Connecting with people NHS Sefton Communications Strategy: an integrated approach to communicating and engaging with employees, stakeholders, patients and the public document title: Communications and Engagement Strategy framework Version control author: Mark Morrison version: 4.3 date: 15 Aug 2008; amended 16 Sept 2008 change control: Draft strategy inc input from Board: key stakeholders; key messages; resilience; resources. filepath: marxmac:users:markmorrison:documents: w o r k: s p a r k:sparkprojects:i n t e r i m:sefton pct:sefton p2:spct strategy 4:connecting with people.doc Connecting with people – NHS Sefton Communications Strategy: an integrated approach to communicating and engaging with employees, stakeholders, patients and the public Contents section title page 1 Document purpose and definitions 3 2 Our communications charter 4 3 Why we communicate 5 4 Who are our stakeholders and audiences 8 5 What we communicate for 11 6 How we communicate 12 A Communications and engagement action plan 16 B Internal communications standards 18 C External communications standards 20 D Engagement standards 23 2 Connecting with people – NHS Sefton Communications Strategy 1 Purpose and scope Sefton PCT is the lead health organisation for an area with a population of around 280,000 people and is responsible for funding and ensuring the provision of all National Health Services for the people of Sefton. As the leader for health in Sefton we are committed to communicating well with our colleagues and partner organisations, patients and local people. Sefton PCT connects with people and in many ways through communications and engagement activities designed to inform people about the organisation and involve them in helping us to make decisions. This document sets out our principles and standards for communications both inside and outside the organisation to ensure these connections are as effective as possible. Starting with a public commitment in our Communications Charter, this document is an agenda – set by the PCT Board and Executive – for everyone in Sefton PCT to work to and deliver. As a strategic policy, this document will inform and control a range of operational standards, which are appended to this document: Internal communications External and media communications Engagement 1.1 Definitions It‟s important to be sure that we are clear about the language we are using. Communication is a very broad term used to describe the exchange of information. In this strategy we use the following definitions: Communication is the way we share and promote information clearly, promptly and effectively. Engagement is the way we actively involve people in a real dialogue about policy and service decisions that affect them and their quality of life. Engagement has three main forms: Information collection - assembling information about attitudes from surveys and research - usually answering simple, closed questions. Consultation – a formal process, often in writing, to seek peoples‟ views on particular issues Participation - working with stakeholders in an ongoing dialogue that involves them in the organisation‟s decision-making. Stakeholders are people and organisations - like employees, patients and their families or organisations - that are involved with a body and have interests in it. DRAFT STRATEGY August 2008 3 2 Our communications charter Sefton PCT is committed to commissioning and providing accessible, relevant and responsive health services and to working with local people to improve the quality of life in the borough. We want to keep you informed and ask your views about our services and life in Sefton, so this Charter is our commitment to communicating and engaging with you as well as possible. We believe in… Keeping you well informed about our services and performance Clearly explaining our decisions and actions Asking for your views and ideas – with opportunities for you to have your say Our communications and engagement will be… Clear and accessible for everyone Polite and helpful Accurate and timely Relevant and appropriate Responsive How we will inform and invite your views… We will use the most appropriate method to communicate with you: If we need to contact you personally about our service it will be by letter, email or by telephone; If we are communicating information that affects everyone in the area we may use… the local media – newspapers, TV or radio, posters or information in our offices our website – www.seftonpct.nhs.uk If we are asking for your views we may use… the local media – newspapers, TV or radio, posters or information in our offices our website – www.seftonpct.nhs.uk research companies who may contact you on our behalf Our target response times: We have standards for dealing with our direct communications with you… We will always respond in the most appropriate way – usually in the way you contacted us. If you write to us we will acknowledge your written enquiries within 2 working days and provide a full reply within 20 working days of receiving your letter. Our reply will usually be in writing and if appropriate by telephone. If we cannot answer your letter within that time we will send an acknowledgement to explain the delay and when you can expect a full answer. Respond to emails within 2 working days. Respond to telephone enquiries within 2 working days. signature signature Paul Acres Dr Leigh Griffin Chair Chief Executive Tell us what you think of our communications: We constantly strive to improve the way we communicate and engage with you and we value your opinions. We want to know what you think about our communication. Please let us know by contacting PALS on 0800 218 2333 or email us at email@example.com 4 Connecting with people – NHS Sefton Communications Strategy 3 Why we communicate Sefton PCT is committed to developing a positive reputation for commissioning and providing accessible, relevant and responsive health services and for working with local people to improve quality of life in Sefton. To do this we need to tell people about our work and performance; celebrate our successes; ask them for their views on our services and what they think will improve health in Sefton; and, tell them how we are responding to what they tell us. Our services must be built on a real insight into Sefton, its people and their health needs, which can only be developed if we inform, engage and interact with people effectively. The health sector is a complex arena for communications and engagement, with a wide range of people who have a stake in what we do. We believe that being an effective provider and commissioner of health services means we must build strong and productive relationships with our stakeholders. Like any relationship, ours will be fostered by good communication – an ongoing dialogue that informs and involves our stakeholders and audiences. Good communication and engagement is not simply the responsibility of a central team – effective communication and engagement begins with the leadership team and is part of the day job for everyone in the organisation. 