Simple steps to revolutionise CYP services

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 pace-setterCCG (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.

Greensand Health Centre (previously called Stockett Lane Surgery), Kent (GP leads: Dr Helen Terrell, Juliette Norton)

Dr Helen Terrell says “The PACE SETTER Award project allows GPs to celebrate what is great about General Practice, at a time when we only read about cutbacks, workload and doom and gloom.  What is so liberating is the fact that this project does not dictate exactly what you have to do.  Instead there is support, suggestions, enthusiasm and learning from others.

As part of the project, we reviewed our safeguarding procedures and contacted our local Academy who allowed their students to take part in a survey.  We made assumptions about what the issues might be and the results were interesting but didn't give us much food for thought and improvement over reviewing access. 

Due to workload pressures, we didn't manage to complete in time for the first submission.  Hearing from the parent carers and other practices at the First Celebration Award ceremony was very inspiring though and this gave us new enthusiasm to get on and implement some changes. 

We have a brand new website which has been enabled to be mobile friendly and we launched our new practice Facebook site.  One of the parents said how important it was for her autistic son to look at photos of staff before coming - I genuinely had no idea - we now have staff photos on the wall and they easily accessible on our website.  We were keen to update our mobile records for our teenagers due to confidentiality and we loved the 15th birthday card so much, we borrowed it!  Within days of the second award ceremony, the new Greensand FastPass was born to enable speedy reviews - we love it!  We are also working towards including medical passports, information packs for new diagnoses and developing the Children and Young People's area on the website.

I would really recommend anyone to take part in this project.

In detailed terms as set out above and based on our consultation work, we realised that accessing our services needed revision – and this informed one of the key activities we undertook to change and increase the way we communicate with our children and young people, to provide reassurance that GP’s and staff team are friendly and accessible.

What did we set out to do?

  • Increase the use of Facebook and encourage young people to like our page and to actively contribute to the growth and changes at the surgery
  • Include a children’s’ section in our newsletter
  • Increase the database of mobile numbers of young people
  • Send a birthday card to all 15 years olds ensuring that their contact details are up to date
  • Add photo boards in the reception

What have we done and lessons learned?

  • We increased our ‘likes’ on our new Facebook page. We have designed and created a huge wall sign to encourage the use of Facebook - our likes have increased to 76 from none at the start of the project.
  • Our mobile database has increased and we now have 1109 patients registered for online services. This is an increase from 10% at the start of the project to 17.09%. We employed a young person to come in once a week and ring our young people and update/confirm their mobile phone data and this continued through the summer of 2016.
  • Our newsletter has been adapted to include a CYP sections which we will be posting online and to our Facebook page. We have also asked for CYP to contribute and influence content.
  • We created a new birthday card. We found this element a bit more difficult; bearing costs in mind we have initially set up a letter, including useful information and a copy of the most recent newsletter, this has been issued each month by post.
  • Photo boards put up in our foyer.
  • Created a new website –

20th May 2016 – Email to partner practices of Dr Helen Terrell:

“We were awarded our Pacesetter scheme award yesterday.  The Vice Chair of the RCGP was at the award ceremony and said Pacesetter was the most exciting project he had seen in the last year.
It basically is about improving children and young patients services to improve safety, access and communication.  It's about working with your patients and community to make small changes that actually seem so simple, but help everyone.

I completely understand that practices are feeling overwhelmed and demoralised.  We've been one of those in the past. What's different with this scheme is that no one tells you what you have to do.  You basically come up with some ideas after chatting to patients and staff and implement them.

We reviewed our safeguarding policy and made changes. We did a questionnaire with pupils at Cornwallis and in house. We redid our website with a section specifically for younger people We made a new newsletter with a section for young people We set up a Facebook site - 75 likes so far! We displayed staff photos on the wall and website and we designed a letter to send out to patients aged 15 to update mobile numbers, and let them know about services available to support them

To come...a golden ticket fast track  for urgent reviews (issued temporarily for patients that Dr thinks could deteriorate and need urgent review ) and medical passports for patients with special needs and considerations.

The project is well supported and simply trusts that you are a professional and can do what needs doing!  The paperwork is not onerous and you decide what ideas to pursue. Review of safeguarding and an engagement exercise are obligatory but the form that this takes is personal choice.

It's very refreshing to do something without tick boxes and targets.  It really does encourage you to aim higher rather than just scrape the benchmark.  All very interesting psychology and definitely something the CCG could learn from.  The project is being professionally evaluated.

I would really encourage you all to consider taking part.  You are all Pacesetters in other ways and I'm sure should be celebrated too.  Our staff are thrilled it's definitely been morale boosting for them. 

For the time being, I'll enjoy saying that we are the only practice in West Kent to be awarded this accolade!” 



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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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