The judges praised South Sefton's vision and passion, backed up with very strong data on outcomes

The Right Hon Patricia Hewitt MP

This year's Secretary of State's Award goes to South Sefton primary care trust, winner of the Chronic Disease Management category. The judges praised its vision and passion, backed up with very strong data on outcomes. It was work led by genuine collaboration between clinical champions and commissioners, across three major disease areas and with a huge potential to be replicated in other areas. Against a strong shortlist, it still stood out.

Two category winners were also highly commended. Croydon PCT won an unprecedented four categories for its innovative 'virtual wards' project to manage patients in the community - although in the end as a relatively new project, it was beaten to my award because of South Sefton's proven outcomes and wide transferability.

Newham University Hospital trust was also highly commended for its successful project to recruit and retain its midwife workforce, a notoriously difficult area on which to make progress. In a trust working in a challenging environment, the team had transformed its performance.