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Sixty eight organisations judged to be the leading examples of NHS modernisation have been named as 'Beacons 2000' ...
Sixty eight organisations judged to be the leading examples of NHS modernisation have been named as 'Beacons 2000' by health secretary Alan Milburn.

He said: 'NHS Beacons are examples of modernisation at its very best.'

Beacon status is awarded to organisations that show how the NHS is capable of providing fast, flexible and accessible services in those areas which matter most to patients.

Mr Milburn said the Beacon organisations were an example of the NHS Plan in 'action'.

He added that Beacon status was more than a mark of achievement. Organisations named today will be expected to share their good practice throughout the NHS.

'Beacons are a way of getting the rest up to the standard of the best.'

Beacon status has been awarded to organisation delivering services in the following areas:


Mental health

Palliative care

Health improvement

Coronary heart disease


Human resources

Personality disorder

Organisations were nominated for Beacon status by regional panels comprising of professionals and patient representatives from the relevant fields.

These nominations were then judged by national selection panels comprising of representatives from all the regions, from patient groups and from experts in the field.

Examples of new Beacons 2000 include:

The University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (Glenfield Hospital) - Rapid Access Chest Pain Clinic

This service provides a quick and early specialist cardiological assessment for patients that are suspected of having developed cardiac pain. It aims to ensure that these individuals receive the appropriate tests for diagnosis and planning treatment to relieve their chest pain and reduce the risk of heart attack.

Patients attending their GP with chest pain can be referred to the clinic by telephone/fax Monday to Friday. Assessment within the specialist centre - depending on their priority - is normally within in two days, but no longer than two weeks from referral.

Required investigations (bloods, ECG, exercise testing, echo) are performed on a one-stop basis. The patients' GP receives results of the assessment on the same day or within 48 hours. The service follows up those patients that require further investigations or cardiological management.

Stockport North Primary Care Group

Heart disease is being tackled by the 60 general practices in Stockport in a co-ordinated way. Certain treatments have been shown to lower the risk of suffering a heart attack, and Stockport GPs are working to make sure these treatments are available to all those who will benefit. All people who have angina or have suffered a heart attack are being seen to make sure they are receiving the best treatment. Particular attention is being given to lowering cholesterol, to making sure people have normal blood pressure readings, and to ensuring support is available to help people who want to stop smoking, change their diet and to exercise more.

This initiative builds on the existing blood pressure screening programme that Stockport has run for the past 10 years. It will involve a significant investment in primary care, in terms of training, additional staff and upgraded computer systems. It is estimated that over the next five years these measures could prevent at least 250 heart attacks in Stockport.

Papworth Hospital NHS Trust - Outreach cardiac rehabilitation

The Outreach Cardiac Rehabilitation Service is designed for patients who have undergone heart surgery. The programme starts at 6 weeks after surgery with an assessment and explanation at the hospital. Patients are given diet and exercise information on leaving hospital.

They are telephoned each week to discuss progress on both education and exercise, and given guidelines for the following week. After 6 weeks they return to the hospital for re-assessment and discussion of long term plans. A further reassessment takes place at the hospital, one year after surgery.

Patients benefits include a reduction in the time spent and frequency of travel to the hospital for rehabilitation sessions coupled with the convenience of carrying out the programme in their own homes. There is a greater opportunity for families to learn more about the patient's condition and learn to exercise together. A telephone link-line provides assistance and extra guidance for all participants.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust - Stroke Northumbria

Stroke is a major cause of death and disability in the North East of England. Stroke Northumbria provides a range of services for people with stroke and their carers.

These include rapid access to outpatient clinic advice for those with transient ischaemic attack and non-disabling strokes to help identify the causes of stroke and reduce the risk of further attacks. Organised inpatient acute and rehabilitation stroke units provide a team of doctors, nurses, therapists and social workers with particular expertise in the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of stroke to promote the best chances of recovery.

Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Trust

Patients suffering transient ischaemic attack or stroke with minor disability are assessed rapidly and equitably, receiving appropriate and prompt modification of lifestyle and vascular risk factors. Patients suffering acute stroke are managed on an Acute Stroke Unit at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital according to evidence-based written protocols.

