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Communications and Engagement Strategy 2010 - 2013

Author: Natalie Yost Assistant Director Communications and Engagement Last amended: 13 January 2011


Contents 1.

Executive Summary









Clinical Stakeholders



Stakeholders and Partners









Digital Media



Campaigns and Marketing



Media Relations



Corporate Identity






Communication protocols






Appendices: Appendix 1 - Communication Channels and Stakeholder Matrix Appendix 2 - Communications and Engagement Team Budget Appendix 3 - Situational Analysis Appendix 4 - Research and Insights


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1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This document sets out how NHS Medway will communicate and engage with the public, patients, staff, clinicians, partners and stakeholders; how we will ensure the smooth transition of communications and engagement to successor organisations and GP commissioners 1 and how we will support NHS Medway’s Transition Programme Board and Transitional People Strategy. The Government’s white paper Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS promises “no decision about me, without me”. At its heart lies patient choice, patient information and patient involvement. Acknowledging that communication is part of everyone’s job, this strategy provides the framework for communication by everyone in NHS Medway, so that all communication by us, as individuals, as teams and as an organisation, supports these objectives. The aim of the strategy is to improve the way NHS Medway, working closely with our partners, communicates and engages so that people have the information they need to make health choices and their views are used to improve our plans, our services and our policies. Medway has higher than average health inequalities, an ageing population and increasing demands on services. As constraints on public sector finances increase this is challenging for NHS Medway. Robust communication and engagement is essential in a Slimmer and More Effective NHS. The strategy identifies our audiences, what NHS Medway will do to communicate and engage with them and where we need to do more to reach some people. Clear objectives inform the evaluation of our strategy and protocols ensure that all partners across health and social care in Medway are working together. We will work closely with NHS West Kent and NHS Eastern and Coastal Kent, share resources and get the best value from communications and engagement activity. This review has been informed by feedback from the consultation of our Single Equality Scheme and The Medway Health Debate, our programme of public and patient engagement. It supports NHS Medway’s Strategic Commissioning Plan ‘Growing Healthier’ and the Organisation Development Plan. The Commissioning Engagement Toolkit sets out in more detail how we will ensure engagement informs commissioning decisions and is inclusive. This strategy is a refresh of the communications strategy signed off by the NHS Medway Board in January 2010. 1

NHS Medway is responsible for supporting the transition of PCT responsibilities to successor organisations when Primary Care Trusts cease to exist from April 2013.


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2. PUBLIC People are becoming increasingly involved, and have more control over their care and how it is delivered. They should expect to have easy access to accurate, up-to-date, informative and relevant information. Information should be high quality, clear, written in plain English, easily understood and professionally produced. NHS Medway should make it easy for people to communicate with us and us with them (two-way communication). There should be good access to accurate, up-to-date information on-line which is easy to find. People should be able to easily find out about NHS Medway, its work, policies, decisions and services through a variety of means. They should be able to easily recognise and trust communications from NHS Medway. We will:           

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Ensure people have access on their doorstep to information about healthcare in Medway and how to improve their health by producing a twice-yearly publication Health Matters delivered to every resident Publish a mini Health Matters double page spread in Medway Council’s magazine, Medway Matters, also delivered to every home in Medway Maintain an up-to-date, accurate and engaging website which makes it easy to search and find information Work with the media to publicise information about health and healthcare in Medway Issue a monthly e-bulletin, Growing Healthier, which gives a wide range of information about NHS activity in Medway. This is available to anyone who wishes to register Use posters, leaflets and marketing material to give people information Deliver social marketing campaigns to encourage healthy choices Use the Medway Health Debate to involve people through surveys, focus groups and debates Hold large public events so that people can easily and meaningfully contribute to our plans and policies Support people to look after their own health and access preventative care by promoting public health messages Continue to seek innovative ways and work harder to reach all members of the community, e.g. work with Medway’s Youth Parliament, Universities and Schools to reach young people, work with homeless charities, ethnic forums and the voluntary sector to reach more people Enhance our communications and engagement activity by working with community champions from organisations such as Medway Local Involvement Network (Medway LINk) Evaluate the effectiveness of our communications Investigate new methods of communicating with people (see section 8)


