Pacesetters is a national initiative to test out innovation and new ways of working to address inequalities in health and health services. It is a partnership programme, requiring strong engagement with local communities, patients, service users, carers and staff.
The initiative focuses on inequalities that arise from organisational discrimination and exclusion of people on account of their age, religion, disability, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation. The discrimination may result in a lack of access to health care, inappropriate treatment and inferior outcomes.
Pacesetters also looks to test innovation in capturing data about inequalities, developing a diverse workforce and in creating a workplace free from discrimination.
NHS East Midlands is one of six strategic health authorities who are working with the Department of Health on this project. Within our region, the Pacesetters programme initially focused on three primary care trusts. We have now expanded to cover nine. We are working on a diverse range of projects with a variety of community groups. Projects include Gypsy and Traveller “health ambassadors” in Leicestershire, improving access to breast cancer screening for female prisoners in Lincolnshire, improving palliative care services for faith communities in Nottingham, and using staff mediators to prevent the escalation of harassment and discrimination cases.
We have focussed our initial work on securing good project management and developing effective community engagement. This groundwork has paid off as we have presented three of our projects at a national conference on patient involvement, had an article published in a national health journal, and have been invited to speak at an international seminar in Hungary.
Pacesetters funding is used for all projects, but there is an expectation that individual trusts will also make a contribution, either financially or “in-kind” through use of staff time or corporate resources.
For further information on Pacesetters East Midlands please contact Leon Charikar, Pacesetter Programme Manager, on 0116 2951408 or email him at Leon.Charikar@nhs.net
Pacesetters East Midlands celebration event took place on 13th October at the Peepul Centre in Leicester. The day was attended by 120 people from all backgrounds and was aimed at showcasing the 22 Pacesetters projects which are running in the region and sharing learning. For further information on the event see the press release and to see a short film about the day click here.