Service Level Quality Improvement Measures (SLQMAPS)

The RCPCH is developing a set of service level measures designed to support acute paediatric services to monitor the effects of service change at a local level, and to facilitate quality improvement.

What’s the aim of the SLQMAPS project?

The objective of this project at inception was to produce five to ten universally applicable and practically measureable quality improvement metrics for acute paediatric services for infants, children and young people aged 0 to 18 which could be used to indicate changes in the quality of care over time, which may result from service interventions.

Why are we doing this?

  • To enable and support child health services to monitor the effect of service interventions at a local level.
  • To provide a strong evidence base for the development and revision of service standards, such as the Facing the Future suite of standards.
  • To identify and share examples of best practice, to aid the improvement of child health outcomes across the four UK nations.

The initial development stage

The report from the initial stage of the development of the measures can be downloaded here: Service Level Quality Improvement Measures for Acute General Paediatric Services (SLQMAPS) - 2016 (PDF, 215KB)
The report sets out 10 key principles for the further development of measures and recommends development of measures in 5 domains, with a focus on specific metrics under those domains:
1. Management of acute illness by inpatient general paediatric services
1.1. Process measure(s) encompassing one or more evidence based aspect of the medical management of a group of acute paediatric presentations for infants, children and young people presenting to, or already admitted to, acute paediatric services.
1.2. Adherence and response to paediatric early warning system (PEWS) for infants, children and young people admitted to acute paediatric service.
2. Patient safety
2.1. Medication and treatment errors
2.2. Quality of response to and learning from adverse incidents reported relating to physical or mental health affecting infants, children and young people admitted to acute paediatric services.
2.3. Quality of clinical handover within the acute paediatric service. 
3. Activity and patient flow
3.1. (a) Overall rate of admission to acute paediatric inpatient service.
(b) When present, rate of admission to paediatric ambulatory care unit.
3.2. Length of admission to paediatric inpatient services.
3.3. Unplanned readmission within 24 hours/48 hours/7 days of discharge from hospital for infants, children and young people.
4. Patient and parent/carer experience
4.1. A patient reported experience measure (PREM) for infants, children and young people and their carers admitted to acute paediatric services, including questions related to management of pain.
5. Staff experience
5.1. Staff reported experience, including satisfaction with care provided, morale and attitudes toward safety.

What next?

The RCPCH is playing an important role in the Collaboration for Quality Measurement in Children and Young People's Health, which comprises senior members of NHS England, Public Health England, the Care Quality Commission, NICE, and a range of research and quality improvement groups. The first meeting of this group was hosted by RCPCH on May 10th 2017, led by Dr Dougal Hargreaves of University College London. A report and recommendations from this group will be published separately. 


For more information, please email