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3. STAFF Internal communication is an integral part of any organisation, helping to foster good relationships with staff, encouraging engagement, recruitment and retention, high performance and loyalty. We have a duty to ensure that staff are informed and engaged and that communication really works both ways. We want our staff to be our ambassadors and communications champions. As well as a right to be kept informed, we encourage staff to feed back their views and ideas on the plans and policies of the organisation. Staff should be involved in decision making and understand their own roles, the organisation’s overall strategic direction and how they personally contribute. Staff should know what their role is and how they will be supported during the transition to future structures. We will:              

Ensure that every piece of communication to staff is two-way and clearly shows how staff can easily feedback, ask questions and get more information Use Team Brief to ensure information and messages are cascaded in team meetings and information is fed back to the executive Improve access to information with an improved up-to-date, accurate and engaging intranet Provide quarterly Chief Executive Staff Briefings, spread across different days and times, which give staff access to information and the opportunity to challenge, discuss and ask questions Follow-up these briefings with a written account distributed electronically which clearly shows how staff can easily feed back, ask questions and get more information Hold an annual staff conference to celebrate the year’s achievements and involve staff in a debate about the future of the organisation Maintain the Staff Engagement Group and ensure all staff know how to use staff representatives to put their views and questions forward Work with staff to promote NHS Medway’s achievements in the media and when dealing with reactive media enquiries Be visible and accessible Chief Executive and Executive Directors Issue the weekly e–bulletin “What’s New” highlighting the latest news Provide up-to-date, accurate and timely electronic communications Make it easier to identify very important announcements by issuing them from a “Chief Executive” account, keeping the internal communications mailbox for general communications Engage with staff to continuously improve our internal communications Support staff to use digital communications with confidence


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4. CLINICAL STAKEHOLDERS Communicating and engaging with all of our clinical stakeholders is extremely important. It is especially important with GPs as we support the transition to GP commissioning. Communication and engagement should be frequent, two-way and effective. Clinicians should be able easily to access timely and accurate information. They should be able to communicate with the PCT easily and receive prompt and helpful responses. Clinicians should be supported to lead the communications and engagement of service development and change. They should be assisted to develop their communication and engagement skills as they move towards GP commissioning. We will:     

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Ensure clinical stakeholders inform commissioning decisions and shape the future of health services in Medway through our decision making structures and Strategic Change Programme Groups Ensure staff, the public, patients, stakeholders and partners understand and can get involved in the transition by supporting the GP transition board to communicate and engage Support clinicians by communicating key messages to the public, e.g. don’t waste an appointment, Choose Well, attend healthchecks when invited, have your Flu jab Provide the ‘We are listening’ email address as a two-way mechanism for GPs and Consultants to work with NHS Medway to improve commissioning Issue our monthly e-bulletin ‘Growing Healthier’ which gives a wide range of information about activity in the NHS in Medway to stakeholders, including GPs, practice managers, clinicians and people working in health and social care Use the monthly Practice Managers bulletin to communicate the latest news and information to GP practices Hold monthly GP meetings to engage with GPs and practice managers Provide a practitioners’ area on our website to provide accurate, up-to-date and easily accessible information to practitioners Work with GPs to develop their understanding of the media, digital communications, campaigns and marketing Support GPs in understanding the statutory requirements of GP commissioners in communications and engagement Support GPs to fulfil their obligations to public engagement


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5. STAKEHOLDERS AND PARTNERS NHS Medway has built good, solid relationships with our stakeholders and we work together in the interests of health and social care in Medway. Our key local stakeholders include our partners Medway Council, Medway Local Involvement Network (Medway LINK), provider organisations, local MPs, other NHS organisations, local voluntary sector organisations, community, patient and faith groups. A list of stakeholders can be found at Appendix 1. Communications and engagement activity is stronger when it is planned and coordinated with our partners. Our activity should give messages that are clear and consistent. The separation of providers from commissioning organisations makes good working relationships, supported by effective communication and engagement, even more important in the future. We need to continue to work together to ensure that healthcare in Medway delivers improved patient experience, outcomes and value for money and that services are joined-up. We will:           

