A GROUND-breaking partnership to tackle heart and circulation disease has been nominated for a national prize.

The Bury Integrated Community Cardiology Pilot is up for the top gong on Wednesday in one of ten categories in the NHS Parliamentary Awards.

It has already been named as the winner of the North-West Excellence in Health Care Award in the regional round of the scheme after being nominated by local MP James Frith.

The partnership brought together the town's health commissioners, GPs, Fairfield General Hospital and its consultants, community groups and the council's leisure services department to improve prevention measures and speed diagnosis and treatment of a range of cardiovascular conditions from chest pains and irregular heartbeat through to heart failure.

The project aimed to improve care in or near people's homes and co-ordinate rehabilitation measures. It avoided 288 unnecessary outpatient appointments.

Its success, after three-month trial and a 12-month full-scale pilot, is now used as a good practice model for NHS services around Greater Manchester..

Tim Gray, divisional clinical director of the Bury and Rochdale Care Organisation, said: “We know our sickest patients are seen more quickly and by the best person. We have received excellent feedback about the changes we have mad."

Bury North Labour MP Mr Frith: “I’m delighted that Bury’s Community Cardiology Pilot has been recognised as a regional champion in the second year of the prestigious NHS Parliamentary Awards.

“I nominated the project for its innovative work in improving access to cardiovascular services for Bury patients and the promising outcomes it is delivering.

“It is important to recognise the hard work and dedication of NHS staff and the world-class service they’re committed to delivering ."

Mr Frith added: “I look forward to welcoming members of the team to Parliament for the awards ceremony next week.”

Mr Gray said: "I’m very proud to be part of a wide team of dedicated and caring professionals. All the partners feel honoured to be nominated for this award.”