A text messaging system for Oxfordshire mental health patients has won a national award.

The project, which won the NHS Live award, was a collaboration between Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust and Oxford University's department of psychiatry.

The two organisations created a text messaging system for people with bipolar disorder, which enables them to monitor their own condition and keep GPs updated on how they are feeling.

The team beat two other national finalists and was selected overall winner by the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement and the Department of Health.

Oxford University's Prof John Geddes said: "I'm delighted that our project has been selected from so many for the NHS Live award.

"We believe our text messaging system is a great way of improving support for those with bipolar disorder, and it allows them to take much more control of the way they live with their condition. With this project, we've created something that can really make a difference to the way care is provided.

"We're keen to share our learning more widely so that others can copy it for themselves. This award is an important step in that process."

Mental health staff send out weekly text messages and the patients send back one of a number of pre-arranged replies, depending on how they are feeling.

Health organisations in France and the US are now hoping to copy the scheme.

Bernard Crump, a spokesman for the NHS Institute for Innovation & Improvement, said: "It's breakthrough ideas like this one from people on the frontline who understand the issues that can make the biggest difference."

Sarah Hills, a spokesman for the mental health trust, said: "We have been working closely with Prof Geddes on this and we are delighted with the award."