Involve our stakeholders in decision making, policy development, service change and engagement activity Use our monthly e-bulletin ‘Growing Healthier’ to provide information about NHS Medway’s work, plans and priorities Continue to work closely with Medway Local Involvement Network (Medway LINk) Develop our relationship and engagement with voluntary and private sector stakeholders in Medway and access stakeholder communications channels Hold quarterly briefing sessions with our local MPs Work with partner communications and engagement teams in our role as the Delivering Health Together in Medway functional lead for communications and engagement to support whole system working Support the Transition Programme Board to communicate and engage with the public, staff and stakeholders Work with our partners so that communications and engagement activity is planned and co-ordinated Agree joint approaches with our partners wherever possible to share resources and skills Support the improvement of health and healthcare in Medway through our work with Medway Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committees. Work with local voluntary sector organisations and community, patient and faith groups so that they are informed about health and healthcare in Medway and know how to influence it


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6. ENGAGEMENT NHS Medway’s programme of public engagement is branded the Medway Health Debate and aims to ensure that all of our engagement activity is co-ordinated and meaningful, is acted upon and informs commissioning decisions. The Medway Health Debate is a cycle of engagement which includes public meetings, meetings with local community groups and organisations, drop-in sessions at public venues such as the Sunlight Centre and the Medway Health Debate survey online. It culminates in an annual public event. Commissioning managers also engage with patients and clinicians on specific subjects and service redesign through NHS Medway’s Strategic Change Programmes. All groups have patient, public or carer representation with Medway LINk external representatives involved in our six priority areas. NHS Medway also has statutory duties to involve and consult the public and patients when planning services or changing the way a service is provided or operates, if the proposal impacts on how services are delivered or the range of health services available. We will: 

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Ensure public and patient feedback directly influences the plans for future healthcare in Medway in our Annual Operating Plan, informs our Communications and Engagement Strategy and is documented in our Engagement Annual Report. Respond quickly and effectively to public feedback to improve and develop communications and engagement Use the Patient Experience Network to drive improvements in commissioning of services Maintain our cycle of public engagement, hold an annual feedback event and demonstrate how it influences our plans and priorities Involve and engage the public, clinicians and Medway Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committees in service planning and change effectively, in line with our statutory duties Co-ordinate and act on patient experience, surveys, Patient Liaison Service (PALS) and complaints information through the Patient Experience Network Work closely with Medway Council and participate in shared communication and engagement activities Work closely with Medway LINk, involve the LINk in decision making and support it to be an effective advocate for healthcare in Medway Support GPs in the transition to GP commissioning and support them to meet their communications and engagement responsibilities Publicise and encourage the use of PALS and complaints


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7. ACCESSIBILITY NHS Medway has a duty to ensure that our communications and engagement activity is inclusive and does not disadvantage anyone in our community. We work harder to ensure that the following equalities strands are considered when communicating and engaging with the public: race; gender; gender identity; disability; religion or belief; sexual orientation; age; human rights and socioeconomic, to ensure we meet the needs of all groups. We will ensure that reasonable adjustments are made so that everyone has access to information, can communicate with us and engage effectively with us. We want to support and encourage community leaders to be communications champions and develop our work with them to ensure that people from different backgrounds and faiths, with different languages and different communication needs have access to information and can get involved. We will:             

Work with our partners to make best use of good practice and established methods to reach all sections of our community Work closely with Medway LINk to reach all sections of the community so that the public can influence healthcare in Medway Ensure the Medway Health Debate reaches people from all sections of the community Use our programme of visits to voluntary groups and community outreach to ensure that communications and engagement work is equitable Work with community champions from organisations such as Medway LINk, young people’s groups and the voluntary sector to ensure we reach all sections of the community Use methods of communications and engagement particularly targeted to reach communities that evidence shows we do not engage with as effectively Publicise how people can access information in alternative formats and languages in all of our major publications Produce all our printed information in plain English Write our website content in plain English and ensure that information is easily accessible. Build a robust search engine into our website so that it is easy to navigate and find information Ensure our public events are accessible to everyone Work closely with voluntary organisations to regularly review and test the accessibility of our information Demonstrate in our annual engagement report how feedback and what happens to it makes good use of monitoring data to promote equality


