NHS Lanarkshire Communications Strategy 2009-2012 by hft13158


									                  NHS Lanarkshire

       Communications Strategy


Author:             Calvin Brown
                    Divisional Communications Manager

Approved by:        NHS Lanarkshire Board

Date of approval:   27 May 2009

Date of review:     27 May 2012

NHS Lanarkshire Communications Strategy 2009-2012



1. Introduction                                                        3

2. Communication Values and Principles
      2.1 Organisational Values                                        4
      2.2 Guiding Principles                                           4

3. Where We Are Now
      3.1 Background                                                   5
      3.2 Public Engagement and Communication Audit                    6
      3.3 Staff Survey                                                 6
      3.4 NHS QIS Clinical Governance and Risk Management Audit        7
      3.5 Scottish Consumer Council Report                             7
      3.6 Communications Strategy Workshop                             8

4. Where We Want To Be
      4.1 Introduction                                                 8
      4.2 Communication Objectives 2009-12                             8

5. Associated Action Plans
      5.1 Introduction                                            9
      5.2 Public Communication & Engagement Survey Programme Grid 9
      5.3 Well Informed Staff Governance Action Plan              9
      5.4 Patient Focus Public Involvement Action Plan           10
      5.5 Other Communication Plans                              10

6. How We Will Monitor Progress
      6.1 Introduction                                                10
      6.2 Stakeholder Engagement Group                                11
      6.3 Public Engagement and Communication Audit                   11
      6.4 Staff Survey                                                11
      6.5 NHS QIS Clinical Governance and Risk Management Audit       12
      6.6 Patient Focus, Public Involvement Self Assessment Review    12
      6.7 Media monitoring                                            12
      6.8 NHS Lanarkshire Public Website                              12
      6.9 Staff Governance Committee                                  12
      6.10 Staff Sounding Board                                       13

7. Appendices

       A. Who We Communicate With                                     14
       B. How We Communicate                                          16


Good communications are essential to the success of NHS Lanarkshire. They
are also an integral part of delivering quality patient care.

This communications strategy sets out NHS Lanarkshire’s strategic objectives
for further improving how it communicates with the public, staff and other
stakeholders. In doing so, the strategy will meet the overarching aim of
supporting NHS Lanarkshire’s corporate objectives.

The strategy builds on the previous NHS Lanarkshire communications
strategy, which was approved in 2005. It includes: NHS Lanarkshire’s values
and principles for communication; where we are now with communications;
where we want to be; and how performance is monitored and evaluated on an
ongoing basis.

The NHS Lanarkshire Stakeholder Engagement Group (SEG), which reports
to the Modernisation Board and Staff Governance Committee, will oversee
delivery of the communications strategy. The SEG, which is chaired by the
Head of Communications, provides an overall view of communication and
engagement activity within NHS Lanarkshire.

NHS Lanarkshire’s Communications Department has a key role to play in
achieving the objectives of this strategy. However, NHS Lanarkshire needs
the commitment and contribution of every member of staff if it is to
communicate effectively. Everyone within NHS Lanarkshire has a
responsibility to:

   •   Ensure patients, public, staff and other stakeholders receive accurate
       and up-to-date information
   •   Take personal responsibility for being well informed by seeking
       information on relevant issues
   •   Share relevant information from briefings, meetings and other forums
       with colleagues
   •   Take an active role in opportunities to provide feedback
   •   Take account of the values and principles set out in this strategy.

In addition, every member of staff must ensure that they communicate in line
with the following relevant legislation:

   •   Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002
   •   Data Protection Act 1998
   •   Disability, race, age and gender discrimination legislation.


2.1 Organisational Values

NHS Lanarkshire has a set of organisational values that were developed and
agreed through engagement with members of the public and staff. One strand
of the organisational values deals with communications. It states:

   We aim for effective two-way communications with the public, patients and
   staff by:

       •   Being open and attentive listeners
       •   Being available and approachable
       •   Providing and sharing information with all that is relevant, timeous,
           understandable and meets needs
       •   Continuously improving our inter-personal skills
       •   Exploiting technology and modern techniques
       •   Not withholding information, unless appropriate.

