Headlines: November 26th, 1999

The drive to modernise the health service has moved forward with a project to share good practice. The NHS Beacon scheme launched earlier in the year, has identified 290 Beacons covering general practice, waiting lists and times, and mental health. The Beacons are star performers and they will share their expertise with colleagues. They have been funded to allow them to provide visitor guides and to mount at least three interactive learning activities each year.The scheme has gone live and health service staff can find out from a new website www.nhsbeacons.org.uk  which Beacon best suits their need. They can search the website by the name of the Beacon, by key area, or by key text. Following a request for a visit they will receive a letter acknowledging their request within two days and within three weeks a visitor pack will be sent to them.

There are further plans to set up specialist centres and learning partnerships. Specialist centres will focus on a specific development such as introduction of the Business Excellence Model. Learning partnerships will connect organisations or groups in an area, or link regions with a shared priority for service improvement.