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8. DIGITAL MEDIA Increasingly the public use digital communications to access information about healthcare. Around 85% of Medway residents have access to the internet at home 2 . The number of people accessing the internet and smart phone applications via their mobile phone is increasing exponentially year on year. It is essential that NHS Medway makes best use of this channel of communication, to respond to the development of innovative digital communication methods, save money and reduce our carbon footprint. During 2010 NHS Medway improved its digital communications with an improved website. NHS Medway’s Public Health Department has used social media for some time to engage the public and encourage people to access support to lead healthier lifestyles. In the last year NHS Medway has started to use social media as a corporate communications channel, notably YouTube and Issuu (a site which allows people to use page turning technology to read our publications online and subscribe so they are alerted when new publications are made available). The newly commissioned website will allow us to take advantage of new technology and utilise smart phone applications, ‘mash ups’, text messaging and RSS feeds among other new applications. We will:  

Provide an up-to-date, accessible, searchable and relevant website Include comprehensive information and guidance about the services that we offer and how they can be accessed by the public  Facilitate engagement with local people, patients and other stakeholders through online media and digital communications  Promote healthy living messages through digital communications  Write our website content in plain English  Meet the minimum required Web Content Accessibility Guidelines  Integrate NHS Choices content and service search functionality into our website  Host statutory information including information on our Publication Scheme and Freedom of Information guidance  Ensure our website has appropriate links to partners sites  Ensure material on partners websites is up-to-date and appropriate  Explore the use of new technologies that support communications and engagement including smart phone applications (i.e. iPhone apps)  Explore the further use of social media to promote local healthcare 2 Medservices way Council reputation survey 2010 and support people to make healthy lifestyle choices 17/01/2011

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9. CAMPAIGNS AND MARKETING Campaigns and marketing are important tools in helping people to make the right decisions about their health and their use of health services. They should be research-based and targeted for maximum effectiveness. Social marketing is a research-based approach to service delivery and communications. Qualitative and quantitative evidence about the different factors that influence people’s behaviour enables insight into the core beliefs that are leading them to, for instance, go to the emergency department rather than their GP, continue smoking or lead unhealthy lifestyles. Insights are different for different audiences. A social marketing approach involves looking at service delivery as well as communication messages and information, to see how insight can be used to improve the overall package, so that people change their behaviour. It enables much better tailoring of communications tools and messages for different audiences. Evaluation is an important aspect of social marketing and should be used to assess the value of social marketing campaigns and inform future campaigns to make sure that we always get best value for money. We will:   

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Identify areas where behavioural change is most needed to improve the health outcomes for the population in Medway and design and deliver campaigns to achieve this Adopt a social marketing approach to communications campaigns where appropriate to ensure that research informs our campaigns, information is targeted and evaluated to assess its effectiveness Run marketing campaigns focussing on key priorities such as: o Choose Well. Encouraging people to choose the most appropriate and cost effective healthcare when they feel unwell o Seasonal flu. To encourage people who are most at risk and eligible to get the flu jab o Seasonal public health advice such as Keep Warm, Keep Well and Keep Cool in the Summer Run a campaign to highlight the signs and symptoms of illnesses, e.g. encouraging people to seek advice if they have symptoms of Cancer Use a twice-yearly publication Health Matters and deliver it directly through residents’ doors to promote campaign messages and improve access to information about healthcare in Medway Publish a mini Health Matters double page spread in Medway Council’s magazine, Medway Matters, delivered to Medway residents’ homes Tailor national communications materials so that they promote local messages and access to local information Work with partners to get the best value from campaigns


