Improving the quality of care for our children

The PACE SETTER Award is the Quality Mark programme for NHS Primary Care Teams for Children and Young People (CYP) Services. It was invented and trialled by NHS Coastal West Sussex CCGpace-setter (CWS CCG). It is gaining interest both across Kent, Surrey and Sussex and nationally. The award programme is designed to highlight, acknowledge and celebrate the initiatives that GP practices are putting in place to provide excellent primary care to children, young people, their families and carers. Bright Ideas is going to highlight the award winning innovations, which might inspire other GP practices. 

Maywood Surgery, Bognor Regis, West Sussex (Leads: Dr Nick Sheppard, Dr Alison Esslemont, Tracey Osborne – Business Manager)

At Maywood Surgery we are always keen to explore ways to improve the journey of our  patients and improve the quality of care. The PACE SETTER Award was a wonderful and fresh opportunity to consult our patients using a questionnaire to identify key areas where we could look to improve the quality of care for our children.  The three areas that we identified were as follows:

  • Improving access for acutely unwell children and ensuring ease of review with any subsequent concern
  • Having a practice focus on identifying children at risk of (or with obesity) and ensuring appropriate support and action
  • Improve and refresh our website particularly focussing on information available for adolescents regarding health education with plans for Facebook links also.

Maywood-surgery-access-ticketOpen Access Ticket for Minor Illness - We have always prioritised access to the surgery for acutely unwell children but by taking that a step further with an open access arrangement for parental concerns regarding any subsequent deterioration, we felt that we were strengthening our commitment to care for these children. An open access card was printed with a telephone number for the secretaries, in effect bypassing reception and any wait. The secretaries were then able to act swiftly to ensure early review or telephone contact. This has been greatly valued by parents, offering significant reassurance and we hope that in doing so that we will reduce potential out of hours contacts or A&E attendances.Maywood-surgery

Childhood Obesity - We are all aware of the risks associated with obesity and that this is increasingly affecting children. We believe that childhood obesity is something as a team we were poor at identifying and approaching. We wanted to get an idea of the prevalence of obesity in our population of 1 to 10 year olds and address the lack of confidence staff have identifying the problem and managing it. It was felt after discussion that a focus on becoming more aware of the weight of our younger children (<10 y.o.) and offering support when appropriate that we could impact very positively on their future health by implementing change at a time when parents have more control on eating behaviours and habits and also before the very self conscious teenage years. We found that when we looked retrospectively at our records, that weights and heights were hardly ever recorded. We raised this issue within the practice, highlighting the benefits to children. We also arranged for an education event at the practice with a representative from the “Henry Course” (Healthy Eating & Nutrition for the Really Young) - outlining it’s structure and referral processes. This course is relatively new to the area though is a national initiative which supports parents through education in helping their children to achieve a healthy weight. We have been successful in raising the profile of childhood obesity within the practice and now feel more enabled to start supportive discussions.

Our practice website had long been due a makeover and, although still work in progress, there is a freshness and much more readily available information which is of benefit to our younger patients.

The PACE SETTER Award has been a hugely enjoyable process and very well supported by the enthusiasm of Christine and Tim. There has also been a lot of shared learning through finding out about other practices experiences too. 


This practice won a NHS Coastal West Sussex CCG PACE SETTER Quality Award. The Award is gaining interest both across Kent, Surrey and Sussex and nationally.  The programme is being led by Dr Tim Fooks and Christine McDermott who are leads for CYP Commissioning at Coastal West Sussex CCG. The PACE SETTER Award Scheme was instigated from within Primary Care and is approved by Healthwatch, endorsed by RCGP, supported by RCPCH and sponsored by Health Education England and the NHS South East Clinical Networks.

To receive the award GP practices must demonstrate a clear commitment to improving care for children, young people and their families, and they must be able to evidence that they have fully engaged with patients / parents and other carers.  It is this feature that underpins the whole Award Scheme. It is an evidence based bottom-up approach to the improvement of health care. You can find out more about it on Coastal West Sussex CCG website.

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