programme for IT.

The Emergency Care System is designed to enable the electronic capture of clinical data on ambulances and make it available at hospitals on a web viewer in areas such as accident and emergency.

The facility allows clinical areas to have an on-screen view of patients' data as it is captured by the ambulance crew, the ability to print the ambulance record from the web viewer, pre-planning before arrival at A&E, allowing data to inform the commissioning process, and an electronic database for clinical audit. Technology updates should allow for data to be assimilated into NHS Care Record Service compliant A&E records, along with the ability to transmit ECGs to the receiving hospital.

This was an ambitious project with the high risk of interruption to operations and the maintenance of performance targets. However, it replaced what had for a long time been an unsatisfactory paper-based clinical records system that fell short of requirements in a number of areas: complaints management, data quality and security, clinical reporting and decision making, risk management and workforce capability.

The capture and storage of electronic data will also allow for easier audit and research on improving patient care and operational efficiency.

The judges commended what they described as an extremely impressive and ambitious use of technology and its rapid introduction. They also highlighted the consultation with a large number of stakeholders.

Electronic capture of clinical data about ambulances, contact

Highly Commended: Salford Royal foundation trust

A pilot study at Salford Royal has been evaluating the impact of mobile point-of-care technologies on the workflows of five phlebotomists equipped with portable computers or "mobile clinical assistants". This allows them to access clinical information in real time and chart their work at the bedside, producing significant improvements to the quality, cost and efficiency of care.

Administrative tasks are cut and, when orders have been discontinued, unnecessary sample taking is avoided. Combined, these factors are reducing materials costs, enhancing phlebotomist productivity by 20 per cent and lowering potential exposure of patients to infection. These portable computers are now used in all inpatient areas.

Phlebotomy mobile clinical assistant, contact

Finalist: Oxleas foundation trust

Research shows that better informed patients have better outcomes. So mental health service users, their carers and staff at Oxleas have been working collaboratively to improve the range, quality and access to information available to patients and families about their conditions and treatments and other practical advice via multimedia technology.

Feedback from focus groups helped to develop a range of material, including jointly written text on conditions and treatments, podcasts and video diaries of service users describing their recovery. The Oxleas communications team then led a major redesign of the trust's intranet. Staff can now use it to provide service users and carers with accessible, choice-based information.

Redesign of intranet plus multimedia podcast, video clips and e-learning,

Finalist: Royal United Hospital Bath trust

Royal Bath developed a software package allowing prostate-specific antigen values - often elevated where prostate cancer is present - to be monitored remotely.

Blood samples are taken in the community and the results recorded in the database, which stores all relevant clinical information, displaying a simple one-page summary with a graphical display of PSA values and calculation of prognostic variables.

This allows for rapid clinical decisions. The software automatically generates patient letters and supporting documentation and flags up overdue tests. Efficient and safe, the package has resulted in more than 1,000 outpatient visits being saved.

Remote monitoring of PSA results, contact

Finalist: Stoke on Trent PCT

Stoke on Trent PCT is tackling rising levels of obesity, chronic heart disease and diabetes, and decreasing levels of physical activity with a pedometer-based motivational lifestyle programme.

With its partners Belgrave Medical Centre and Humana Europe, the trust set up the scheme for 400 patients who had a body mass index greater than 25 and other associated risk factors.

The web-enabled pedometers, programmed to meet the person's needs, measure walking and encourage exercise.

A follow-up assessment will be conducted at the end of the one-year programme. In addition, Staffordshire University is undertaking a structured evaluation. The scheme already boasts a total weight loss equivalent of a London taxi.

Web-enabled pedometers,

Finalist: Worcestershire Acute Hospitals trust

The acute operative e-consent system is used by competency assessed professionals and delivers print-on-demand patient and procedure-specific consent forms and approved patient information.

It was developed following an internal audit that showed inconsistencies of approach in the completion of consent forms.

Patients receive "gold standard" patient information agreed by clinicians and approved by the Plain English Campaign early in the process, enabling an informed decision about their treatment. The system guides the user through the selection of procedures for which consent is sought, provides a PDF document for consent and watermarks duplicate copies.

PDF electronic consent form, contact