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10. MEDIA RELATIONS The media is a key influencer of all audiences, including patients and staff. Media reporting can have a dramatic effect on an organisation’s reputation and how audiences perceive that organisation – whether deserved or not. Building and maintaining a good relationship with the media is beneficial to all organisations. NHS Medway’s relationship with the media is managed by the Communications and Engagement Team which has professional insight and expertise in this area. The team has long developed, robust and effective relationships with the local media enabling us to maximise opportunities for proactive coverage about services and policy decisions and contribute to balanced reporting of reactive issues. We work with the media to help us to manage expectations and engage with people about the impact of the financial pressures on NHS services. Reactive issues are handled quickly and professionally by the communications team, in consultation with appropriate senior members of staff. In the event of a serious issue NHS Medway’s Board is briefed and updated as necessary and the Strategic Health Authority informed. The relevant communications and engagement teams in partner organisations are also informed (see section on communications protocols for more details). We will:           

Maintain good relationships with the local print and broadcast media Work with the media to promote NHS Medway’s achievements, polices and decisions and to ensure that reactive stories are balanced Respond to media enquiries in a timely fashion and where we cannot meet a deadline, explain why Be transparent and open with the media Hold regular briefings for the media with the Chief Executive Support GPs as they move towards GP commissioning to develop media handling expertise Agree a communications protocol with our partners so that media releases and handling of reactive stories which affect our partners is co-ordinated and effective Work with the media teams of our partners in our role as the Delivering Health Together in Medway functional lead for communications and engagement Work closely with our colleagues in NHS West Kent and NHS Eastern and Coastal Kent to maximise the opportunities for proactive Kent and Medway-wide media activity Manage our reputation by supporting and preparing our Executive Team and Board members before they undertake media interviews Monitor and evaluate NHS Medway’s coverage in the media


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11. CORPORATE IDENTITY NHS Medway continues to establish itself as an effective and listening organisation which acts on feedback from local people and clinicians and is focused on improving patient experience, health outcomes and value for money. Corporate identity and trust in our organisation is built up over a period of time, through the way we demonstrate our values, uphold professional standards and work with our partners and the public. Everyone in NHS Medway has an important role to play in upholding these principles. Our communications and engagement activity should support and promote our corporate identity. We will:           

Promote and demonstrate our values in all of our work as a PCT Ensure that patient and public feedback is acted upon Support public involvement in NHS Medway’s commissioning decisions Agree a communications protocol with our partners so that communications and engagement activity reflects our values and those of the health economy throughout Medway and is co-ordinated and effective Prepare robust media handling plans and work with the media to protect our reputation by ensuring that reactive stories are balanced Produce communications and engagement materials to a professional standard and that reflect our values Use NHS Medway’s branding on all of our corporate materials to encourage recognition of our brand Support GPs as they move towards GP commissioning to develop expertise in reputation management Work with the communications and engagement teams of our partners in our role as the Delivering Health Together in Medway functional lead for communications and engagement Maintain and promote the use of our Corporate Identity Guidelines document Monitor the use of the NHS and NHS Medway’s logo (size, positioning, colour options etc)


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12. REPUTATION Reputation is earned over time. It can take years to build a good reputation and only hours to destroy it. Reputation enhancement and management is essential for any organisation. The organisation that does not treat this as a priority does so at its peril, as a good reputation is paramount to success. Reputation management is the responsibility of everyone who is connected with the organisation. However, good communications activities are key in enhancing an organisations reputation. A good reputation is built on knowledge and understanding, and these are gained through effective communication. Reputation can be extremely fragile, once tainted it can take years to repair. That is why it is essential to have a robust and tested emergency communications plan. Effective crisis communication is paramount, both during a major incident or crisis, and beyond. Correct handling of communications at this time can limit or negate damage to reputation. It is essential that a member of the Communications Team continues to be involved in any Emergency Planning/Crisis Management planning. We will:          

Have effective, robust and tested plans for emergencies and crisis communications Maintain effective business continuity plans so that NHS Medway can continue to communicate and engage Work with our partners so that crisis handling is co-ordinated and effective Enhance our reputation through our trusted, visible and recognisable identity Support GPs as they move towards GP commissioning to develop expertise in crisis communication and reputation management Deal professionally and effectively with the media in a crisis Coach and prepare the Executive team before carrying out media interviews Provide a weekly media coverage report to the Chief Executive and Chairman Agree a communications protocol with our partners so that communications and engagement activity is co-ordinated and effective Work closely with our colleagues in NHS West Kent and NHS Eastern and Coastal Kent to manage the reputation of the NHS county-wide