3.1 Our vision for communications and engagement Sefton PCT wants to be a people-focused, communicating organisation that people think… keeps them well informed about our services and the benefits we provide tells them how we spend money to deliver better health in Sefton and about our performance against our promises encourages and empowers them to influence their local health services listens to and acts on the views of local people keeps them informed about how we evolve our services in response to their views 3.2 Context There is a wide range of legislation and other influences that shape our communications and engagement… External context PCTs are required by Government to engage their stakeholders in shaping their local health services through effective engagement. Section 242 of the 2006 National Health Service (NHS) Act states that: “NHS organisations are required to make arrangements to involve and consult patients and the public in: Planning of the provision of services The development and consideration of proposals for changes in the way those services are provided, and Decisions to be made by the NHS organisation affecting the operation of services” World Class Commissioning – places engagement at the core of the competencies required of a world-class commissioner of health services. PCTs will have to engage stakeholders in a meaningful, open and honest way, utilising a variety of different methods. They will need to be proactive in seeking out the views and experiences of the public, patients, their carers and others. All PCTs will be assessed against these competencies for the first time in late 2008 and at regular intervals from then on. High Quality Care For All – NHS Next Stage Review Final Report, 30 June 2008 - places good communications and welcoming feedback at the core of the NHS values. In the first draft NHS Constitution Lord Darzi sets out four pledges to all NHS staff. The fourth pledge is that the NHS will strive to actively engage all staff in decisions that affect them and the services they provide, individually and through representatives. All staff will be DRAFT STRATEGY August 2008 5 empowered to put forward ways to deliver better and safer services for patients and their families. Healthier Horizons, NHS Northwest’s change framework launched in May 2008, is the product of a wide-ranging clinical review of health services across the region. As a strategic change framework this document identifies reputation management and „Listening, understanding and tailoring what we offer‟ as drivers of that change and therefore must shape our strategy. Sefton Council’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee has the power to scrutinise health services its part of the role in health improvement and reducing health inequalities for the area and its inhabitants. This scrutiny is carried out in public and includes: scrutinising NHS policy, service planning and operations in Sefton being consulted on all proposals for major changes to health services in Sefton ability to call SPCT managers to give information about services and decisions reporting their findings and recommendations the ability to refer matters to the Secretary of State. Sefton LINk – the Local Involvement Network will offer opportunities for engagement and it is important that these are used to their full potential. Sefton Local Involvement Network (LINk) is a network of local people, organisations and groups that volunteer to help improve health and adult social care services within Sefton. Their website states that Sefton LINk aims to “find out what people want, investigate issues and use its statutory powers to hold services to account. Sefton LINk can request information and get a response to its reports and recommendations and providers will be expected to allow appointed and trained LINk members to view services and visit premises. Sefton LINk can also refer matters to Sefton Scrutiny & Review (Health and Social Care) Committee and get a response.” Sefton Local Strategic Partnership - working with our Local Strategic Partnership is a significant engagement process in itself and we should make the most of the potential for broader public engagement that the partnership approach offers. Our organisational context Sefton Primary Care Trust is responsible for funding and ensuring the provision of all national health services for the people of Sefton. We are here to make Sefton a healthier place to live and a place where people can be assured of world-class health care. Our mission is to improve health and reduce inequalities in health. These two key strategic aims are sustained by three supporting strategic aims which are to ensure quality, provide value and involve local people Our vision is that: Life expectancy in Sefton will be at or above the national average by 2013. Life expectancy will improve fastest in the most deprived areas to close the gap between the most disadvantaged and the most fortunate in our population. We shall improve the quality and accessibility of services by bringing them closer to people‟s homes wherever this is clinically appropriate and cost-effective While obtaining value for money, we shall focus our budget where it is most needed. Communications and engagement is at the core of delivering our mission and realising our vision. This communications strategy is designed to support and enable our strategic plans and priorities. Although Sefton PCT works within a national framework of legislation and standards we will also deliver a local approach to our dialogue with our service users and local people, our employees and health professionals and our stakeholders. 6 Connecting with people – NHS Sefton Communications Strategy 3.3 Understanding our communications challenges The challenge for communications in all primary care trusts is considerable and complex: research by Ipsos MORI, the global research organisation who are closely involved in health issues, suggest that 82% of people support the idea of involvement, yet ultimately only two people in a hundred actually respond or get involved. Further research and analysis by Ipsos MORI on local authority communications found a direct link between how well informed people are about local services and how satisfied they are with them. Ipsos MORI suggest that people who feel well informed tend to be more positive about a wide range of issues and the organisation that informs them well. So the real dilemma is how to drive up the response to engagement as well as maintain and increase involvement? The straightforward solution is to ensure we consistently complete the communications cycle of… inform…ask…listen…understand…act…inform…ask…listen…understand… act…inform…ask…listen…understand…act…inform… Within this broader context we have also identified the key local challenges for our communications and engagement activities, which are… enabling a communicating culture in a complex and diverse organisation; we know we must deliver internal and management communications that enables an open dialogue across the organisation – conveying information that people need to know and revealing information that should be shared; helping our stakeholders and audiences understand our role as the local leader for health in Sefton and clearly deliver our Public Health messages: we know we must deliver a brand strategy and local voice within NHS guidelines that distinctly positions Sefton PCT; maximising the results of our engagement activity: we know we must manage and learn from the knowledge gained to shape our plans and services; and engaging local people