All patients undergo CT brain scanning. The majority of scans are performed within 48 hours and 10% within three hours of admission. All patients are seen by the Research Registrar in Stroke and the Stroke Liaison Nurse.

Patients needing a prolonged period of rehabilitation are transferred to the Stroke Rehabilitation Unit at Christchurch Hospital, which was reopened in November of last year following a #0.5 million rebuild and which provides a modern, well lit and spacious rehabilitation environment for patients.

After discharge, patients are followed-up in outpatients, in the Day Hospital or in the gastrostomy follow-up clinic. Outreach physiotherapy and occupational therapy can be provided and all patients are visited at home after discharge by a Family Support Worker.

Essex Ambulance Service NHS Trust

This service aims to reduce death rates from cardiac arrest by providing rapid access to defibrillation and limiting the extent of myocardial infarction by introducing earlier thrombolysis ('clot busting').

To achieve this they aim to deliver rapid defibrillation through a partnership with the community, training more teams of local responders to use defibrillators while enhancing paramedics' ability to diagnose acute coronary syndromes. Initially the diagnosis is confirmed by transmitting the ECG to the local hospital. This also allows the hospital to be ready to receive the patient and reduce the time to thrombolysis.

South Devon Healthcare NHS Trust

This Beacon aims to reduce the 'call' and 'door-to-needle' times by establishing a cardiac nurse specialist post in the A&E Department. Paramedics have also been trained to record and interpret a simple heart tracing (ECG) and give advance notice to the hospital that a patient with heart attack is in transit. At the hospital the specialist nurse starts treatment with clot dissolvers as soon as the patient arrives - providing they do not have any contra-indications to treatment.

Other nurses have been trained to help speed up the process of delivering clot dissolvers and A&E doctors have been educated in the rapid diagnosis of heart attack. All of these services ensure that the patient is treated rapidly, thereby reducing time delays and minimising the amount of heart muscle damage caused by the heart attack.

Doncaster Royal Infirmary & Mexborough Montagu Hospital NHS Trust - Millennium Clinic for general surgical outpatients

This Trust has established its Millennium Clinic in order to provide fast and convenient services for elective non-urgent surgical patients. Its aim is that no patient will wait longer than four weeks for an outpatient appointment, or three months for routine surgery.

In the past, elective non-urgent patients had often waited in excess of 6 months to access services. By filtering these patients from the urgent patients such as those with suspected cancer, and focusing on their needs, the Trust has protected both its cancer services and routine activity.

This Beacon service continually challenges traditional professional/working boundaries, for example through the use of nurse-led pre-assessment clinics. The Millennium Clinic also aims to make services more convenient for patients by operating a booking system for outpatient appointments and holding clinics outside traditional working hours.

Peterborough Hospitals NHS Trust outpatient service

This Trust is working in partnership with local primary care services to improve patient access to services and eliminate the need for multiple visits to its outpatient department.

The Trust has substantially reduced the numbers of patients waiting over 13 weeks for a first outpatient appointment during 1999/2000. This has been achieved through a variety of methods, including:

Piloting of digital technology in eight GP practices, where GPs take photographs of patients' skin conditions and transmit them directly to the consultant for advice and support.

Optometrists referring directly onto the inpatient waiting list for cataract operations. Patients receive a booked date in advance and the waiting time has been reduced from six months to less than six weeks.

Development of Clinical Guidelines allowing GPs to directly refer to inpatient waiting lists for endoscopy, inguinal hernia repairs, arthroscopy, cystoscopy and vasectomy.

Implementation of a 'partial booking' system, increasing patient choice and reducing non-attendance (DNA) and cancellation rates.

Introduction of nurse and therapy-led services, freeing up consultant time for more specialised cases.

These measures offer a variety of benefits for patients, including easier access to health care professionals, shorter waiting times and increased opportunities to agree suitable appointment times.


Trent Doncaster Royal Infirmary and Mexborough Montagu Hospital NHS Trust

A Millennium Clinic for general surgical outpatients.

Northern & Bradford South Yorkshire and West Primary Care Trust

GP practices in South and West Bradford developing a network of specialist GPs in order to provide a variety of services traditionally undertaken in secondary care in a primary care setting.

London South

Southwark Primary Care Group

A joint initiative between two local General Practices that aims to ease pressure on the Trust waiting list by screening out the 75% of ENT problems that can be managed in primary care.