2.2 Guiding Principles

NHS Lanarkshire’s communications should also take account of a number of
guiding principles. These build on the guiding principles within the previous
communications strategy and have been developed in line with the feedback
set out in section three. The guiding principles are:

   •   Communication will be used to support the delivery of NHS
       Lanarkshire’s corporate objectives
   •   Communication is everyone's responsibility - from the chief executive
       to front-line staff
   •   Face-to-face is the most effective form of communication
   •   Behaviour is a key factor in communication. 97 per cent of
       communication is non-verbal
   •   Communication is a two-way process. It is important to seek and listen
       to the views and opinions of the public and staff
   •   Communication messages will promote and be consistent with the
       organisation’s values
   •   Staff have a right to be well informed under the Staff Governance
   •   Communication is an essential part of good quality patient care
   •   Communication will be focused, targeted and relevant with the aim of
       avoiding information overload
   •   Communication will be timely - quickly communicating decisions once
       they have been made
   •   All communications should be in plain English or other languages or
       formats appropriate to the target audience. Acronyms and jargon
       should be avoided
   •   Communications will be designed so they are clearly identifiable as
       originating from NHS Lanarkshire

   •   Communication will be fully integrated as a key element in planning
       and decision-making at all levels
   •   Communications will be proactive rather than reactive
   •   Communications will reflect NHS Lanarkshire’s commitment to diversity
       and meet its requirements under the Disability Discrimination Act and
       other relevant legislation
   •   Appropriate links will be made with partner agencies - such as other
       health boards, local authorities and public partnership forums – to
       deliver effective joint communications
   •   Staff will check patients and members of the public understand
       information provided to them.


3.1 Background

This revised communications strategy builds on the previous strategy, which
was approved in November 2005. Since the last strategy, there have been
many improvements and successes in how we communication with the public,
other stakeholders and staff. Examples include:

   •   Launch of up-dated NHS Lanarkshire public website providing
       improved online information on health improvement and health
   •   Introduction of new NHS Lanarkshire General Enquiry Line providing
       improved access to information on NHS Lanarkshire and its services to
       public and staff
   •   Development of the Customer Care Policy and Standards, the Good
       Practice Guide to Written Communications and associated training to
       improve staff verbal and written communication with patients and the
   •   Restructuring of Communications Department resulting in increased
       media coverage to raise awareness of NHS Lanarkshire services,
       developments and health improvement messages
   •   Redesign of The Pulse staff newspaper to reflect staff suggestions
       following workshop event
   •   Introduction of weekly staff briefing to provide regular information up-
       dates to all staff
   •   Introduction of new staff intranet site FirstPort to provide improved
       online access to organisational and departmental information
   •   Use of PC desktop wallpaper campaigns to promote key messages to

NHS Lanarkshire is continually striving to improve the way it communicates.
Since the last strategy, the work set out below has been undertaken to
provide feedback and information on public and staff perceptions, and the
level of development of NHS Lanarkshire’s communications. This has
provided valuable feedback which has informed the development of this

strategy and its associated action plans. Many of the improvements outlined
above flow directly from this feedback.

3.2 Public Engagement and Communication Audit

An independent audit was commissioned by NHS Lanarkshire at the end of
2007 to gauge the public’s views on the way the organisation communicates
and engages. The audit included 1,000 face-to-face interviews with members
of the public across Lanarkshire. There were also 50 in-depth telephone
interviews with members of Lanarkshire’s public partnership forums.

A majority of respondents rated NHS Lanarkshire as being ‘good’ in terms of
keeping them up to date with changes in its services. This was the case for
each of the four indicators in the survey:

    •   Providing the type of information they need
    •   Providing enough information
    •   Being open and transparent
    •   Consulting about proposed changes.

It was recognised there was still room for improvement in these areas.