more in transforming local health: we know we must use all communications channels to build a stronger, positive profile for health and Sefton PCT in the borough; ensure that everyone in the organisation understands that informing, engaging and interacting with people well are core components of their work to develop our communications culture further. DRAFT STRATEGY August 2008 7 4 Who are our stakeholders and audiences? Sefton PCT has a broad range of relationships with stakeholders who influence the organisation and others who may be affected by the organisation and its services. Our communications and engagement must build strong relationships with all our stakeholders. So it is important that we know who they are and how we should communicate and engage with them. Each of our stakeholders has different communications needs and will engage with us in their own way. So, we must provide communications and engagement opportunities that meet their diverse needs. The following mapping is an initial attempt at analysis but we must design two-way dialogue into all our communications and engagement activities to continually increase our insight into the needs of all our stakeholders. Over time this will build a powerful knowledge base that can refine and focus our communications and engagement actions. 4.1 Our stakeholders Broadly our stakeholders are… our employees and health professionals our services users - patient, their relatives and local people our local partners in the public, private, voluntary and community sectors the media the private sector our NHS and government colleagues - from Strategic Health Authority to the government An overview of our stakeholders would include… Sector Organisation/entity People Local people The public Individuals and groupings Patients Individuals and groupings Patient’s relatives Individuals and groupings Community representatives Local councillors + MPs user groups, residents associations special interest groups Individuals and groupings Health sector Sefton PCT employees other frontline healthcare providers Doctors, dentists and clinicians; nursing and healthcare teams Strategic Health Authority Board members + officers Government - Department of Health Minister + civil servants • National Health Service Auditors + monitors • Healthcare Commission Darzi review group regional PCTs Board members and Executive teams Voluntary services Volunteers, trust members Local partner Sefton Local Strategic Partnership Board members, members + officers organisations Sefton Council Executive, Members, officers Voluntary and community sector Representatives and members Universities and FE colleges Board members + Officers Emergency services Police, Fire & Rescue Private sector Chamber of Commerce Board + membership Major employers Management and employees SMEs Management and employees Media Local newspapers News desk, special interest Reporters, Editors Regional and National press, TV and News desk, special interest reporters, radio editors Web news providers News search engines Specialist health/public sector publications Feature writers, bloggers 8 Connecting with people – NHS Sefton Communications Strategy Sector Organisation/entity People Regional, Government Office Northwest National and Regional Assembly international Northwest Development Agency Government (wider range of depts.) Investors and Visitors 4.2 Stakeholder mapping Each of our stakeholder groups has a range of influencing factors that shape the relationship we have with them, this includes their… interest in Sefton PCT and health motivation towards Sefton PCT and health information needs current opinion/status influencers We should also consider the people that each of our stakeholders may influence and the way in which they do so. A simplified approach to graphical stakeholder mapping, in a power/interest matrix... h i g h Government SHA SPCT Staff Local GONW Media Local p o w e r Bloggers Authority National Media Active local LSP patients users + i n f l u e n c e Local Businesses l o w Local Non-users l o w i n t e r e s t h i g h This graphical representation indicates that we have a range of stakeholders with interest and power who we need to communicate and engage with. It also shows that there are stakeholders with low interest and little power or influence, however these are people that we must influence to improve health in Sefton. Stakeholders in this low/low quadrant are key targets for our communications and engagement activity and they will require resource intensive, high impact actions. DRAFT STRATEGY August 2008 9 4.3 Key stakeholder groups We have a special relationship with some of our stakeholder groups… Clinicians and health professionals – effective continual engagement with our clinical colleagues is essential to achieve our ambitious goals in improving the commissioning and delivery of health care. We must also ensure engagement of the full range of clinicians including all clinical groups - nursing, medical and allied health professionals. Our current approach includes… the work of our Professional Executive Committee and the links that that gives to local professional networks. a regular briefing publication – Vital Signs - specifically for Primary care clinicians, which we use to deliver key messages and invite comment. A PEC clinician is closely involved in advising on the content of this publication we have established a system of “Liaison” directors for every GP practice in Sefton as a continual engagement with clinicians a specific support budget for clinical engagement This engagement will be fully embedded in the way we work, which will take a considered and structured approach, and will involve resource and commitment. We know we must… identify more resource and provide more formal structure to clinical engagement strengthen the involvement of the PCT in local professional fora refresh and redevelop the Clinical Champions initiative. establish a system for improved involvement with clinical colleagues in local secondary care and other provider trusts Voluntary and community sector - our key relationship with the Third Sector plays a significant role across some of these stakeholder groupings. Our stakeholders in the voluntary sector are regarded as a key partner, critical friend and enabler. As such they will be key to our communications both as recipient and channel for much of our communications output. 4.4 Equality and diversity Sefton PCT adopted an Equality and Diversity Strategy in December 2006. It set a clear overall aim to “promote equality in health and service provision for everybody in Sefton.” This Communications Strategy is designed to support that aim and ensure that our communications and engagement meets the needs of our all stakeholders and all the communities we serve. This strategy will be Equality Impact Assessed and amended if required to ensure that it does not discriminate against any of our service users or staff. 10 Connecting with people – NHS Sefton Communications Strategy 5 What we communicate for Sefton PCT has a range of reasons to communicate: communicating with people directly about their health and treatments sharing information about our services and performance promoting healthy living managing difficult situations celebrating success asking people for their views and attitudes It is important that we know what we are communicating for to ensure the message is accurate, the communications method is appropriate and the right audience is targeted. 