A health team which has pioneered major improvements in care for women in Bradford has been shortlisted for an award in the medical equivalent of the Oscars.

The 13-strong group of hospital doctors, nurses and GPs set up the first direct access outpatient hysteroscopy service in the country, treating about 450 women in Bradford each year for menstrual problems.

Now their efforts have received major recognition following their selection as one of three finalists for the Searle Obstetrics and Gynaecology Team Award in the prestigious Hospital Doctor Awards.

Consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Miss Sian Jones, who is based at Bradford Royal Infirmary, said she was delighted with the accolade.

The service was a national first when it was created in 1994 and had since attracted attention from across the country.

Previously women with abnormal bleeding problems had visited the infirmary three times and were examined under general anaesthetic in a procedure which needed a stay in hospital of at least a day.

The new system meant women were examined by their GP locally and were referred to the hospital for a single appointment only if it was felt they needed further examination using hysteroscopy, a procedure using a special telescope to look at the womb, completed within an hour as an outpatient.

Further care was handled medically by the GP unless surgery was needed when a full range of options could be discussed.

Under training through a series of workshops, 75 per cent of GPs in Bradford were now able to offer continuing care to patients with bleeding problems under the system.

"Across the country people are not treating women effectively, giving them wrong treatment and they are not getting any better.

"But here in Bradford we have been running these workshops for GPs teaching them to treat people properly, prescribe the right drugs for the right reason and women are getting better.

"Bradford is recognised as a centre of excellence for outpatient hysteroscopy and people come from all over the country to see how we work.

"We really are thrilled to bits - it is fantastic to be named on the shortlist."

The winner of the award will be announced at a glittering presentation ceremony in London in November.

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