Best Practice Awards in Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Disorders 2015/16

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News from the PCRMM

The application process for the Best Practice Awards 2015/16 is now open.

Although rheumatology has many examples of good and innovative practice, there remains a limited amount of information on the service description and quantified costs and outcomes, which could be used to inform service specifications and commissioners.

Since this initiative was first run in 2013, a number of service changes, configurations and new providers have been introduced in NHS rheumatology and musculoskeletal services. The BSR wants to evaluate these services and others which were not included in the 2013 initiative. As part of this, general rheumatology services and specialist commissioning will be considered across services in the UK.

Applications will be reviewed by an expert panel convened by the BSR who will evaluate each application against agreed criteria. Following this exercise, visits would be organised to the finalist sites, comprising of a small team of patients, clinicians and health economists. The purpose of the visit would be for the group to assess in further detail quantifiable improvement in clinical and cost outcomes, and review the available evidence of improvement.

Thereafter, the panel, comprising individuals from a range of national organisations such as NICE, patient organisations, other medical societies and health economists, will make two types of award – ‘outstanding’ and ‘best practice.’ Winners will be announced in March 2016.

The BSR is keen to maximise the impact from this initiative and will publish the case studies to help inform commissioners, services and patients about what constitutes best practice in UK rheumatology, in addition to undertaking a range of other promotional activities.

If you have any questions, please contact Miguel Souto

We look forward to seeing the fantastic work that is going on.

Application process and criteria for entry

Eligibility criteria

Organisations or departments that deliver NHS services in the UK and have implemented innovative service models or pathways that improve patient experience, outcomes and/or value, including:

  • primary care
  • community care
  • secondary care
  • patient organisations

Award categories

  • Early diagnosis and treatment
  • Integration
  • Clinical leadership
  • Service configuration and pathways
  • Care planning
  • Medicines management
  • Patient self-management and decision making
  • Innovation
  • Use of technology

Entry criteria

We are looking for evidence based around one or more of the following:

• Implementing research and guidelines that suggest there will be improved outcomes in quality, performance or value for money
• Evidence based service models or design
• Integrated service pathways across secondary and primary care
• Streamlining systems and processes to achieve the same outcomes using fewer resources
• Engagement of clinicians, managers, staff and patients
• Creative use of finance and other data to understand how NHS services are delivered and could be improved upon
• Innovative approaches, such as outsourcing or collaborative working across public sector organisations, and use of new technology where appropriate.
• A patient centred approach where the needs of the patient, and quality and safety of the service are paramount
• Flexible use of workforce and other resources


Please ensure you meet the above eligibility and entry criteria.

To apply please complete the application form and return to Miguel Souto no later than 5pm on 12 October 2015