More than four out of five respondents (85 per cent) stated they generally
found it ‘easy’ to get information about NHS Lanarkshire’s services, plans and
activities. One in five (20 per cent) specifically stated they found it ‘very easy’.

Respondents indicated they used a wide range of sources to find out about
NHS Lanarkshire services, plans and activities. The two primary sources of
information were NHS Lanarkshire staff, and leaflets and posters in NHS
Lanarkshire facilities.

Members of the public stated a desire to know more about a range of services
and issues relating to NHS Lanarkshire, including GP services, hospital
services and community services.

3.3 Staff Survey

NHS Lanarkshire staff participated in the national staff survey at the end of
2008. The results showed an improving picture of how staff feel they are kept
informed by NHS Lanarkshire compared to previous survey from 2006.

Within the Well Informed section of the survey, “I am clear about what I am
expected to achieve in my job” received an 81 per cent positive score. This
was the second highest positive score of any question in the survey and up
three per cent on the 2006 survey.

“I have the information I need to do my job well” was the third highest positive
score in the survey with 77 per cent, up five per cent on 2006.

“I am kept well informed about what is happening in NHS Lanarkshire” had a
positive score of 51 per cent, which was up 10 per cent from 2006.

“I believe communication between management and staff in NHS Lanarkshire
is effective” recorded the second lowest positive score in the survey with 34
per cent, which was up 10 per cent from 2006.

Staff were asked how they access information from NHS Lanarkshire. The
email system, FirstPort (staff intranet) and The Pulse (staff newspaper) were
the top three answers, but the results showed that there is wide access to a
range of internal communication methods.

91 per cent of respondents said they had regular access to a computer in their

3.4 NHS QIS Clinical Governance & Risk Management Audit

NHS Quality Improvement Scotland (QIS) audits health boards against its
clinical governance and risk management standards. The standards include
specific sections relating to communications. In October 2007, QIS published
its national overview of performance against the standards following a
programme of audits.

NHS Lanarkshire achieved level four on the quality improvement scale (the
highest possible) for the communication section of standard two - The Health,
Wellbeing and Care Experience. This indicated that NHS Lanarkshire was
evaluating the impact on patient care and services of its internal, staff and
patient communications policies, strategies and procedures across the
organisation. It was the only territorial board to achieve level four.

NHS Lanarkshire achieved level three for the external communication section
of standard three - Assurance and Accountability. This indicated that NHS
Lanarkshire was monitoring the implementation of its external communication
strategy across the organisation.

3.5 Scottish Consumer Council Report

In October 2006, the Scottish Consumer Council undertook research to
explore the experience of members of the public seeking information or
advice from their NHS Board.

This involved comparing the accessibility of contact information contained
within phone books and on Board websites; contacting Boards through
“contact us” addresses on Board websites; and telephoning Boards as
“mystery shoppers”. NHS Lanarkshire was identified as one of the poor
performers, relative to the rest of Scotland.

An action plan was developed to address these areas, which is incorporated
within the Public Communication and Engagement Survey Programme Grid
(section 5.2).

3.6 Communications Strategy Workshop March 2009

NHS Lanarkshire held a Staff Sounding Board (section 6.10) and Public
Partnership Forum workshop as part of the process of developing this
strategy. It was attended by 19 people, including staff from across the
organisation and public partnership forum members. The purpose of the
workshop was to establish NHS Lanarkshire’s external and internal
communication priorities to inform the updated communications strategy.
Overall, participants stated that NHS Lanarkshire communications were
improving. They also highlighted areas for further development which have
informed this strategy’s Communication Objectives (section 4.2). A copy of
the workshop report is available from the Communications Department.


