Winner: London NHS Diagnostic Service with Croydon Federation

The Diagnostics in the Community pilot has been able to bring ultrasound, echo and MRI diagnostics to Croydon, the largest of London's populations

In response to service user feedback, the project was initiated by the Croydon GP Federation, which serves approximately 40 per cent of Croydon primary care trust patients, and backed by NHS London and Croydon PCT.

Led by Agnelo Fernandes, the pilot has been using collaboration and the desire to improve patient care to drive change.

Its aims and objectives are to offer choice and convenience, to accelerate significantly the speed of service - referral to report time is down to 10 days for example - and reduce travel time and costs, ideally with no patient travelling more than 30 minutes for a diagnostic appointment.

Staff, equipment and support for the project were provided by the London NHS Diagnostic Service, which is delivered by InHealth Netcare to help meet the PCT 18-week referral-to-treatment targets in the capital.

Performance has been closely monitored to provide measurable outcomes and ensure transferability.

The judges praised the GP leadership and partnership features that helped to drive forward this innovative major redesign project, its swift implementation, its rigorous quality assurance, the evaluation, and the genuine choice and powerful benefits afforded to patients.

Diagnostics in the community, contact

Highly Commended: Torbay Care trust, Devon PCT and South Devon Healthcare foundation trust

The Right Treatment And Choice programme was set up to review the processes supporting patient referral to secondary care. Its aim was to ensure timely access with the support of evidence-based care pathways, comprehensive service information and informed choice.

Clinicians and administration staff from primary and secondary care have been working together to develop the referral processes and improve patient experience.

Patients are being booked into the right clinics and having better experiences. Waste and waiting times are being reduced and working relationships between primary and secondary care are improving.

Right TRaC programme, contact

Finalist: Greater Manchester PCTs

High street pharmacies in Oldham, Stockport, Salford and Ashton, and Leigh and Wigan are offering access to quality care for the management of diabetes and/or coronary heart disease.

Services available during visits include a PC-driven protocol-led clinical consultation, with guidance on lifestyle, diet, exercise and medication, blood tests for glycated haemoglobin/ lipid profile, and measurement of blood pressure, height, and weight and body mass index.

Nearly half of patients interviewed felt the care was better than that received at their GP practice. Quality-control performance for tests performed on the high street rivalled that of central labs.

High street pharmacy care, contact

Finalist: National Endoscopy Team and NHS East Midlands

Hosted by NHS East Midlands, the National Endoscopy Team has been using a range of assessment and monitoring tools, frameworks and networks to rejuvenate endoscopy, the key diagnostic test for bowel cancer, and deliver hugely reduced waiting t imes and patient-centred care from a highly motivated workforce.

This has been achieved in conjunction with the roll-out of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Programme. A web-based patient-centred assessment tool now used at nearly all of NHS England's 207 endoscopy units has been helping to ensure that the service is not a constraint on achieving 18 weeks. This is against a backdrop of increasing demand.

National endoscopy project, contact

Finalist: Nottingham University Hospitals trust

Following the merger of the city's acute hospitals to form Nottingham University Hospitals trust, a stroke project team relocated all stroke services onto one Nottingham City Hospital site.

A hyper-acute stroke unit was developed with direct access, bypassing the emergency department. A new fast-track service has also improved care for transient ischaemic attack patients.

Now 92 per cent of patients admitted to the stroke service spend more than half of their hospital stay on a stroke specialist ward. GPs are able to refer those with suspected TIA within the last seven days through a dedicated stroke phone.

Hyper acute stroke services, contact

Finalist: Southampton City PCT

Saucepans Community Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service acts as a single point of contact for all local CAMHS referrals, offering short-term, early intervention for children and young people who would otherwise not receive input or who would face a lengthy wait.

The multi-agency service aims to support families in their own community, raise awareness, provide a single point of information and advice, improve co-ordination, empower local workers and employ and train local people to relieve the pressure on overstretched primary care services.

Extensive evaluation shows that Saucepans has an impact at every level, with the greatest improvements suggested in the psycho-social components.

Saucepans, contact

Finalist: Tower Hamlets PCT

A partnership approach to delivering the national chlamydia screening programme means health commissioners in Tower Hamlets sub-contract Terrence Higgins Trust and Brook through the Women and Young People's Service. As part of this project, the PCT also screened for gonorrhea. The aim was to reach 15 per cent of the target population, providing more than 5,000 screens in seven months - an enormous challenge.

Tower Hamlets developed a "performance dashboard" to keep the teams on the programme informed of progress. The target was exceeded, with 6,360 young people screened. Of these, 51 per cent were men - the highest male screening rate for all PCTs in England.

Chlamydia and gonorrhea testing, contact