IMPROVING standards of patient care has seen health bosses shortlisted for a prestigious award.

NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has been working closely with GP practices to get an insight into the day-to-day reality of health services in Bolton, identifying possible risks and opportunities for improvement.

The CCG is a finalist in the changing culture category of this year’s Patient Safety and Care Awards.

These awards recognise the achievements of organisations which, in the wake of recent challenges for the NHS, are working hard to find new ways of improving patient safety and quality of care.

As part of the Bolton initiative, GP practices were encouraged to share information and feedback using a dedicated online reporting tool.

Anything that could pose a significant risk to patient safety was acted on immediately by the CCG.

Other information was collated, analysed and discussed with GP practices and other relevant healthcare providers.

The CCG has a statutory duty to commission, or buy, high quality health care for Bolton people and monitors the performance of providers in line with agreed standards. This new initiative forms part of the CCG’s ongoing work to achieve continuous improvement in the quality of care.

Dr Colin Mercer, clinical director for governance and safety at the CCG, said: “NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group wants health care to be the best it can be for Bolton people.

“If we are to achieve this, feedback from GPs is vital. Only by identifying problems and learning from them can we achieve real change.

“We have had a great response from practices and the fact we have been shortlisted for this award is a real testament to their hard work.

“The CCG and formerly our predecessor organisation, the primary care trust, have been working with partners for some time now to build a culture of openness. This initiative represents one more step in this journey.”