4.1 Introduction

NHS Lanarkshire’s communication objectives for 2009-12 build on the
previous communication strategy with the aim of continuing the progress
already made in these areas. These objectives have been developed taking
into account the corporate objectives and the feedback outlined in section

4.2 Communication Objectives 2009-12

NHS Lanarkshire’s key communication objectives for 2009-12 are to:

   •   Support health improvement by communicating health advice and
       increasing awareness of services
   •   Enhance its reputation for openness and honesty
   •   Encourage and support involvement and participation in engagement
       and consultation including encouraging involvement through public
       partnership forums and voluntary organisations
   •   Promote understanding and raise awareness of service developments
       and changes, including new capital developments
   •   Take advantage of the latest technologies to develop and improve
       communication systems
   •   Improve the experience of the public when contacting NHS Lanarkshire
       for information
   •   Improve staff communication skills - including how to meet the needs of
       diverse groups and individuals - through training and development
       opportunities and the Knowledge and Skills Framework.
   •   Raise awareness of NHS Lanarkshire achievements and share best

   •   Make information about NHS Lanarkshire more accessible
   •   Meet the requirements of the Well Informed Staff Governance
       Standard, namely that:
          o All staff regularly receive accessible information about their
          o All staff have access to communication channels which offer the
             opportunity to give and receive feedback on organisational
             issues at all levels.
          o All staff have access to communication systems. This will
             include IT systems, and staff will be provided with appropriate
             training (and adaptation if appropriate) to use them.
   •   Ensure plans and systems are in place to deliver communications
       support for emergencies and major incidents.


5.1 Introduction

NHS Lanarkshire’s communication objectives will be achieved through
specific actions set out in the following associated action plans:

   •   Public Communication and Engagement Survey Programme Grid
   •   Well Informed Staff Governance Action Plan
   •   Patient Focus, Public Involvement Action Plan.

5.2 Public Communication and Engagement Survey Programme Grid

The Stakeholder Engagement Group developed the programme grid to
identify actions to address each of the key results from the Public
Engagement and Communication Audit (section 3.2).

The grid identifies established areas of good practice, plans already under
development and new initiatives. The programme grid includes the actions
developed in response to the Scottish Consumer Council report on the
experience of members of the public in contacting their local NHS Board
(section 3.5).

5.3 Well Informed Staff Governance Action Plan

An annual Well Informed action plan is developed through the Stakeholder
Engagement Group. The plan sets out actions to ensure that Lanarkshire
meets its requirements under the Well Informed Staff Governance Standard
(section 4). The annual plan is developed in partnership with staff-side
representatives and is shaped by feedback received through the staff survey
(sections 3.3 and 6.4).

5.4 Patient Focus Public Involvement Action Plan

NHS Lanarkshire’s Patient Focus and Public Involvement Strategy was
approved in December 2006. It reflects the Board’s commitment to working in
partnership with the people of Lanarkshire to improve health, reduce health
inequalities and build trust and confidence in our relationships with the public,
staff and organisations with whom we work.

The strategy’s action plan sets out individual strands of work. Each of these
has its own individual action plan as well as arrangements to oversee the plan
and ensure it is implemented. The overall action plan includes a number of
actions aimed at improving communication with patients, such as developing
the patient information sections of the NHS Lanarkshire website.

5.5 Other Communication Plans

The plans listed above include actions for improving the organisation’s overall
communications systems and performance. In addition to these organisation-
wide action plans, NHS Lanarkshire also develops communication plans to
support a wide range of individual initiatives and areas of work. Examples

   •   Healthcare Associated Infections Communications and Patient
       Information Communication Plan
   •   Information Governance (handling person identifiable data in a
       confidential and secure manner)
   •   Bowel Cancer Screening Programme
   •   Capital development projects, such as Carluke Community Health
       Centre and Monklands Hospital redevelopment
   •   Service changes, such as optimal reperfusion (treatment for a blocked
   •   Emergency Plan
   •   Business Continuity Plan (maintaining services following a disaster).

In developing these communication plans, consideration is given to identifying
the stakeholders (Appendix A) and communication channels (Appendix B)
appropriate to the specific initiative.


6.1 Introduction

NHS Lanarkshire is committed to ongoing evaluation and monitoring of both
its communications systems and the progress made against the objectives set
out in this strategy.

