144,482 members

Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Blog

Plackard’s guide to impactful messaging as part of the NHS Long Term Plan

* Join in to find members with similar interests, make connections, enlist on networks and start sharing information. It's useful and it's free.
 

Blog headlines

  • Celebrating innovation in eye research
    24 September 2020

    This week Julian Jackson from VisionBridge has shared a report on eye research.

  • Link of the week: Comprehensive Spending Review and Covid-19
    24 September 2020

    This week we are sharing a blog that outlines the funding pressures and uncertainties faced by the health and care system

  • Risk stratifying elective care patients
    10 September 2020

    This blog has been shared by MBI healthcare technologies. As services are starting to treat routine patients those on waiting lists are making enquiries as to where they are on the list, and if they are still on the list.

  • Link of the week
    4 September 2020

    This week the link we would like to share are reflections from physiotherapy students on placement at Alzheimer Scotland https://letstalkaboutdementia.wordpress.com/

  • Link of the week
    28 August 2020

    This week we would like to share a blog published on the Mind website about being a BAME health worker in the pandemic.

  • Remote clinical triage model
    20 August 2020

    This week we are sharing how a remote clinical triage model was implemented at Tollgate Medical Centre. This has been shared with us by Sarah Portway, a Nurse, and Clinical Services Manager at Tollgate Medical Centre.

  • Can the Community Pharmacy become the gateway to integrated care in the NHS?
    13 August 2020

    The NHS is a continually evolving innovative demand led public service the role of the Community Pharmacist is becoming the public face on a journey to the more responsible public engagement in the personal care of individuals and their family. There are currently over 11000 Pharmacies many are single or small chain service providers, while multiples occupy the urban shopping centres and more densely populated conurbations, the value of the rural High Street can’t be understated.

  • Crunch time for patient involvement
    7 August 2020

    There are new challenges for primary care, which could really do with patient input. Mike Etkind, chair of a PPG and founding member of his PCN’s patient group, recognises the size of the task clinical directors have managed over the last few months but identifies two particular issues where patients have a necessary and valuable contribution, that need to be addressed now – the 2020 vaccination programme and primary care from a distance- total triage, remote consultations, and the use of telemedicine.

  • Link of the week - Visionbridge
    31 July 2020

    The link we are sharing this week was submitted by Julian Jackson, Visionbridge.

  • Links of the week
    23 July 2020

    This week we are sharing two articles with you.

  • Link of the week
    21 July 2020

    The blog is from the perspective of the Company Chemist Association's Chief Executive Malcolm Harrison.

  • Link of the week
    9 July 2020

    This week we are sharing a blog from the NHS Confederation’s “NHS Reset” looking at the work of Healthwatch, the role of volunteers in supporting patients being discharged from hospital and the importance of the community.

  • Virtual education sessions on spinal cord injury from Spinal Injuries Association
    2 July 2020

    This week Karen Mikalsen from the Spinal Injuries Association shares some information on their work and events for healthcare professionals.

  • Guest blog:Karen Chumley
    25 June 2020

    Thank you to Karen Chumley for a second blog –this time on the local use of an Electronic Palliative Care Coordination system during the Covid-19 pandemic. Karen is the Clinical Director and Deputy CEO at St Helena.

  • Link of the week
    19 June 2020

    This week's link of the week is article by Yasmin Khanagha published in Nursing Times – Why we need to open the conversation about racism.

  • Guest blog: Dr Karen Chumbley
    12 June 2020

    This week we have a guest blog submitted by Dr Karen Chumbley, clinical director and deputy chief executive at St Helena (https://www.sthelena.org.uk/)

  • Social care to become lifestyle brand
    16 April 2020

    Social care is to get a new brand identity as the government seeks to reverse the perception that it is the poor relation of the NHS.

  • Blithering Covid-19 bulletin plays vital role
    2 April 2020

    To fill a gap in the market for timely and relevant Covid-19 information, Martin Plackard, director of global crisis communications at NHS Blithering introduces his latest initiative to reach out to stakeholders during the outbreak.