5.1 Our communications objectives Our communications objectives are focused on tackling our key local communications challenges. Our communications and engagement will… 1 Inform and engage with our people in Sefton PCT to ensure the organisation can deliver its services and initiatives - employees, Staffside colleagues, frontline providers, non-executive Board members are informed about how the organisation works, know about performance and decisions that affect them and have opportunities to shape our future. 2 Raise the profile of health and Sefton PCT to deliver clear messages to support healthier living and build confidence in local health services using clear branding and key messaging. 3 Involve our external stakeholders in shaping the organisation‟s work and future development through effective engagement that builds strong, well-informed relationships and a positive two-way dialogue. 4 Promote Sefton PCT’s work to improve the quality of life in Sefton – our communications ensure that Sefton PCT is recognised as a leading partner in the development and regeneration of Sefton and Merseyside. 5 Maximise the impact of our communications by delivering to the highest standards - building our NHS brand within national guidance and appropriate frameworks; managing our communications and engagement resources well; and, employing best practice solutions including emerging technology enabled communications. Underlining and supporting these objectives is a corporate commitment to developing our communications culture to ensure that everyone in the organisation, or who has a stake in it or who comes into contact with Sefton PCT has a good experience of our information, engagement or interaction. This will be driven by the leadership team, facilitated by our professionals and delivered by everyone in Sefton PCT. Our communications objectives are developed into a core work programme on page 16. 5.2 Our key messages Our communications will be focussed through a set of key messages determined by the Strategic Plan vision, values and objectives. These messages will be adaptable to audience and circumstance and will be reviewed alongside the evolution of our Strategic Plan. Smart messages will also be tracked over time as part of our reputation evaluation. A key message matrix will be designed including adaptations for audiences/usage. DRAFT STRATEGY August 2008 11 6 How we communicate How we inform, engage and interact with people has a direct effect on what they think of Sefton PCT - our reputation is built on positive engagement and good communications and the ordinary, everyday encounters that we have with people. Our relationship with our stakeholders - especially our employees and health professionals, along with the public - is shaped by the way that we engage them in a meaningful and open dialogue. Local people, our employees and partners are bombarded with a huge range of health messages as well as a huge spectrum of other communications in their daily lives – so it is crucial that we take a managed approach to ensure that the important messages get through. 6.1 Our communications and engagement approach Guiding our approach to communications and engagement is the need to ensure it is relevant and appropriate. So, before we undertake any communications and engagement activity it is important to answer the following questions… what do we want our communications and engagement to achieve? who are we communicating and engaging with? what will successful communications and engagement deliver? If we can’t answer these then we should question the need for communications and engagement. 6.2 Our communications and engagement principles When we communicate we must work to a set of principles that set the standard and tone, these are… Don’t just do it - ask yourself why and what the benefit will be for the stakeholder and the organisation. People-focused – delivering information to our stakeholders and service users in accessible format and when they need it; Impartial and objective – delivering clear messages to allow people to make up their own minds informed by our communications; Clear and accessible – communicating in a format and language that is appropriate the message and the audience – that means plain, jargon-free English at all times and in a language appropriate to our hard-to-reach groups and minorities whenever appropriate. All our communications and engagement should be readily available on our website or intranet; Sharing and informative – giving people in the organisation the information they need – to do their job and for their wellbeing – before they read or hear it anywhere else; Open and engaging – offering opportunities for feedback, ensuring we listen to the response to our communications and engagement and adjust our approach when necessary; Branded – consistent use of our NHS visual identity and local brand character, design and photographic style; Authoritative and excellent – only the best will do. Our communications must be – and be seen to be – the standard for the NHS and we must aim for national recognition. Above all consultation fatigue and public perception of spin is real so we must... Work better together - working with other local service providers to inform or listen to service users will produce better results. When people receive uncoordinated communication and engagement by a range of agencies they can become frustrated and indifferent to it. Although joint approaches can be difficult, the benefits are worth the investment - improving perceptions and even saving time and money. 12 Connecting with people – NHS Sefton Communications Strategy 6.3 Targeting our communications We differentiate our communications activity to suit our stakeholders and audiences. Our corporate communications and engagement use different methods and tools to inform and involve our various stakeholders and audiences. The following is an overview of our channel approach for our stakeholders and audiences: stakeholder/audience attitude approach patients + relatives interested/influential direct correspondence/ telephone core social marketing literature and website feedback mechanisms +PALS qualitative research active health service interested/influential literature and website users social marketing frontline information/posters feedback mechanisms +PALS qualitative research health service non- not interested/no social marketing users influence advertising and pr direct literature and website correspondence/ telephone PALS quantitative research local people - general some interest/influence social marketing advertising and pr direct literature and website correspondence/ telephone feedback mechanisms +PALS qualitative research Sefton PCT interested/influential management communications core employees direct correspondence/ telephone briefings, literature and intranet qualitative and quantitative research networking other frontline healthcare interested/influential management communications providers direct correspondence/ telephone briefings, literature and intranet qualitative and quantitative research networking Strategic Health Authority interested/influential direct correspondence/ telephone briefings and website Government - Department interested/influential direct correspondence/ telephone of Health and Healthcare briefings and website Commission networking Voluntary services interested/influential direct correspondence/ telephone direct correspondence/ telephone briefings and website networking regional PCTs some interest/influence briefings and website networking Sefton LSP some interest/influence direct correspondence/ telephone secondary Sefton Council some interest/influence briefings and website Third sector some interest/influence networking Emergency services some interest/influence Local newspapers some interest/influence Media releases and briefings secondary Regional and National some interest/influence briefings and website press, TV and radio networking Web news providers some interest/influence Specialist health/public some interest/influence sector publications DRAFT STRATEGY August 2008 13 Over time, informed by the feedback from our communications cycle, we will build a clearer and more tightly focused picture of our stakeholders and their communications needs and preferences. We will then be able to tailor for our communications activity specifically for each of our audiences – by community, age, gender, interest, etc - when required. 6.4 Our communications methodology and channels Delivering our communications objectives requires us to use a range of methods and channels to get our messages across and engender useful dialogue. We understand that a uniform approach will not succeed so we will tailor our communications to our audiences and stakeholders. The channels and methods we use include… Management communications – internal and external communications start with the organisation‟s leadership team. It is vitally important that employees are well-informed and Sefton PCT uses a range of communications to support them. Direct communications – letters and other correspondence and telephone contact are the most direct, authoritative and credible forms of communication when personally addressed to the recipient. It is important that letters are written in plain English and available in other languages and formats required by individuals. Social marketing – increasingly the public sector is using social marketing techniques to convey crucial health messages, seeking to achieve behavioural change. Social marketing uses customer insight – understanding of people and their behaviours – and deploying a range of marketing communications techniques to change behaviours towards more healthy lifestyle choices. It is said to be a mix of social sciences and marketing and is being developed as a key tool in Public Health by The National Social Marketing Centre established by the Government as an independent Centre to increase understanding of, and capacity and skills in, social marketing. Media relations - building and maintaining good and open communications with local, regional and national media is important to influence a positive reputation. We use press releases, briefing and interviews and make information available on our website to support a positive and open relationship with the media. A more detailed list of our communications activity is shown on page 20. 6.5 Delivering on our promise Targets - Although there are currently no formal national performance indictors for NHS communications, we will determine a set of targets and provide regular reports on performance. Internal targets Our colleagues across Sefton PCT feel well informed about the organisation and are aware of our vision and priorities; they receive a regular e-bulletin briefing and have a monthly face-to-face team briefing within five working days of its monthly publication. they have access to and use our web and intranet sites to get information for their work. People throughout the organisation are asked their views, listened and responded to - we will have an engaged workforce. The public and service users All our communications with local people are published to corporate standards to make sure they are clear, professional, accessible and value for money. Local people and service users say that Sefton PCT keeps them well informed about its services. Local people are aware of the range of services Sefton PCT provides. Our communications will be delivered in a range of formats to meet their needs. All communications and information are available on the Sefton PCT‟s website 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. 14 Connecting with people – NHS Sefton Communications Strategy 6.6 Communications resilience Effective communications in a crisis is critical to business continuity and reputation management. We will prepare a Communications Resilience Protocol that identifies… emergency communications processes and resources; identifies communications lead and media spokespeople; training and exercise requirements; and directory of key contacts including out of business hours. This plan will be closely linked to out corporate continuity planning and specific plans such as our Pandemic Influenza Communications Plan. 6.7 Coordinating and measuring our communications and engagement This complex agenda must be coordinated and delivered effectively. The leadership team has a central role in directing the management of communications and engagement and shaping the core communications and engagement agenda. This will help to embed regular discussion of communications and engagement opportunities and challenges at all levels of the organisation to ensure a flow of information through and to the specialist teams. Regular reporting of communications and engagement activity and outcomes to Executive team will help to assess progress and identify further prospects for communications and engagement. Communications and engagement should also be considered as a key agenda item at all management and project meetings across the organisation to highlight communications opportunities and risks. 6.8 Communications resources Although we understand that communications and engagement are part of everyone‟s role in Sefton PCT, we have a core communications and engagement team of within the Chief Executive‟s team to support and develop our communications. A reputation audit and development plan has identified the need for additional resource in the form of a media relations officer and there will be a requirement for some resources to enhance our engagement and social marketing capacity. A Communications Resource Plan will be agreed as part of our annual business planning process. 6.9 Action planning A core action plan has been developed for communications and engagement activity – see appendix A. This will be expanded into annual operational team plans. 