Communication Leads Network - 25 January 2018

Date 25 January 2018

Time 10:30

Venue Woburn Conference Centre, 20 Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9HO

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This is one of 13 professional networks that meet regularly (three times a year) to provide members with opportunities to:

Who is it for?

Anyone with strategic oversight for the communications agenda of their trusts, for example: director of communications/public affairs/engagement/marketing, or senior communications manager.
Interim/acting/assistant/deputy directors are also welcome to attend.

How do I book?

Attendance at the meetings is free for all members but you are asked to book in advance.
Members of the network will be emailed as soon as bookings have opened, usually 6 weeks beforehand.
If you have any questions, please contact events administrator




25 January 2018, 10.30 – 3.40pm

Woburn House conference centre, 20 Tavistock Square,

London WC1H 9HQ  



The state of NHS communications: 2018 and beyond  

The NHS is undergoing significant change as a result of the move to placed-based planning and accountable care structures. This presents both opportunities and challenges to NHS communicators and the profession is at a critical moment. Other challenges, such as ongoing budget constraints, require communicators to do more with less, while the breakdown of traditional media and the rise in importance of digital and social media require communicators to operate in increasingly sophisticated ways. Informed by the launch of a new NHS Providers survey of senior communicators working in NHS trusts, this event will examine some of the critical challenges facing NHS communicators in 2018 and beyond. 




9.15 – 9.45am

NHS at 70

Antony Tiernan is Director of Engagement and Communications NHS70 (@AntonyTiernan), working with NHS England and NHS Improvement on national, regional and local plans to celebrate the NHS’s 70th birthday this year.  Antony will join the network to provide an update on the latest plans, including how Trusts and other NHS bodies can get involved and the resources available. For more information, visit


Antony Tiernan, Director of Engagement and Communications, NHS England




10.00 – 10.30am



10.30 – 10.40am                                                                                                              

  1. Welcome from the chair

            Carrie-Ann Wade, director of communications, engagement and marketing, NELFT NHS Foundation Trust


10.40 – 11.45am        

  1. Strategic policy update and state of communications survey results

An update on current strategic, policy and communications issues from NHS Providers.

            Daniel Reynolds, director of communications, NHS Providers.

11.45 –12.30pm

  1. Future trends in PR and communications
    Stephen Waddington, Partner and Chief Engagement Officer at Ketchum, and former President of the CIPR

12.30 - 1.30pm


1.30 – 2.15pm

  1. Leadership and professionalism: What does good look like and what’s the benchmark?

Claire Riley, Director of Communications and Corporate Affairs, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust


2.15 – 3.00pm

  1. Making our comms pound stretch further: sharing expertise and capacity across trusts

A number of trusts are coming together to share communications capacity and expertise, either as part of formal arrangements (such as mergers or in group models), or more informally. Some of this is being driven by financial considerations, while at other times the desire to work effectively across a wider local area (linked to an STP) is the catalyst. In this session we will hear from a number of trust communicators who are moving towards these arrangements. They will outline the challenges involved and what the benefits are.

Tiffany Jones - Deputy Director of Communications and Engagement, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

Jonathan Keeble, Communications and Engagement Director, Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

Final speaker TBC

3.00 – 3.40pm

  1. Generalists versus specialists: what skills will comms teams need in the future?

As the demands placed upon NHS comms teams to deliver more with less increases; as the boundaries between different comms specialisms becomes increasingly blurred; and as we move towards more systems-based approaches to comms and engagement, what should the comms team of the future look like? In this session, we will hear from NHS and wider public sector communicators about what they think is the best balance of skills and expertise required for the future.

Darren Caveney, Creator comms2point0, Owner of creative communicators ltd

Jude Tipper, Head of communications and involvement, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust



  1. Wrap up and close

Any other business & date of next meeting

The next meeting will take place on 22 May 2018 at Woburn House conference centre, 20 Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9HQ.   





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