Internet forums for managers and doctors are to be set up by NHS North West as part of its attempt to achieve 'world-class' clinical engagement.

An annual 'clinical congress' will also be held by the strategic health authority, where doctors and managers from acute trusts, primary care trusts and other organisations will be able to discuss key policies.

The web project is due to be launched in August.

Regional director of public health Ruth Hussey said: 'One of the difficulties of implementing new ways of working consistently over the North West is the sizeable geographical spread of the region.

'Using a web-based approach will enable more rapid dissemination of information without the difficulty of bringing clinicians together face to face at times when they are required to deliver services.'

She said it was 'equally important' the forums could be accessed by managers and administrative staff 'in order to ensure a shared vision of care is developed by all members of the NHS community.'

As well as the online forums, clinical leaders from professional executive committees, directors of nursing, medical directors and practice-based commissioning leads will also meet face-to-face.

Leadership training will be provided for clinicians involved in implementing the new policies. The SHA's new skills and training academy will be used to identify what training clinicians need, and make provision arrangements.

The SHA says it will then support those clinicians with newly learned management skills in using them.

Dr Hussey said: 'It is accepted at all levels of the NHS that the engagement of clinicians from all professional backgrounds has been patchy.'