Regular monitoring and evaluation ensures that we continue those
communication practices which are most effective and change those which

are not. We also identify best practice from elsewhere through, for example,
the NHS Scotland Strategic Communicators Group and the West of Scotland
Communication Group.

The following mechanisms are used to ensure appropriate monitoring and
evaluation of this strategy and its associated action plans.

6.2 Stakeholder Engagement Group

NHS Lanarkshire’s Stakeholder Engagement Group provides an overall view
of communication and engagement activity within NHS Lanarkshire. Its main
purpose is to ensure NHS Lanarkshire meets the Well Informed Staff
Governance Standard and national and local engagement standards.

The group is chaired by the head of communications and meets monthly. It
includes membership from across NHS Lanarkshire including public
partnership forum and staff side representatives.

The group is responsible for reviewing the levels of engagement proposed by
Service Improvement Boards, providing them with advice and guidance.

On issues relating to service development and change, the Stakeholder
Engagement Group reports to the Modernisation Board, which oversees the
work carried out through the Service Improvement Boards.

The Stakeholder Engagement Group reports to Staff Governance Committee
on the Well Informed Staff Governance Standard.

6.3 Public Engagement and Communication Audit

The last public engagement and communication audit was carried out in
2007/08 (section 3.2) to gauge the public’s views on the way the organisation
communicates and engages. It is intended that a further audit will be carried
out in 2010/11.

6.4 Staff Survey

The national staff survey is carried out every two years and provides staff with
an opportunity to give feedback on the organisation under the following
headings: well informed; appropriately trained; involved in decisions which
affect them; treated fairly and consistently; provided with an improved and
safe working environment.

Feedback provided through the Well Informed section gives a snapshot of
how staff feel NHS Lanarkshire is communicating with them. The next staff
survey is expected to take place in 2010.

6.5 NHS QIS Clinical Governance & Risk Management Audit

NHS Quality Improvement Scotland (QIS) audits health boards against its
clinical governance and risk management standards. This includes an
examination of the level of development, implementation and monitoring and
evaluation of the Board’s communication strategies, policies and procedures.
The next NHS QIS audit report will be published in 2010.

6.6 Patient Focus, Public Involvement Self Assessment Review

NHS Boards in Scotland have a legal duty to involve patients and the public in
the planning and development of health services and in decisions that have a
significant effect on the operation of those services. This is sometimes called
Patient Focus, Public Involvement (PFPI).

The Scottish Health Council was established in 2005 to ensure that NHS
Boards comply with this duty and that patients, carers and the public have a
real say in the design and delivery of services in Scotland. Each year, NHS
Boards provide quarterly progress reports against agreed PFPI Actions to the
Scottish Health Council. The Scottish Health Council verifies and reviews
these returns and provides feedback to NHS Boards. At the end of the year,
the NHS boards develop a full-year summary of all the work undertaken. This
is known as the annual Self-Assessment.

NHS Boards are required to develop and propose PFPI actions for the year
ahead. These may be continuations of actions from the previous year or new
areas to be addressed. Members of the public are invited to assist in the
process of agreeing future actions which includes a public meeting.

6.7 Media Monitoring

The Communications Department routinely monitors press coverage of NHS
Lanarkshire to gauge the effectiveness of proactive media activity and assist
with effective targeting of future activity.

6.8 NHS Lanarkshire Public Website

Regular reports are provided to the Stakeholder Engagement Group on the
number of website hits, visitor numbers and feedback via the website. These
reports indicate the areas of greatest interest to users, which helps inform the
ongoing development of the site.

6.9 Staff Governance Committee

NHS Lanarkshire’s Staff Governance Committee oversees progress against
the four staff governance standards. Quarterly up-dates on the Well Informed
standard are submitted from the Stakeholder Engagement Group. Annual
national audits are undertaken to ensure the Board is meeting is legal
requirements under the staff governance standards.