  • Social distancing the Longstay way
    27 March 2020

    We asked Sir Trevor Longstay, chief executive of the NHS Blithering University Hospitals Foundation Trust and commander-in-chief of the Blithering Covid-19 Taskforce to give us some practical tips on social distancing. Here he shares some of the lessons learned over four decades of leadership – not all of them relevant or epidemiologically sound

  • Nothing left to shift: fears grow over NHS paradigm supply
    12 March 2020

    The government has issued a stark warning that stocks of paradigms and other basic supplies could soon run out if NHS managers continue panic-buying.

 
 
Friday, 19 July 2019

Plackard’s guide to impactful messaging as part of the NHS Long Term Plan

What are you doing to implement the NHS Long Term Plan in your area? You should by now be talking about it in everything you do. Impactful communications is the key to delivery – and volume is the key to achieving impact. This toolkit and comprehensive suite of accompanying resources, by the NHS’s leading strategic communicator, Martin Plackard, aims to help others to deliver the NHS Long Term Plan’s central message that the plan is working.

Now that the implementation framework for the NHS Long Term Plan is out, it will soon be your responsibility to show evidence that you have not only kick-started the plan in your area but that it is being rolled out. What better evidence could there be than the sheer number of mentions in documents, “likes” on social media and posts containing the #NHSLongTermPlan hashtag?

The NHS Long Term Plan makes some bold claims – it promises to make more people better, to make things a lot fairer, to integrate everything, to make being nice to each part of everyone’s business and, most excitingly, to make the NHS the most digital health service in the world.

Specific commitments

Alongside these practical, measurable aims are some specific commitments to make the NHS more affordable so that there can be a lot more of it for everyone and to make it sustainable so that it never runs out.

As professional communicators, our job is to spell out not just the possibilities, but the very real achievements of the plan, either as they happen or as we hope they might happen one day.

Junior colleagues often ask me what that means in practice. It’s simple. The plan covers everything, so everything we do, however small, is another step towards implementation. Every news item or media briefing you issue should reference the plan if it passes one of these tests:

  1. Is it about the NHS?
  2. Are you desperate to publish something positive?
  3. Can you get away with it?

If the answer to any of these questions is “yes”, then you’re in business.

Here are a few recent examples of media releases from my team to bring the point home:

  • “New TV for children’s home thanks to NHS Plan”
  • “NHS Plan to tackle rat infestation in local GP surgery”
  • “Hundreds to benefit from new podiatry service as part of NHS Plan”

Notice that in my examples we’ve dropped the words “Long Term”. Do this for any public-facing communications to dispel any impression that change will take a long time. Even if it will, that level of detail is unhelpful. Always use initial caps for “Plan” to underline the scale of its ambition.

It is fine to include things that happened before the plan was published. Say you managed to reduce emergency admissions by closing a hospital, for instance, it’s legitimate to write: “Blithering cuts urgent care bill thanks to NHS Long Term Plan”.

Accuracy matters

Always make a clear connection to the plan even if you are announcing something that predates it. Such initiatives did not take place “before” the plan; they “anticipated its goals”. Their eventual success was “made possible by the NHS Long Term Plan” or is an example of the plan ”building on the success of” earlier plans. Accuracy matters.

Linking things together in this way creates an agreeable impression of continuity and reinforces the idea that everything was planned.

What if the thing I’m announcing really has nothing to do with the long-term plan? This is the wrong way to look at it. It’s up to you to prove when the plan should NOT be mentioned, which if you apply any of my three tests is almost never. Under most circumstances it should be included in the headline, then again in any of the first three paragraphs. If in doubt, drop it in near the end.

Make every mention count

Use any of these constructions to establish full, partial or virtual relevance:

  • “…in line with the commitments of the NHS Long Term Plan”
  • “…supporting the priorities of the NHS Long Term Plan”
  • “The NHS Long Term Plan makes it clear that…”

The only exception to the rule is bad news. Do not credit the plan if your subject is “Finance director jailed for fraud”, “Patients die in food-poisoning outbreak” or “Local doctors in mass walk out”.

Even so, it’s perfectly legitimate to point out that the challenge in question is being addressed by the plan and is the result of “systemic and cultural issues” that are not your fault.  

Editor: Julian Patterson

julian.patterson@networks.nhs.uk
@NHSnetworks

 
Maria Louise Axford
Maria Louise Axford says:
Oct 16, 2019 09:48 AM

Fab