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13. COMMUNICATION PROTOCOLS NHS Medway and its partners work collaboratively so that all communications and engagement activity is planned, co-ordinated and effective. We will also seek cost-effective ways of delivering communications and engagement, for example holding joint engagement events, staff events and publicity launches. The communications and engagement leads across our partners work together as part of the Delivering Health Together in Medway functional group for communications and engagement, and support whole system working. We have signed up to:  Demonstrating our values through the ways we behave towards each other and work collaboratively  Not criticising each other or airing grievances in public. Where there are differences, we will agree a positive context against which they should be set and emphasise our shared commitment to resolving them  Talking positively about each other’s organisations publicly and in our internal and external communications, and use consistent, complementary messages  Acknowledging partners’ contributions to our work and achievements  Establishing effective mechanisms to ensure our organisations’ communications teams are briefed on issues that will need to be communicated.  Working with our communications teams to make them aware of any potential issues so they have the opportunity to fulfil their agreement to collaborate with their communications colleagues and do not inadvertently cut across partners’ messages  Seeking the advice and support of our communications teams so that our messages are clearly and professionally communicated  Developing joint communications whenever possible, and agree communications that refer to partners prior to them being issued or published  Agreeing any news release, press statement or enquiry response which impacts on a partner between both communications teams before issuing  Actively supporting and promoting where appropriate our partners’ communication messages through our own communication channels, for example web, publications and digital communications  Developing joint communication plans for emergency preparedness (including pandemic flu) and mutual aid arrangements  Agreeing and managing consistent messages and/or a joint approach to communication with key stakeholders when appropriate


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14. EVALUATION These are the objectives that we will use to measure the effectiveness of our Communications and Engagement: People feel informed  People know how to access services, get advice and support and make a complaint  People know how to make healthy lifestyle choices and where to get support if they need it  People know and understand what improvements are being made and what challenges exist within NHS Medway and the wider NHS  NHS Medway provides accessible information  Health professionals have the information they need to assist in carrying out their jobs and provide an equitable service People feel involved and are able to influence  Staff know what the aims and objectives are of NHS Medway and understand their own role within the organisation  People who access health services and the professionals who provide them are involved in the development of health services  There is public involvement in developing the strategic direction of NHS in Medway  We have robust two-way communication with our stakeholders  Staff are involved in NHS Medway’s strategic development and direction People feel inspired  Innovation can flourish and ideas are encouraged and acted upon  There is a sense of united purpose across the many organisations and individuals we work with  We are leading community dialogue about health and healthcare which will support us in improving health outcomes in Medway  The public feel inspired to take responsibility for their own health The Communications and Engagement team will develop key performance indicators to evaluate and measure success against these objectives.


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Chief Exec’s staff briefings Team Brief Internal campaigns 1:1s and open door sessions Staff News and intranet Staff Engagement Group Growing Healthier E-communications Celebrating differences Screen savers Plasma screen Leaflets and materials Growing Healthier Medway Matters SCP groups Campaign Information Local media Direct mail/email Health Matters Website AGM and annual report Medway Health Debate Public meetings

Partners including voluntary and community sector

Transition Programme Board Delivering Health Together in Medway Health Partnership Board Board to Board SCP/ Project Groups Direct mail/email Press releases Medway Health Debate Event AGM Public meetings Growing Healthier HOSC and Children’s OSC AGM Medway Health Debate Delivering Health Together in Medway Public meetings Direct mail/email NHS Medway Board Growing Healthier e-newsletter Transition Programme Board

Stakeholders and opinion formers


MP Briefings AGM Growing Healthier e-newsletter Medway Health Network Media releases

