NHS Communicate Conference 2021
15 September – Online
AN EVENT FOR NHS COMMUNICATORS
The last two years have been the most challenging period in the 73-year history of the NHS. We now have a new Chief Executive, Amanda Pritchard, and a new Secretary of State, the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP. Together they will be forging a new direction of travel. It’s time to celebrate the successes and learn the lessons of the recent past. It’s time to rethink the way we do NHS communications.
The NHS Communicate 2021 conference is an opportunity for senior communicators across the NHS to come together, share their experiences and debate the future direction of NHS communication and engagement.
Delivered in partnership by NHS Providers, NHS Confederation and the Centre for Health Communications Research (CHCR), we'll bring you the very latest insight and debate to help you look ahead with confidence and drive innovation to deliver tactical and strategic impact in health communications.
In an open letter, Daniel Reynolds, Adam Brimelow and John Underwood (from NHS Confederation, NHS Providers and CHCR respectively) thank NHS communicators for their service, dedication and professionalism throughout the pandemic, acknowledging their tremendous contribution and collaborative approach to working against unprecedented challenges. Read their letter here.
Loop, by Allocate Software, is the brand new communications app dedicated to the health and care industries. Loop makes it simple for colleagues to connect and communicate with each other and stay in the loop with the latest organisational news.
From direct messaging and personalised newsfeeds to staff groups that are automatically generated based on the roster, Loop helps improve intra-employee communications and engagement within your organisation. As a secure platform, Loop ensures your workforce can connect and communicate in a safe environment and offers a better work-life balance, by keeping all work communications to the one app.
Plus, Loop is the only communications app available that integrates your organisations’ rosters. This means your workforce can have instant access to their personal rota, see who they are working with, book their annual leave allowance and request shifts; all on the go with Loop.
Freshwater is one of the UK’s leading health communications agencies with more than 25 years’ experience in helping NHS clients achieve their goals. We provide integrated communication services across the NHS. Our specialist healthcare team has decades of experience in supporting NHS communicators and delivering NHS communications, having led major transformation projects, large-scale engagement and consultation programmes and health promotion campaigns for national, regional and local NHS clients.
Our work has won us a place on multiple procurement frameworks and a place on PR Week’s list of Top Ten Public Sector Agencies. Freshwater is sponsoring NHS Communicate because we believe it is important to shine a spotlight on the critical role played by professional communicators within the NHS as we emerge from the pandemic and begin the path to recovery.
This September, our virtual event will offer some much-needed perspective on what the future holds for you, your team and your organisation following the impact of the pandemic.
We’ll gather senior-level, communications professionals in the health sector to debate mission critical issues with top speakers and invaluable networking. Engage, connect and empower your communications team through the next year with our carefully considered range of topics.
Be inspired by top speakers from inside and outside the sector as they rethink and update their communications strategies to help you prepare for the new realities of system working in a post-pandemic world.
If you’re a CIPR member, attending NHS Communicate will add 10 points to your CPD points balance. Once you’ve booked to attend, simply log in to the MyCPD Dashboard and click to confirm your attendance to gain your points.
The NHS Communicate conference provides a great opportunity to catch up and exchange ideas with peers from across the sector. It's designed for senior level communications professionals from:
- NHS trusts and foundation trusts
- clinical commissioning groups
- integrated care systems
- primary care networks and primary care federations
- national bodies.
The agenda is designed to give you a new perspective on the environment we're working in, the tools to create compelling communications and the flexibility to adapt quickly to future challenges.
The conference will be hosted by Victoria Macdonald, health and social care editor for Channel 4 News.
Stayed tuned for more announcements by following us on Twitter @NHSCommunicate and using #NHSCommunicate
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Welcome and introduction
Welcome and introduction
Victoria Macdonald, health and social care editor for Channel 4 News, will open the conference.
The future of health communications
The value of strategic communications to the delivery of better patient outcomes, more efficient services and more engaged staff has become clearer during the pandemic. This opening session will examine the key learning from communications practice during the pandemic and what needs to happen now to improve the way we communicate and engage with our local communities. This session will be followed by a contribution from James Lyons, the new director of communications at NHS England and NHS Improvement.
- Alex Aiken, executive director, Government Communications
- Claire Riley, executive director of communications and corporate affairs, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
- Fiona Alexander, chief communication officer, University Hospitals Birmingham Foundation Trust and former editor of the Birmingham Post
Update from James Lyons
Hear from James Lyons, director of communications at NHS England and NHS Improvement.
1a. Louder Than Words. What is your workforce tech saying to your people?
- Explore how to listen to what your staff are saying through their use of existing technologies and how you can shape wider communications and staff engagement through these channels
- Consider how technologies outside of those formally used for communication is actually playing a part in what your people see, hear and feel
- Discuss why it is mission critical to patient care and staff welfare that communications is a strategic partner to technology and HR teams
- Share examples where HR, Communications and workforce tech are working together to harness hidden channels and change internal communication
- Liz Jones, chief marketing officer, Allocate Software
- Rachel Royall, managing director and founder, Blue Lozenge
- David Mulligan, head of workforce systems and deployment, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust
- Kirk Millis-Ward, director of communications and engagement, Isle of Wight NHS Trust
1b. National media. Reporting the pandemic and future challenges for the NHS
Three national journalists share their experiences of reporting the pandemic and look forward to the communication challenges they see ahead for the NHS.
