Acute trusts in the North West are to be paid bonuses for performance against a series of clinical quality measures.
The first scheme of its kind in the NHS will deliver on next stage review commitments and NHS North West's regional Darzi vision to incentivise and report on quality.
All hospital trusts in the region will from this month record process and outcome data for five procedures: coronary artery bypass graft, acute myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, hip and knee replacement and community-acquired pneumonia.
Results will be reported to the strategic health authority regularly and, after a year, will be made public.
The first payments will be made early in 2010 to each area's top performers from money pooled by North West primary care trusts.
The programme, called Advancing Quality, is expected to be extended to stroke and mental health in its second year.
NHS North West chief executive Mike Farrar said: "This takes the rhetoric on quality and turns it into action, the key challenge."
He said patient reported outcome and patient experience measures, which are still being developed, would also have a role.
"It is important to avoid a narrow view of quality. The worst thing that could happen is you could improve outcomes, but from the patients' point of view it doesn't feel any different."