Awards season for Leacroft Medical Practice

Leacroft award

Staff at Leacroft Medical Practice are celebrating their own awards season with a recent win in the national PACE Setter awards; they are now shortlisted as finalists in the PEN National Awards 2016 (Patient Experience Network) for their innovative efforts in improving communication with patients and families in a culturally diverse setting, both at the Crawley surgery and Crawley Clinical Commissioning Group.

Leacroft Medical Practice is the first practice in Crawley to engage in the PACE Setter Award, the Primary Care Quality Mark for children and young people’s (CYP) NHS services which has been rolled out across Surrey and Sussex.


GP Clinical Lead for Child and Maternity services at Crawley CCG, Dr Patience Okorie says: “As a clinician and a GP practice we have grappled for a number of years with the issues presented by the culturally diverse population whom we serve, where language can and does form a barrier to good communication.  As a result, understanding the course and severity of some illnesses can be difficult for some of our patients. This means that they often either present inappropriately with self-limiting illnesses like cough and cold and diarrhoea and vomiting or at the other extreme do not realise the severity of the conditions their children have, so present quite late.”

Leacroft Practice delighted the judges with its work to improve the disease control and safety of CYP patients diagnosed with asthma through the proactive introduction of personalised Patient Asthma Action Plans. They also enabled children to become health educators, both for themselves and their families, and carried out an audit of the number of CYP with complex medical problems, reviewing their care plans and creating passports to ensure they are always seen promptly.

Dr Okorie now wants to encourage more practices across Crawley to embrace the scheme: “As a clinical lead for Crawley CCG our aim is to continue to ensure that every child has access to healthcare that is timely, high quality, safe, effective and caring.

“The aim of the PACE Setter initiative is to ensure that primary care continues to evaluate the care available to children and young people, to ensure that young people are provided with well designed, consistent, co-ordinated, family friendly and patient-centred care. The PACE Setter award will be the quality mark for healthcare services available to children and young people in this area.”

Crawley resident Mohammed Khan is father to two boys with very complex medical needs who are registered at Leacroft Medical Practice. His English is limited and he used to find the process of making appointments for his children difficult and scary. Since the new systems have been put in place as part of the PACE Setter project Mr Khan’s experience of communicating with surgery staff has drastically improved.

He says, “It is easier to get appointments. Today, I called this morning and my son has an appointment at 4.10 this afternoon. The GPs understand more about my children’s needs. The specialist told me this is very important for my children. I am still anxious and scared about them because of their illness, but I feel more comforted when I can get an appointment like this.”

The practice will find out whether they have won at the upcoming PEN National Awards ceremony, which takes place in Birmingham 21 March 2017.


• The PACE Setter Award is a unique quality improvement programme for primary healthcare services to children and young people (CYP), their families and carers. It has been developed by Dr Tim Fooks and Christine McDermott, who are the Coastal West Sussex CCG CYP Commissioning Clinical Lead and Project Manager respectively. The programme has now completed its 'pioneer' phase and an independent evaluation of the project and has been endorsed by the Royal College of General Practitioners, receiving formal statements of support from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Healthwatch (Sussex) and Parents' Forum.