The Lewisham Hospital NHS Trust

Making changes to working practices in outpatient clinics.


Basildon and Thurrock General Hospitals NHS Trust

Process improvements and introduction of improved access to appointment services.

Peterborough Hospitals NHS Trust

Working in partnership with local Primary Care services to improve patient access to services and eliminate the need for multiple visits to its Outpatient Department.

South West

Somerset Coast Primary Care Group

A Musculo-skeletal Interface Service working in partnership with local Primary Care services to improve patient access to services and eliminate the need for multiple visits to its Outpatient Department.

North West

Tameside and Glossop Acute Services NHS Trust

Direct booking to inpatient care. The Trust has implemented booking systems with the aim of reducing the number of outpatient attendances that patients are required to make.



Papworth Hospital NHS Trust

An outreach cardiac rehabilitation service that enables patients who have undergone heart surgery to effectively rehabilitate at home.

Essex Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Improving patient outcomes through earlier recognition and treatment of pre-hospital acute coronary syndromes (pre-hospital emergency care).


Newham Healthcare NHS Trust

Open Access Chest Pain Clinics. A facility for GPs to make appropriate referrals for same day investigations and treatment recommendations.

South West

Dorset Health Authority The Succeed Project

'Succeed' aims to decrease morbidity and mortality following significant cardiac events (coronary artery bypass grafting, coronary artery angioplasty, and acute Myocardial Infarction) through personalised health care pathways.

South Devon Healthcare NHS Trust

Reducing call and door-to-needle times by establishing a cardiac nurse specialist post in the A&E Department.

Northern Yorkshire

Northumberland Health Action Zone

The Northumberland MEDICS Project (Morbidity and Epidemiology Data Interchange and Comparison Scheme).

East Riding and Hull Health Authority

East Riding and Hull Heart Manual Project - A high quality, evidence-based and equitable rehabilitation programme for post myocardial infarction throughout Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire.

North West

Aintree Hospitals NHS Trust

The effective management of patients with heart failure through nurse-led interventions.

Stockport North Primary Care Group

CHD disease registers and evidence-based programmes of care in Stockport.


The University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (Glenfield Hospital)

Rapid Access Chest Pain Clinic for early assessment of patients with chest pain.

West Midlands

Action Heart / Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Trust

The Action Heart/Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Trust cardiac rehabilitation and secondary prevention programme.

Shropshire Health Authority

Help 2 Quit - A comprehensive smoking cessation service in Shropshire.


Northern & Yorkshire

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust

Stroke Northumbria - A multidisciplinary pathway of organised stroke care.


Barnet Healthcare NHS Trust

A stroke rehabilitation unit that shares information in an effective and efficient way through inter-agency and multidisciplinary working to improve patient care.

South West

Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Trust

Development of an effective stroke service at the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Trust.

South West

East Devon Primary Care Group

Implementing a comprehensive, equitable stroke service across a rural community and improving quality through interagency working.

West Midlands

Walsall Community Health Trust

An organised, multi-disciplinary, multi-agency approach to stroke management.

North West

Wirral Hospital NHS Trust

The Wirral Stroke Service Pathway to excellence in the management and prevention of Stroke.


South East

Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust

Countess Mountbatten House - Staff education and training project in palliative care.


Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust

Countess Mountbatten House - a Community palliative care service delivering care to patients and their families.

West Midlands

Warwickshire Integrated Palliative Care Service

A wide ranging service provision for patients and their families affected by life limiting disease.

North West

Marie Curie Cancer Care and Royal Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Trust

The Liverpool Care Pathway of care for the Dying Patient (LCPDP).

South West

Palliative Care Education Group for East Gloucester (PEGG)

Promoting a multidisciplinary approach to education and training in healthcare professionals from a variety of backgrounds.


Camden and Islington Community Services NHS Trust Palliative Care Centre

Providing interdisciplinary, integrated and seamless 24-hour specialist palliative care to support patients, families and colleagues in hospital and the local community.

Northern & Yorkshire

Prudhoe and Northgate NHS Trust

A multi-disciplinary Care Approach Team providing a specialist approach to palliative care for people with learning disabilities.


Southern Derbyshire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

Provision of effective integrated specialist palliative care services.


