Communication leads network - 26 September 2017

Date 26 September 2017

Time 10:30

Venue Woburn House Conference Centre, 20-24 Tavistock Square, Kings Cross, London WC1H 9HU

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

Who is it for?

Please note that this event is for NHS Providers members only.

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 our events administrator,


Managing comms during major incidents and times of crisis

The NHS’ disaster planning has come under intense scrutiny and pressure in recent months as a result of the terrorist atrocities in Manchester and London, the Grenfell Tower fire, and the international cyber attack whose victims included around 40 NHS trusts. The response from the emergency services and NHS staff and managers to these major incidents has been rightly praised, not only for providing the care, treatment and support needed by local communities but also keeping services up and running when vital systems were offline. Each time the response showed the professionalism of the NHS’ major incident planning. There is much good practice and learning from these recent incidents that can helpfully inform future practice. This event will aim to learn from many of the communicators involved in recent high profile incidents and capture their recommendations for how the NHS responds to future incidents.


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 – 11.30am        

  1. NHS Providers strategic policy update

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

            Daniel Reynolds, director of communications, NHS Providers.

11.30 – 12.30pm

  1. Managing comms in real time and working with other emergency services

            This session will explore how communicators have responded in real time to recent high profile terrorist atrocities and other major incidents. It will explore the use they made of digital tools and channels, as well as more traditional ones, to provide immediate updates to staff and local communities. It will also explore how they worked in partnership with communicators working in other emergency services such as the police.

                Anna Macarthur, head of media & campaigns, London Ambulance Service NHS Trust

                Ed Stearns, head of media , Metropolitan Police Service

                Simon Enright, director of communications, NHS England

12.30 - 1.30pm


 1.30 – 2.30pm

  1. Communicating in a crisis when systems are down: responding to the cyber attack

This session will explore how NHS communicators at both local and national level responded to the cyber attack in May. The discussion will focus on what worked well and what lessons we can take away in preparation for potential future cyber attacks.

Jon Hibbs, communications director, Barts Health NHS Trust

Rachel Royall, director of communications, NHS Digital

Yolanda Martin, head of communications and strategic communications and engagement lead for Lincs STP, Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

 2.30 – 3.00pm

  1. Managing the long-term fall out from a crisis

This session will explore how a crisis can cause ongoing reputational damage for organisations and how one trust in particular, Southern Health, has managed the fall out from the crisis it faced following the death of a patient at one of its facilities.

Emma McKinney, director of communications and engagement, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

 3.00 – 3.40pm

  1. Golden rules on how to manage a crisis

Alex Johnson from Insignia, a consultancy specialising in crisis management and communications, will  focus on the key rules of communicating during a crisis offering insight and best practice  from other industries coupled with practical tips and advice about what communicators can do to prepare for the worst.  

Alex Johnson, consultant, Insignia 


  1. Wrap up and close
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