GPs and Health Professionals

GP monthly Website for professionals Practice bulletin SCP/ Project Groups Growing Healthier NHS Medway Transition Board GP transition board Direct mail/ email Written information Delivering Health Together in Medway Public Meetings AGM Health Matters Medway Health Debate


Medway Council

Medway LINk

Public including harder to reach groups

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Growing Healthier e-newsletter Direct mail/ email SCP/ Project Groups Transition Programme Board Delivering Health Together in Medway Public Meetings Co-ordinating Team meetings AGM Medway Health Debate AGM Medway Health Debate event Social Media Website Medway Matters magazine Health Matters Local media Growing Healthier e-newsletter Public Meetings Drop in sessions/outreach Direct mail/ email Surveys/Questionnaires Leaflets/posters/reports and other written material

Appendix 2 BUDGET All spend on communications and engagement will be maximised to get best value for money and reach as many people as possible in the most effective ways. In 2010/11 we published our Annual Report and Accounts online, designing and printing a short summary in-house, saving £10,000 in design and print costs. We will continue to publish our Annual Report and Accounts online. With input from staff we developed corporate branding and design templates to produce professional-standard materials in-house, making considerable savings. o Two editions of Health Matters Magazine a year: £38,000 o Double page spread in Medway Matters six times a year: £24,000 o Communications campaigns to support the strategic priorities of NHS Medway: £14,000 o Materials and costs to support consultations: £5,000 o Marketing materials – banners, stands etc: £3,000 o Statutory requirements to Advertising: £2,000 o Staff survey: £2,000 o Photography: £2,000 o Website/intranet hosting costs: £3,500 o Engagement events and activity: £6,500 o Staff conference: £2,000 o Software licenses, subscriptions and digital applications: £10,000

Total: £112,000


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Appendix 3 SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS The following analysis has been used to inform this strategy. 4.1


Strengths  Strong internal communications  Growing public engagement activity  Established corporate publications  Good relationship with local media  Stakeholder knowledge of previous successes and future challenges  Coterminous with Medway Council  Good working relationships with Medway Council/LINks Weaknesses  Limited data on public perception  Lack of public awareness of commissioner role  High number of patient complaints  Limited financial resources  Cannot give clear picture about future  Limited ability to attract new staff into critical posts  Limited finances to support strategy or reform

Opportunities  Build on engagement with staff  Closer working with GPs as move to towards GP commissioning  Wider engagement with patients and public  Improved website and intranet  Closer partnership working  Public appetite for involvement Threats  Reputation damage through negative media reporting  Capacity to deliver on increased expectations  Limited financial resources  Resistance from population in terms of healthy lifestyle choices  Increased instability of staff  Confusion about new arrangements from patients/public/ partners/voluntary sector

4.2 Political, Environmental, Social and Technological environment (PEST) Political  Transition to GP commissioning  NHS funding decisions  Impact of national policies locally  Code of practice for public consultation Environmental  Increasing partnership working  Flu pandemic


Social  Medway population among least healthy in the South East  Pockets of deprivation in Medway  Economic downturn Technological  Increase in multi-media  Expanding social media  Rising public use of multi-media

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Appendix 4 RESEARCH AND INSIGHTS 1. NHS Medway Patient Satisfaction survey In August 2009 NHS Medway conducted a patient satisfaction survey involving postal, online and telephone surveys. Eight thousand questionnaires were sent to a representative sample of households in Medway. Over 1900 residents responded to the survey giving an overall response rate of 20%. Headline results: 

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A quarter (23%) of all respondents claimed to have seen or heard something about NHS Medway on the television or radio. Those respondents who were more likely to have seen or heard anything about NHS Medway were those who had illness or disability in the household (28%), those using in-patients (26%), and those using Community services (27%). Forty-five percent of respondents having seen or heard something about NHS Medway on the television or radio reported media coverage as positive including improvements to hospitals, opening of clinics and new buildings or units. Four percent of those having seen or heard something in the media had read NHS Medway articles in Medway Matters. One of the most important factors in influencing respondent’s opinion about NHS Medway is local news on television, radio or press coverage. Respondents had a good awareness about how to get involved with NHS Medway. Over a third of respondents were aware of the website and over half of respondents were aware of public events, consultations and the Annual General Meeting. Personal experience is a key driver to positive opinions and the research found high levels of satisfaction with services. Overall satisfaction with NHS Medway services was high, with over 80% of respondents being very satisfied or satisfied with GP, Dentist and Optometrists. Those having used services recently were more likely to be satisfied than those who had not recently used services.

