Winter is a time of year when our health and care services come under increased pressure – and demand at our county’s accident and emergency departments is particularly high during the colder months.
This year communications teams from across Northamptonshire’s health and care organisations have come together to plan and deliver a co-ordinated campaign aimed at reducing this pressure and supporting our colleagues on the front line. Running from November to March, the campaign uses a variety of methods to raise awareness of the full range of local NHS services and the help that’s available to manage winter illness, including:
A major awareness campaign inside and outside our acute hospitals (see article below for details)
Social media campaigns and messaging to support self care and choosing the right service – including the ‘24 days of staying well’ advent calendar
Promotion of GP Extended Access and NHS 111 to service user groups – including fridge magnets for community nursing teams to leave with patients
Letters with promotional materials for GP Extended Access and NHS 111 sent to the county’s 100 largest businesses
Winter communications toolkits for GP practices
Promotion of free flu vaccination to staff groups and public using Ned’s Story. As of December 2019, Northamptonshire had the highest percentage uptake of staff flu vaccinations in the entire Midlands region
Awareness campaign for NHFT’s Changing Minds IAPT service during the Christmas period (below right)
Winter health and wellbeing roadshows around the county
Further details of one of the most high-profile elements of the NHCP winter communications campaign are detailed below. For further information email email@example.com.
Hospital trusts join forces for ‘Next Time’ winter campaign
Northampton General Hospital and Kettering General Hospital have launched their new winter campaign: Next Time. The campaign messages have been developed with the support of the hospitals’ A&E teams to encourage people to consider where’s best for their treatment and use their local health services wisely.
The campaign, which aims to reach over 100,000 people between December and March, encourages people to seek medical help sooner when they feel unwell and make sure they choose the most appropriate service. Featuring real life examples of people who come to A&E with colds and hangovers that could have been treated elsewhere, the campaign focuses on promoting self-care, the NHS App, pharmacists, GPs or NHS 111 services. It also highlights the importance of preventive care and how seeking advice as soon as people begin to feel unwell can avoid a hospital admission because their condition has deteriorated.
Data collected from A&E departments in both hospitals has been used to inform the messaging and location of the marketing materials. The team at NGH undertook a postcode analysis to identify areas of the town with the highest A&E attendances, and from this data the hospital’s communications team targeted specific postcodes to help promote other NHS services available.
The Next Time campaign can be seen throughout winter on billboards, buses, bus shelters, digital screens in pubs and restaurants, in local magazines and on social media. If you see the material, and use social media, you can help us extend the reach of the campaign by taking a picture and sharing it with your friends and followers.