- Hugh Pym, health editor at the BBC
- Denis Campbell, health policy editor at the Guardian and Observer
- Kat Lay, health editor at the Times
NHS communicators and the staff wellbeing agenda
Wellbeing is a central component of good physical and mental health. Without a sense of wellbeing it is difficult for people to rise to life's challenges and achieve what they want out of life. The global pandemic has put all NHS staff – including professional communicators – under great stress. The wellbeing agenda is now centre stage. This session will look at the role of professional communicators in improving wellbeing and explore ways in which we can improve wellbeing in communication teams.
- Rupert Clark, programme director, Allocate
- Professor Anne Gregory, director of the Global Capabilities Framework research project, the international PR capabilities benchmark
- Ranjeet Kaile, executive director of communications, South London and Maudsley Trust
- Kate Jarman, director of communications and corporate affairs at Milton Keynes University Hospital and co-founder of Flex NHS, a movement to promote and enable flexible working in the NHS
Communicating with diverse communities and developing a more diverse communications workforce
The communications industry does not have a good record when it comes to employing staff from diverse backgrounds and generally speaking NHS communication teams are no exception. This session will explore what needs to be done to improve communication with diverse communities and asks how this is linked to the development of a more diverse communications workforce.
- Shak Rafiq, strategic communications lead at Bradford Teaching Hospitals
- Millie Banerjee, independent chair of the South West London Integrated Care Systems
- Mark Hudson, head of Early Talent at News UK
- Mary Mullix, director for the North Kensington Recovery (Grenfell) Programme in NHS North West London CCG.
Breakout sessions 2
2a. Communication in the new NHS age of Integrated Care Systems
The introduction of integrated care systems (ICSs) throughout England in 2022 is intended to bring about major changes in how health and care services are planned, paid for and delivered. They are intended to deliver greater integration of health and care services; improved population health and reduced health inequalities. But what are the implications for NHS communicators? This session aims to provide some of the answers.
- Edna Boampong, director of communications and engagement - Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin ICS
- Alex Ball, director of communications and engagement, Nottinghamshire ICS and CCG
- Jack Adlam, regional head of communications (Midlands), NHS England and NHS Improvement
2b. Public views of the NHS
Data and insight are essential ingredients of effective communication. This session will showcase recent insight research from the Britain Thinks team on changing attitudes towards the NHS and how the public thinks NHS services can be improved in the future. It will also unveil new research on the NHS from the Survation polling company specially undertaken for the 2021 NHS Communicate Conference.
- David Walker, chair, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and a former Guardian journalist
- Anastasia Knox, from the health insight team, Britain Thinks
- Carl Shoben, director of strategic communications, Survation polling company
- Nick Samuels, executive director, Freshwater Healthcare
What do chief executives want from their professional communicators?
We all think we know what the boss wants. But do we really? In this final plenary session three NHS chief executives share their thinking about what they are really looking for from their professional communicators. It’s likely to be quite revealing.
- Dr Jane Collins, former chief executive at Great Ormond Street Hospital
- David Bradley, chief executive of the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
- Steve McManus, chief executive of the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust
Health and social care editor for Channel 4 News
executive director for government communications
Director of Communications and Engagement, Nottinghamshire ICS and CCG
Health insight team at Britain Thinks
Professor Anne Gregory
director of the Global Capabilities Framework research project, the international PR capabilities benchmark
Director of Strategic Communications at the Survation polling company
Executive Director of Communications and Corporate Affairs, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
chief executive of the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
Head of Workforce Systems and Deployment, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust
Chair of Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and a former Guardian journalist
Health Policy Editor at the Guardian and Observer
Director of Communications and Engagement - Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin ICS
chief communication officer at University Hospitals Birmingham Foundation Trust and former editor of the Birmingham Post
Health Editor at the BBC
Regional Head of Communications (Midlands), NHS England
Director of Communications at NHS England and NHS Improvement
Dr Jane Collins
former chief executive at Great Ormond Street Hospital
Health Editor at the Times
director of communications and corporate affairs at Milton Keynes University Hospital and co-founder of Flex NHS
Director of Communications and Engagement, Isle of Wight NHS Trust
Chief Marketing Officer, Allocate Software
Head of Early Talent at News UK
Director for the North Kensington Recovery (Grenfell) Programme in NHS North West London CCG.
independent chair of the South West London Integrated Care Systems
Executive Director at Freshwater Healthcare
Associate Director of Communications and Engagement, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust
Founder and managing director of Blue Lozenge
executive director of communications, South London and Maudsley Trust
Programme Director, Allocate
strategic communications lead at Bradford Teaching Hospitals
chief executive of the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust
The virtual ticket includes full access to the online event platform on the day and to session recordings for 30 days after the event for you to digest at your leisure should you miss anything on the day. The conference fee covers our costs of running the event.
|Early bird (by Friday 25 June)||£39|
Springboard your brand into the minds of health communicators
Our conference and awards offer commercial companies the chance to showcase the latest products or services which support or promote the health communications sector. You'll get the opportunity to meet key decision makers to gather quality leads at the conference or awards.
To explore the sponsorship and exhibition opportunities on offer please download the sponsorship brochure or to get in touch with us by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
NHS Communicate awards
We are also running the NHS Communicate Awards in partnership with NHS Confederation and in association with the Centre for Health Communications Research (CHCR).
Designed to recognise the achievements of communicators across the NHS and celebrate innovation in the sector, these brand new awards celebrate teams and individuals who have delivered highly effective communications, to support delivery at a local, regional and national level.
The shortlisted entries will be announced in August and you are invited to join our glittering awards ceremony on the evening of 16 September.