2. South East Coast Strategic Health Authority Patient Satisfaction Survey In June 2009 the SHA commissioned MORI to conduct a public satisfaction survey, which endorsed much of what the PCT’s own public perception survey had shown. A representative sample of 251 Medway residents according to the most recent census data, segmented by gender, age and working status, took part in the survey.


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The MORI poll revealed some additional and important findings, including:   

Four in 5 (79%) Medway residents agree that their local NHS provides them with a good service; A third (33%) of residents believe the health services in their area have got better in the last few years; Approaching two thirds (63%) of NHS Medway residents feel informed about local NHS services.

3. Internal Communication Audit In September 2009 NHS Medway held its first staff conference. Eighty-six percent of staff who attended the conference were positive about the day. Over 80% felt the day developed their knowledge of Medway’s values and culture as well as improving understanding of how the organisation is changing. Of those that attended, over three quarters believe the event was beneficial – an encouraging finding. Over half believe that the event will influence the future development of the organisation and that the outcomes of the day will impact on them as an individual. One staff member commented “I feel the away day was very energetic and enthusiastic.” A second full staff conference is scheduled for 27 January 2011. NHS Medway undertook its first bespoke staff survey in November 2009 following the staff conference. It was extremely encouraging to find that over three quarters (78%) of staff reported that they understood NHS Medway’s strategic direction and objectives. It is even better to find that 86% of respondents were clear about how the work of their team/area will contribute to NHS Medway’s priorities. Over half of respondents (55%) reported that they felt well informed about the changes taking place at NHS Medway. Over two thirds (69%) of staff felt well informed about NHS Medway, but there was indication that information is not being cascaded down the grades as effectively as it could be, with managers, in particular senior managers, returning significantly higher responses than their staff. A third (31%) of respondents said that they have time to read through all the communications information they receive, 42% disagreeing and 21% remaining neutral on the issue. Previous findings indicated weaknesses in terms of cascading information down through the grades; it is encouraging to find that, nevertheless, 66% of staff are regularly attending a meeting where team, departmental and corporate information is passed on to them.


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Staff are most likely to find out what is happening in NHS Medway through email (90%), briefings for staff (70%), line managers (68%), What’s New email (67%), team briefings/meetings (65%) and the intranet (62%). Only just over half (53%) agree that information from the PCT is communicated in a way that they want. When we look at preferences for receiving information we find that current sources are actually meeting a preference to a certain extent. In common with most organisations, people show a preference for face to face sources, where they will have the opportunity to discuss and ask questions. Well over half (58%) would like to get their information via email, 67% from all staff briefings, 67% from team briefings/meetings, 57% from What’s New email and two thirds (67%) would like information to come from their immediate managers.


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It’s your NHS Make your experiences count Find us

Get involved

NHS Medway Fifty Pembroke Court North Road Chatham Maritime Chatham Kent ME4 4EL

Share your opinion and help us make services better for you. email: phone: 01634 335173

01634 335020

Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) PALS is here to help when you need health advice, have concerns or don’t know where to turn. email: freephone: 0800 014 1641

Customer Care Listening and acting on your comments, compliments or complaints. email: freephone: 0800 014 1634

Medway Local Involvement Network (LINk) This guide has been produced by NHS Medway. Information in it can be made available in other formats and languages on request to or by ringing 01634 335173

The Medway LINk is your local independent network of local people and community groups working together to influence and improve Medway’s health and social care services. The LINk provides a forum for concerns about service provision and quality, and works with those who plan and run services to bring about real change. Why not join the LINk and help shape local services? email: phone: 01303 297050 website:


Communications and Engagement Strategy 2010-13  

NHS Medway's Communications and Engagement Strategy 2010-13

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