6.10 Monitoring and evaluation A corporate working group will meet to support the coordination of communications and engagement activity across directorates and ultimately in partnership with other organisations. This group will seek to ensure opportunities are maximised by linking activities across the organisation. We must be responsive to the outcomes of our communications and engagement and evolve our approach and our plans. The working group will help the core team ensure that… Annual Communications and Engagement Action Plans are produced; A calendar of communications and engagement activity is developed and maintained; The knowledge generated by engagement is captured, shared and Sefton PCT can learn from it; Feedback from engagement shapes new and better approaches to future engagement; Best practice communications and engagement methods and channels are used; Quarterly reports are available for the Executive and Board; and The annual Communications and Engagement Action Plans are evaluated and evolved. DRAFT STRATEGY August 2008 15 16 Connecting with people – NHS Sefton Communications Strategy Sefton PCT Communications Strategy - Appendix A A Annual core work plan 2008/9 objective Action measure who target Inform and 1.1 Determine employer/internal Employer branding commissioned and HR Oct 08 engage our brand and core messages for agreed Nov 08 people employees Implementation including key document and HR + intranet page for employees Comms 1.2 Enhance management Implement monthly cascade briefing and HR + Aug 08 communications and refine e-bulletins Comms engagement channels 1.3 Deliver annual internal Linked to staff survey and other survey HR ongoing communications and outcomes engagement plan and Partnership Forum 1.4 Design and implement a staff Scheme design proposal to Executive HR Sep 08 suggestion scheme Implementation Oct 08 1.5 Improve direct channels for Review, design and implement a corporate Comms Sep 08 internal communications notice board for key locations + HR including a managed notice Publish corporate info and news listing for Comms Monthly board information system notice boards Raise the 2.1 Deliver a strong and Design standards for all documents and Comms Sep 08 profile recognisable local brand for environments + MM Sefton PCT – inc core Publish brand and ID manual and Comms Sep 08 messages implement standards + MM onwards 2.2 Design and deliver quality New directory of services published – Your Comms April 08 statutory and other Guide publications that plus Annual Report and other statutory Comms communicate our brand publications 2.3 Ensure customers recognise Encourage positive feedback as well as Pals Nov 08 Sefton PCT as a provider of formal complaints through enhanced CCC quality services and positive system initiatives 2.4 Ensure a strong media Coverage of press release content in Comms 50 pa profile for Sefton PCT appropriate media Deliver monthly media briefing and analysis Comms ongoing for Executive Team Involve 3.1 Establish a uniform Publish Engagement Toolkit documentation Eng external approach to engagement stakeholders activity for Sefton PCT 3.2 Explore potential for a public Review best practice and local potential - Eng Oct 08 affiliation / PCT membership prepare report to enable decision to scheme progress 3.3 Develop feedback Prepare standards approaches for feedback Comms Sep 08 opportunities in appropriate + Eng communications tools 3.4 Identify and implement Corporate consultation register and Eng Nov 08 appropriate knowledge knowledge management system in place management approach for engagement outcomes Promote our 4.1 Promote Sefton PCT’s Recognition of Sefton PCT as a key leader PH Ongoing objective Action measure who target work in activities to improve Sefton in the borough by partners, stakeholders comms Sefton and its quality of life and the public 4.2 Support and promote the Papers available on seftonpct.nhs.uk Comms Ongoing work of the Board and Attendance at public component of Board Executive meetings 4.3 Identify and maximise Increased joint engagement initiatives Comms Ongoing opportunities for partnership + Eng working in communications and engagement Deliver the 5.1 Design and publish a public Charter agreed and launched Comms Oct 08 highest commitment to information, Annual review of achievements against the standards engagement and interaction charter published 5.1 Develop communications Involve team in developing the function, Comms Ongoing and engagement teams and design training and mentoring + Eng build capacity Recruit Communications Officer Sep 08 Identify resources for engagement Sep 08 management 5.2 Ensure all corporate All legislation and standards complied with Comms 100% communications complies Minimum two award submissions each for with legislation, national and communications and engagement pa corporate standards and identify opportunities to submit our work for awards 5.3 Manage content of our Design and implement web communications Comms continual website to provide 24/7 standards opportunities for local Our web content meets E-envoy, E-GIF and continual people to access PCT FOI requirements information 5.4 Embed corporate working Implement communications and Comms Sep 08 group to coordinate engagement calendar of activity + Eng communications and Manage the knowledge generated by engagement communications and engagement activity 18 Connecting with people – NHS Sefton Communications Strategy B Our internal communications standards We want to be the best in all we do, to inspire understanding and respect, and to be an organisation for which people are proud to work. Building a Better Future Sefton PCT is committed to good communications and engagement with employees and our people to support effective working, organisational development and the best possible services. B.1 Our internal communications and engagement commitment Sefton PCT communicates with people in the organisation in many ways and we are determined to increase and improve our internal communications as far as we can. Most importantly, we are determined to engage our people in a meaningful ongoing dialogue that will help us to improve the way we work together and improve our services to people who need them. Our Staff Survey suggests that job satisfaction in Sefton PCT is above average for UK primary care trusts. We want to build on that and ensure that everyone has a positive and productive work life and a good work/life balance. We appreciate that our organisational performance is built on the efforts of everyone who works for Sefton PCT and that motivation and engagement are essential to our performance. We understand that our people have differing communications needs and opportunities so we will tailor our communications and engagement methods to ensure that everyone is well informed and has an equal opportunity to have their say. So we will develop the best internal communications we can; provide opportunities to listen to peoples‟ views and ideas; and, encourage more face-to-face communications with line managers. We want everyone who works and contributes to Sefton PCT to be informed and involved. B.2 Our internal engagement aim We aim to provide opportunities for everyone in Sefton PCT to have their say and feel involved. We want to ensure that everyone in Sefton PCT can contribute to thinking about the way we work and improve our services. Our people - employees and people who contribute to the organisation by volunteering - can expect a high quality of communications and engagement from Sefton PCT. We have agreed standards for our internal engagement… a. Planned – we are clear why we are engaging, plan our approach, put adequate resources into the process and ensure that our engagement process is timely and co- ordinated with other communications processes. b. Together – we work with our employees and their recognised Trades Union representatives through our Partnership Forum. c. Equitable