Winner: Blackburn with Darwen teaching PCT

By setting up its drop-in Healthy Legs clinic offering patients fast diagnosis, the winner has prevented serious illness and saved over £500,000

Healthy Legs was launched in February 2008 by Blackburn with Darwen Teaching primary care trust as a service for patients with leg problems. It addresses the physical, psychological and social impacts of their condition.

Specialist nurses carry out comprehensive assessments, observations and diagnostic investigations to help prevent the recurrence of leg ulcers and deal with circulation and skin disorders.

The clinic is run on a drop-in basis, so there is no need for an appointment, and it offers rapid access to vascular consultants in an acute setting, providing a seamless healthcare pathway for urgent diagnostics and treatment.

Patients with chronic leg ulceration can be socially isolated and research has shown that talking to others with similar conditions is highly beneficial to them. So the service operates in an informal, friendly atmosphere, providing patients with the opportunity to meet others with similar conditions. It has become a social event as well as a clinical one, with patients meeting for lunch or a drink in the cafeteria area before and after they attend.

This approach has improved health outcomes for the public and delivered cost savings for the PCT. From February to May 2008, 420 patients have had their circulation assessed and been screened for peripheral arterial disease.

The service has saved£235,560 for preventing lower leg ulceration and made further savings of£369,404 through education, monitoring and actively preventing peripheral arterial disease.

The judges said: "Relatively low cost to set up and run, with potential large savings: this could be done anywhere."

Healthy Legs, contact debbie.murphy@bwdpct.nhs.uk

Highly Commended: Leeds PCT

Leeds PCT's Respiratory Specialist Team has been developed to deliver evidence based care, advice and support to the 13,000 people across the city affected by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The service delivers individualised interventions to patients and their carers, ensuring that they are able to manage their condition in a way that suits them. A successful telemedicine pilot is now being extended across Leeds to offer home-based support when patients are less well.

Health professionals from other disciplines are also benefitting from a range of educational programmes and expert advice made available by the team. This has promoted a greater consistency in the provision of multi-disciplinary care.

Community respiratory team, contact anne.jones6@nhs.net

Highly Commended: Tameside and Glossop PCT

Community matrons act as case managers for people living in the community with long-term conditions and co-ordinate care in the health and social care spectrum.

A multi-agency partnership was created to share data and identify patients at the greatest risk of unplanned hospital admissions.

The service has led to reductions in the following: GP consultations by 80 per cent; inappropriate hospital admissions by 56 per cent; accident and emergency attendances by 59 per cent; calls to out-of-hours services by 97 per cent.

Using King's Fund methodology this has resulted in a minimum yearly PCT saving of£118,980.

Community matron case managers, contact elainewinterbottom@tiscali.co.uk

Finalist: City and Hackney teaching PCT

The Children and Young People's Plus service is one of four teenage health demonstration site pilots funded by the Department of Health. It addresses issues of smoking, alcohol and substance misuse, emotional well-being and mental health, reproductive and sexual health, suicide and self-harm, and obesity.

The service has improved access by giving young people a positive experience of health services that are welcoming and speak their language.

The service used the advice of a steering group of 15-19-year-olds who designed information materials, recruited staff and supported the ongoing promotion of the service.

The judges said: "Very good client/young person engagement."

Children and young people's plus, contact pamela.froggatt@chpct.nhs.uk

Finalist: Southampton City PCT

Saucepans Community Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service was the first multi-agency primary care service in England to work with young people aged 0-18.

It provides a single point of contact for all CAMHS referrals within the locality.

The service offers short-term, early intervention for children and young people who would otherwise not receive input from CAMHS or would have a lengthy wait to access intervention.

The team is most proud of the projects it is developing to engage with black and minority ethnic communities and aims to work effectively with people from different ethnic, cultural, political, economic and religious backgrounds.

Saucepans community CAMHS, contact karen.davies@scpct.nhs.uk