West Midlands

Wolverhampton Health Action Zone

Improving the recruitment and retention of local people, thereby improving health care through good employment practice.

Northern & Yorkshire

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Welfare to Work, New Deal, and tackling inequality by creating employment and training opportunities through partnerships.


Community Health Sheffield NHS Trust

Developing a diverse workforce to deliver culturally competent and accessible services.

North West

Blackburn, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley Health Care NHS Trust

Promoting a healthy workplace, staff health and well-being.

London South West

London and St Georges Mental Health Trust

A cultural awareness and racial harassment action project.

South West

Dorset Community NHS Trust A 'HR Direct' model - developed for highly customer sensitive recruitment services.


Northern & Yorkshire St Martin's Practice within North East Leeds Primary Care Group

Management of problem drug use in a general practice setting.

North West

Community Healthcare Bolton

Use of Community Nutrition Assistants to facilitate healthier eating in Bolton.

Blackpool Primary Care Group

A GP Practice based benefits advice centre.


North Herts Primary Care Group - The Oughtonhead Project

Improving the health of the community on Westmill Estate in the ward of Hitchin.

Herts Health Action with the Homeless

A voluntary organisation aimed at improving access to healthcare, information and resources for the homeless in Hertfordshire.

South East

West Surrey Health Authority Health Promotion Service

Promoting the health of people with learning disabilities.


Doncaster Primary Care Group West

A shared care scheme for community drug detoxification.


East London & City Health Authority

A Healthy Living Centre based around partnership between a primary care team and a community development project.

Beckenham and Penge Primary Care Group

A Community Health project establishing links between community development approaches and primary care.



North West Anglia Healthcare NHS Trust

A team providing mental health assessment for people who present with issues such as self-harm and suicidal behaviour.

West Midlands

West Midlands Primary Mental Health Network

Providing integrated community based services for the differing populations of N Birmingham via access to a multidisciplinary care network.

South West

Cotswold Primary Care Group

Provision of proven treatments in response to common mental health problems in convenient settings.

South East

Portsmouth Healthcare Trust

The Portsmouth City Duty and Out of Hours Service û ensuring speedy access to services in times of crisis.

North West

Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde Community Health Services NHS Trust

The Fylde assessment and short-term intervention team - providing support to local people experiencing mild mental ill health.

Bay Community NHS Trust - Barrow Community Gym

Using exercise and evidence-based therapy for people with mental health problems in partnership with user groups and primary care. The community gym enables people with mental health problems to access a range of fitness programmes.

Northern & Yorkshire

North Northumberland Primary Care Group

An inter-agency framework supporting primary and secondary care to deliver a balanced and equitable mental health service based on need.

South West

Exeter and District Community Health Service NHS Trust

Providing a nursing assessment of mental health and associated problems for those remanded to custody.


Mental Health Services at HMP Belmarsh: a partnership with Oxleas NHS Trust

Ensuring that prisoners requiring mental health care are offered this service by a multi-disciplinary NHS team.


Norfolk Mental Health Care NHS Trust (Forensic Directorate)

Providing specialist assessment, treatment and rehabilitation for mentally disordered patients.


Nottingham Healthcare NHS Trust

Nottingham Forensic Service - A multidisciplinary team based locally providing a screening, assessment and liaison service for individuals in custody.

North West

Mid Cheshire Hospitals Trust

Providing an in-reach service to the penal system and support in the community. Northern & Yorkshire

Tees and North East Yorkshire NHS Trust

Provision of mental health services to Durham prisons.

Northern & Yorkshire

Calderdale and Kirklees Forensic Services - Huddersfield NHS Trust

A service for people with mental health problems or challenging behaviours who come into contact with the criminal justice system.



Psychological Therapies - Haringey

Halliwick Psychotherapy Unit - Offering treatment for 25 patients with personality disorder within a day hospital setting, and 25 patients in outpatients.

South East

Grendon and Springhill HM Prisons

Delivering a coherent and consistent evidence-based approach to treatment that tackles criminogenic need.

All new Beacon organisations will be awarded£15,000.

The Beacons scheme was launched as part of the Learning Network last year. The 68 Beacons announced today will join the 287 NHS organisations already awarded Beacon status.

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