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 (CYP) NHS Services.

It has been designed by those working within the primary and community care sector and was adopted into the work programme of the South East Coast Strategic Clinical Network (SEC SCN) for Children and Young People. However, the PACE Setter Award programme has now become available for NHS Commissioners and providers in primary and community care across the UK.

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.

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 and patient-centred care.

For an overview please see:

PACE Setter Award SUMMARY One Pager


Dr Mary Darking who undertook the Independent Evaluation and in which the PACE Setter Approach is acclaimed described it:

“What you see first is the values driven approach …….but when I looked further and unpicked what practices had done and when you relate what you have done back to the Quality Improvement literature all this incredible educational content came spilling out –  like Health Systems strengthening; partnership working; whole practice change; educational approaches; patient engagement and the quality of the patient engagement; all this that has gone on are all massive areas of Health Research / Health Policy but because it is not a top down heavy design (and I put this down to the way it has been designed) so that is not what hits you upfront and people [participants] just have subsumed these important tools and techniques and you wouldn’t know that it tackled eg. these six chapters of textbook theory or the theory of Change Management but what does hit you up front is a set of values you want to subscribe to from engaging with the programme.”

Source: At 14.26 minutes here 

Why is it called PACE Setter?

PACE Setter refers to the acronym PACE. This consists 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 with safety underpinning them all.

You can read more about each of the four elements by clicking on each one here:

The Four Elements Clinical Best Practice and CareEducating and EquippingAccessing ServicesPatient and Staff Engagement

Please see an introductory film from Dr Tim Fooks about PACE Setter (run-time 6.31 minutes).

Dr Fooks Video

It was really great to hear of your PACE Setter Award at the RCPCH – easy to understand why we were enthusiastic – it is brilliant in its simplicity and yet such impact.

Dr Jacqueline Cornish, National Clinical Director Children


The PENNA awards are a great testament to the Pioneer PACE Setter Primary Care teams who have worked hard to improve the service they provide to Children and Young People.