and inclusive - our engagement is appropriate and accessible by all. d. Communicated – all engagement will be supported by effective communications that reinforces the cycle of inform>listen>understand>respond>feedback. e. Learning – manage the outcomes from engagement to ensure the organisation uses the knowledge gained effectively, manages its data appropriately and improves its engagement processes through evaluation. B.3 Our internal communications aim Our internal communications aim is to deliver communications that keep our workforce informed and involved, so that everyone in Sefton PCT should be well informed about things that affect the organisation and their roles in it. So, our standards for internal communications are that they should be… a. Informative - we will ensure that all communications are informative and produced in clear, accessible language and delivered as soon as possible; b. Web enabled – all communications, policies and reports will be available on Sefton PCT‟s Intranet c. Celebrate success - we encourage people and teams to promote their initiatives, services and successes through our communications channels. d. Open - we provide a range of channels and platforms for two-way communications from electronic to paper-based where needed. We also promote face-to-face opportunities for employees to hear the senior team speak. e. Two-way – we will develop opportunities for feedback and dialogue wherever possible in our communications. B.4 How we communicate and engage with our people There is a wide range of internal communications and engagement opportunities in place across Sefton PCT. We understand that we must provide clear information that is relevant to people. We also realise that not everyone has access to all of these opportunities so the Executive will consult staff and consider introducing: A regular face-to-face Team Briefing - an opportunity for employees and their manager to meet using a corporate briefing agenda and local information - plus the opportunity to raise issues that will be forwarded to management for discussion and response. A Staff Suggestion scheme providing an electronic and written format opportunity for staff to send in their ideas for service improvements, innovations and comments on policy. The best ideas will be rewarded. Improved Global email procedure - a new E bulletin will be published on a specific day to reduce the amount of uncoordinated email. B.5 How are we doing? Our strategies are only as good as the results they deliver – so it is important that we measure how well we are doing. Employee engagement will be measured in a number of ways: Staff suggestion scheme entries - quantity and effectiveness Percentage of face to face Team Briefings delivered Amount of feedback to Team Briefs Annual Staff Survey Quarterly Partnership Forum feedback The information from this feedback will then be used to help us improve our management practices, develop our communications; and shape our human resources policies. 20 Connecting with people – NHS Sefton Communications Strategy C Our external communications standards C.1 Key aims Everyone in Sefton PCT has a responsibility to contribute to communicating to… Keep people informed about Sefton PCT‟s work and services through effective communications so that local people and patients are aware of our services and initiatives; Share information to promote the PCT‟s role and help the communications team maintain good communications with the media to encourage accurate and balanced reporting; Build a sense of place through positive promotion of Sefton and it‟s diversity; and Engage and listen to our service users and local people through effective consultation and engagement. C.2 Principals Everyone in Sefton should be well informed about their PCT and how they can access our services and get involved Sefton PCT is committed to sharing information and listening to its internal stakeholders to ensure an informed and involved workforce. The corporate communications team aims to deliver proactive and clear communications with all our stakeholders to improve awareness of our services, policies and activities and promote opportunities for two-way communications. C.3 Standards a Planned – we will be clear why we are communicating, plan our approach, put adequate resources into the process and ensure that our communications activity is timely and co-ordinated. b Informative - we will ensure that all communications are informative and produced in clear, accessible language and delivered as soon as possible; c Web enabled – all policies and reports will be available on Sefton PCT‟s Intranet d Celebrate success - we encourage people and teams to promote their initiatives, services and successes through our communications channels. e Open - we provide a range of channels and platforms for two-way communications from electronic to paper-based where needed. We also promote face-to-face opportunities for employees to hear the senior team speak. f Dialogue – we will develop opportunities for feedback and dialogue wherever possible in our communications. g Branded – consistent use of our NHS visual identity and local brand character, design and photographic style h Best practice – we will compare our communications with other public sector organisations, learn from the best, share our best practice with others through our networking groups and enter our communications into national awards. C.4 Our corporate communications service Sefton PCT has a central Corporate Communications team located in the Chief Executives directorate. The team promote and protect the PCT‟s reputation through a range of activities and support communications activity throughout the organisation, including… Corporate communications Communications advice – the communications team offer advice on a full range of communication issues. This includes: Advising people preparing reports that may lead to publicity on controversial items, Supporting projects that may lead to external interest (eg, new service plans or changes to existing services). Attending meetings which need input about communications issues when appropriate. Support the development of communications campaigns based on our capacity and corporate priorities. Crisis and emergency – we will provide communications support to the PCT‟s Crisis Management arrangements during times of disruption caused by the likes of a flu pandemic, environmental disaster etc. At times this will require us to work in partnership with our partners from Sefton Council and the emergency services. Our publications - Sefton PCT‟s publications, like Your Guide, our Annual Report, the report of the Director of Health and other statutorily required documents, are designed to maximize the positive messages, achievements and activities of the Sefton PCT in a customer focussed way. It is distributed annually to homes throughout Sefton. We also produce a range of internal publications aimed at keeping you informed in your job, such as Sefton United and other staff newsletters and briefings. We regularly invite your views and input about these publications and welcome any news and stories for inclusion. Websites – we oversee the management of the Sefton PCT website and the staff intranet. We will support directorates to develop the content for their sections on both sites