PACE Setter: improving primary care for children

The PACE Setter Award is a new improvement programme for practices providing primary care services to children, young people, their families and carers. It is the Primary and Community Care Quality Mark for Children and Young People’s NHS Services.

Dr Tim Fooks introduces the PACE Setter Award programme in this 6min presentation

It has been designed by those working within the primary and community care sector and has been adopted into the work programme of the South East Coast Strategic Clinical Network (SEC SCN) for Children and Young People.

It is a voluntary but formal system for recognising, celebrating, promoting and sharing excellence in the provision of health services to Children and Young People (CYP).

A PACE Setter organisation will be known by its younger patients (and their carers and families) to be committed to the provision of well-designed, consistent, co-ordinated, family-friendly patient-centred care.

Why is it called PACE Setter?

PACE Setter refers to the acronym PACE consisting of four elements that provide a clear and standardised structure around which participating organisations are encouraged to review and refresh their services to children and young people.

The four elements are:

  • Patient and carer engagement,
  • Accessing services,
  • Clinical pathways implementation, and
  • Education.

It is a transformational process conducted at a pace tailored to suit the strategic aims of each participating organisation.

The PACE Setter Award is an initiative to award a quality mark to primary care practices that have achieved a set of agreed goals based around a consultation exercise with their young patients and families. We are getting quite excited at some of the ingenious, innovative work and the cost-effective ideas that this project is generating.

Please see an introductory clip from Dr Tim Fooks about PACE Setter:

How do we achieve the PACE Setter Award?

The full PACE Setter Award document and application details are available online.

All applicants must complete two key mandatory activities:

  1. a self-assessment audit of their safeguarding procedures and
  2. a consultation exercise with their CYP population/families.

From these exercises, three additional key activities must be chosen and implemented to complete the application process. These activities must be based on the four PACE elements.

What will the costs be to my organisation?

There are no costs for applying for the PACE Setter Award, other than the time required for carrying out the self-assessment audits and implementing the defined changes.

Some set up support funding may be available to enable primary care teams to sign up for the PACE Setter programme. Details will be made available at the time of application; please contact for more information.

Successful organisations will be expected to support the scheme by encouraging other providers through the sharing best practice and participating in local award panels.

Why should my organisation seek this award?

The attainment of The PACE Setter Award will enhance a provider's reputation in their local community and with their patients and peers, with patients and their families forming a key part of the whole award system.

In addition, the PACE Setter design team has also received recognition of this award by other local and national agencies, such as Healthwatch, the Royal Colleges and the local CCGs, as evidence of high quality care.

As such it can form the basis for a valuable and worthwhile programme of organisation-specific, clinically-focussed, whole-team and individual, professional development.

The application process will require a significant level of commitment and planning by each organisation, but, as with all challenging endeavours, attaining The PACE Setter Award will prove an achievement in which every member of the team may be rightfully proud.

In summary:

The PACE Setter Award has been designed and launched by an experienced team to highlight and reward great quality for Children and Young People (CYP) services.

It is:

  • instigated by a GP
  • approved by Healthwatch
  • endorsed by the RCGP
  • supported by the RCPCH
  • sponsored by the South East Coast Children and Young People Strategic Clinical Networks

to celebrate all you have achieved to improve the health and well-being of our children and young people.

  • Do you want to be recognised for the high quality services you provide for children and young people or that you are aspiring to lead in this area?
  • Do you want to be recognised by your patients and peers for the work you are doing in this area?
  • Join a new initiative to recognise, promote and share excellence in children and young people’s health services – called the PACE SETTER Award UK!

See some of the emerging innovations arising from the key activities of the PACE Setter practices.

An independent evaluation of the PACE SETTER award programme has been conducted:

“The main conclusion of the evaluation at this interim stage is that PACE Setter Award is an innovative and progressive quality improvement programme that has proved successful at generating quality improvements across two fundamental yet historically challenging areas of healthcare provision: children and young people’s health; and primary and community care services.

The initiatives developed and implemented by practices are substantive, constituting sustainable and ongoing change to the way they perform key organisational and medical activities, whilst simultaneously, enhancing their knowledge of and engagement with, children, young people, parents and carers in their local communities”

- An Evaluation of the PACE Setter Award UK: Interim Report 29th February 2016 by Dr Mary Darking, Senior Lecturer in Social Policy and Innovation, University of Brighton"

Join us and become a pioneer PACE Setter

We are calling all GP practices to participate in this award programme which has been independently evaluated and shown to work. Indeed, the CQC commented that one area of outstanding practice at Moatfield Surgery was their PACE Setter Award initiative – CQC said:

“We saw one area of outstanding practice: The practice used innovative and proactive methods to improve patient outcomes, working with other local providers to share best practice. For example the practice had achieved a children and young people’s service Pacesetter award through the local CCG for their work in designing appropriate services for young people.”

A short "how to" guide has been published including all the fantastic and practical innovations that the first set of award-winning practices have implemented locally.

In addition, the step-by-step guide and resource pack is also available to help practices capture their successes and complete the application process for the PACE-Setter Award UK.

The repository of high volume acute pathway documents (including parental advice sheet) and other innovations from the step by step guide are outlined in more detail on the SECSCN website.

The application process is simple - please see the outline and online form.

This is an exciting initiative to share and celebrate all of the work we are all doing to provide the best possible care for children and young people.

Some brilliant PACE Setter innovations

Thank you to the seventeen practices, their families and patients who are already involved and have jointly tested out this scheme to ensure it is practical, useful and most importantly, founded on upon “the wisdom, the intelligence and the smartness of those we look after.”

You can read about their initiatives in the PACE Setter practices section. If you are going to adapt/use any of these materials, kindly acknowledge the original practices' ideas in your own materials.

Videos of our first celebration event from November 2015 are available.

Picture of child with balloons