6.10 Staff Sounding Board

Staff Sounding Board workshop have been introduced to provide staff with the
opportunity to provide valuable feedback on key issues that affect them. The
events are open to all staff and topics can include the development of a new
strategy or policy, a major service change, the impact of national changes in
policy, or other initiatives that impact on staff. It is anticipated that there will be
approximately four to six staff sounding board events each year. A discussion
topic will also be established on the staff intranet FirstPort for all staff to
comment on the issue.

Previous workshops have included communication topics such as the
development of the up-dated communication strategy (see section 3.6),
development of the new NHS Lanarkshire website, a review of The Pulse staff
newspaper and a review of FirstPort - the staff intranet.


Public, patients, users and advocates

   •   The Lanarkshire public
   •   Patients
   •   Scottish Health Council
   •   GP practice patient participation groups
   •   Voluntary organisations with health interest
   •   Carers and carers’ organisations
   •   North Lanarkshire Public Partnership Forum
   •   South Lanarkshire Public Partnership Forum
   •   South Lanarkshire Locality Public Partnership Forums
   •   North Lanarkshire Community Forums

NHS organisations and other care providers

   •   Scottish NHS Boards (particularly neighbouring Boards)
   •   Lanarkshire emergency services
           o Scottish Ambulance Service
           o Strathclyde Police
           o Strathclyde Fire and Rescue
   •   South Lanarkshire Council
   •   North Lanarkshire Council
   •   Nursing/residential homes
   •   Prisons/state hospitals in Lanarkshire
   •   NHS 24
   •   Health Protection Scotland
   •   Information Services Department Scotland (part of NHS National
       Services Scotland)
   •   NHS Quality Improvement Scotland
   •   NHS Health Scotland

Commercial providers and regulatory bodies

   •   Public private partnership consortia
   •   Suppliers
   •   Mental Welfare Commission
   •   Care Commission
   •   Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education
   •   Health and Safety Executive
   •   Royal Colleges
   •   Training/education (universities and colleges)

The media

   •   Local media
   •   National media


   •   MSPs
   •   MPs
   •   Councillors
   •   Community councillors
   •   Community groups

Scottish Government

   •   Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing
   •   Health Department officials (including Chief Executive, Chief Medical
       Officer and Press Office)

Other partner groups/organisations

   •   Lanarkshire Alcohol and Drug Partnership
   •   South Lanarkshire Community Planning Partnership:
          o Health & Care Partnership
          o Community Safety Partnership
          o Regeneration Partnership
          o Agenda 21 Partnership
          o Youth Partnership
          o Rural Partnership
          o Employment & Enterprise Partnership
   •   North Lanarkshire Community Planning Partnership:
          o Health, Wellbeing & Care Partnership
          o Community Safety Partnership
          o Jobs, Business & Economy Partnership
          o Regeneration Partnership
          o Learning through Life Partnership
          o Housing & The Environment Partnership

All NHS Lanarkshire staff

Non-executive directors

Trade Union/Staff Organisations

   •   Local partnership representatives
   •   Full-time officers

Independent Contractors

   •   General Practitioners
   •   Dentists
   •   Pharmacists
   •   Opticians


The ways in which NHS Lanarkshire communicates are shaped by feedback
from the public, staff and other stakeholders as outlined in this strategy. Below
is a list of communication channels commonly used by NHS Lanarkshire.
These will evolve and develop to respond to new opportunities and

   •   Media releases
   •   Media interviews
   •   Photo opportunities
   •   General Enquiry Line
   •   NHS Lanarkshire website www.nhslanarkshire.org.uk
   •   Elament - Lanarkshire mental health website
   •   Lanarkshire sexual health website www.lanarkshiresexualhealth.org
   •   Annual report
   •   Advertising
   •   MSP/MP and local councillor briefings
   •   The Pulse staff newspaper
   •   Roadshows
   •   Posters
   •   Leaflets
   •   Public meetings
   •   Weekly email staff briefing
   •   FirstPort (Intranet)
   •   Notice boards
   •   PC Desktop Wallpaper
   •   Payslip messages
   •   Text (SMS) messaging
   •   Newsletters
   •   Promotional items
   •   Team meetings


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