The importance of planning & other lessons from AHCM

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In the week that we heard the current task facing the NHS was rated as mission impossible by a new report, it was reassuring to see the positive impact that good communications can have during increasingly challenging times.

In the same NHS Providers report they also argue that what the heath service needs now is greater realism, flexibility and support – luckily the AHCM conference provided a large dose of all three. Continue reading

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How Facebook is finding us nurses

nurse-recruitment-bannerRecruiting nurses is one of the biggest challenges facing the NHS right now.

Nursing staff are the backbone of our organisation and recruiting the right number is absolutely vital in the safe running of caring and effective modern hospitals. NHS Trusts across the country are grappling with a national shortage of nurses, a huge demand for more trained staff and the continual need to recruit as people drop out of the workforce or retire. Continue reading

10 things about social media in the NHS

imageIn a week that saw most people coming to terms with the trauma of Bake Off, it was very much a case of baking as I headed into the 32 degree furnace of a supposedly Autumnal London for the latest NHS Providers get together.

This was the first of a new style of network meeting that aimed to focus on a single, strategic issue with the speakers looking at it from various different angels. Continue reading

Cover bands don’t save the world and 7 other lessons from Birmingham

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It was an epic journey to get to AHCM and by the end I was more like Homer Simpson than Homer’s odyssey, but traveling around the uk by rail certainly takes on the feel of a quest in Greek mythology.

However it was well worth the trip from Newcastle, as healthcare communicators from across the UK came together to hear the latest trends from across the NHS.

Here’s my take on some of the key lessons from the day:

#1 Some leadership insight from an inner city GP
“Cover bands can’t change the world, but there’s nothing new invented under the sun,” said Dr Nick Harding. It’s that unique blend of vision, delivery and understanding the reality on the ground that will determine the success or failure of our work. Continue reading

Communicating change

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Somebody once told me that the only people who like change are babies with dirty nappies. Over the past few years, through hard, grim experience of changing babies nappies, I’ve subsequently discovered that even then they’re often not totally cooperative.

So what hope do we have as communicators when to comes to engaging with people around difficult and often controversial change programmes?

To help answer that NHS Confederation hosted an event earlier this week bringing together some excellent speakers to look at the issue of communicating change across the health sector (you can see details here). Continue reading