about their work. This includes training, run by IT Training, on how to update the websites. Marketing and promotions Health Promotion – the PCT‟s health promotion team develop a range of campaigns using different methods from public relations and advertising to the developing discipline of social marketing. Patient information – the team leads the Patient Leaflet Group, which ensures that all forms of patient information follow corporate policies and other standards such as those set by the NHS Litigation Authority and the Healthcare Commission. We can provide advice on developing patient information leaflets that best communicate the message you need to promote. Dealing with the media Press releases - the communications team aims to issue at least 50 press releases each year. We aim to achieve 100% take up of our press releases by the media, which means only producing releases on issues the media are likely to respond to and publish. In each case the press release should be supported with arrangements for appropriate people to conduct follow-up interviews and photo opportunities. Briefing notes will be prepared if appropriate. The communications team will produce photography for distribution to the media if appropriate. Media Enquiries - the communications team responds to hundreds of enquiries each year and rely on people throughout the organisation to respond to these referred enquiries as effectively and as quickly as possible. Each enquiry is logged and the results evaluated through our media monitoring. Media briefing and training – we understand that people who are well prepared produce the best media coverage, so we provide support through briefing and coaching for Executive Team and Senior Managers who may be asked to represent the PCT to the media. We also understand the right of people in less senior positions not to be involved in media facing situations. We will also organise media training sessions with external specialists when required to refresh people‟s skills and for specific issues affecting the PCTs reputation. 22 Connecting with people – NHS Sefton Communications Strategy Rapid response - in cases where inaccurate information or undue criticism of Sefton PCT may be made by media channels, the communications team will prepare a response with background notes, rebuttal statements and general advice. C.5 Your communications responsibilities As an employee of Sefton PCT you can help our communications work to ensure that colleagues in the organisation are aware of your work and local people and stakeholder are well informed. Tell us first about any media enquiries you have – the communications team are here to deal with media enquires, so that you don‟t have to. If a member of the press contacts you do not try to deal with the enquiry yourself – refer the journalist to the Corporate Communications team on 0151 478 1247 and contact the Communications Team immediately to let us know about the enquiry. Remember to take some key details from the reporter or journalist first including – what they are enquiring about, their deadline, the reporter‟s name and contact details. Pass this information on to the communications team, who will deal with the issue. Tell us about your communications needs - communication issues should be discussed at all team meetings across the PCT. The Communications Team must be informed about any issue that could generate attention by the press. This may be about sensitive issues likely to have a negative effect on the PCT, such as changes to services, or something that will improve patient care and promote the work we do. Tell the Communications Team even if you are unsure, we will be happy to advise you. Be prepared to share your good practice with your colleagues - we all have a responsibility to promote the services and initiatives we provide, aimed at improving health and preventing ill health, whenever it is possible. Make sure you tell the Communications Team about your good news, stories, initiatives and events, so that we can help promote your good practice with your colleagues and members of the public by trying to secure media coverage. Keep us up to date - we need all the facts and correct information to support us in our communications activities – from dealing with media enquiries and drafting press releases, to promoting our services and preparing briefings for a wide range of different people - including the NHS North West, Sefton Council, patient groups and local politicians. We also need you to help us keep our information up to date – whether its updates for the PCT telephone contacts list, your directorate‟s information on the website and intranet or changes to patient advice - you need to let us know as soon as it happens. DRAFT STRATEGY August 2008 23 D Our Engagement standards D.1 What is engagement? Engaging people inside and outside Sefton PCT is a key commitment and requirement in the new NHS to involve people in shaping our future services. Sefton PCT has a positive track record of engagement and has designed an Engagement Toolkit to… Build on best practice Co-ordinate and share our engagement activity and Ensure we can deliver the challenge of World Class Commissioning and our own corporate priorities Engagement is a range of activities that informs the way we work. It includes informing, listening, analysing, understanding and involving our stakeholders who include employees, local people and patients. Engagement is generally thought to have five stages on a scale of low to high involvement; low involvement high inform consult understand involve devolve Publications Public Focus groups Citizen juries Local decision making meetings D.2 Why engage? Our duty to engage with our stakeholders should… help us make better decisions help us commission and provide services that people need and want tell us what people think of our services encourage a productive, two-way dialogue between us and our stakeholders D.3 Our engagement standards Local people and our other stakeholders can expect a high quality of engagement from Sefton PCT. We have agreed standards for our engagement work to that aim to produce: More effective engagement through learning, sharing and supporting A better response to engagement activities Reduced potential for engagement fatigue So, our standards for engagement standards are… a Planned - we will be clear why we are engaging, plan our approach, put adequate resources into the process and ensure that our engagement activity is timely and co- ordinated with other communications processes. b Inclusive - engagement is appropriate and accessible by all c Coordinated - our engagement process will be organised through an Engagement Working Group that manages a shared database of all engagement, including a calendar of engagement activity. Coordinate links with other local public agencies will be developed. d Communicated – all engagement will be supported by effective communications that reinforces the engagement process. e Learning - manage the outcomes from engagement to ensure the organisation uses the knowledge gained effectively, manages its data appropriately and improves its engagement processes through evaluation. For more information see Sefton PCT‟s Engagement Toolkit and Sefton Equalities Partnership Toolkit.
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