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NHS / communications people

(14 Posts)
choufleur Sat 16-Aug-08 09:15:09

I've got an interview after the bank holdiday for a Comms Manager for Leicester & Rutland PCT. I have to do a 10 minute presentationon 'How will the communications department support Leicestershire County and Rutland Community Health Services to be the local provider of choice?'

Has anyone got any ideas about what i should say? I only got the letter this morning so haven't actually thought about it myself yet.


moondog Sat 16-Aug-08 09:17:57

Good luck. As salt and NHS employee would say biggest prob. is lack of effective and relevant comm systems.

CaptainKarvol Sat 16-Aug-08 09:23:21

Are you NHS already? Think Darzi Review and World Class Commissioning for what is in the minds of PCTs right now. Am personally clueless about comms, but I know that is what is going on in the rest of the organisation...

choufleur Sat 16-Aug-08 09:45:04

THanks. I work for a local authority at the moment so know about comms but not specifically to the NHS. I'll look up the Darzi Reviw and World Class Commissioning thanks Capital.

I take it the presentation is about how to get to people to choose Leicestershire & Rutland over any other PCTs.

CaptainKarvol Sat 16-Aug-08 14:27:13

The focus on provider of choice is interesting. PCTs split into provider and commissioner functions, and the emphasis is currently on commissioning (hence WCC). A Chinese wall is supposed to exist between the two functions, as commissioning your own providers (rather than a third party bidding for the same contract) is fraught with difficulties. May be worth thinking a little around those issues as wellsmile

edam Sat 16-Aug-08 14:33:21

Commissioning (buying) and providing (doing) within the same organisation seems to work fine in industry - it's only the poor bloody public sector that is condemned to suffer under New Labour's market ideology.

Is the comms job about PR or internal communications? Agree Darzi and World Class Commissioning are the current fad but if they want good media coverage, I'd suggest they write press releases as if they were news stories (most important fact first) with as little NHS jargon as possible.

Anyway, for community health services, important thing is to persuade the PCT and any practice-based commissioners (mostly GPs who 'buy' health services for their patients) that LC and R CHS are the bees knees). Worth asking if any local GPs are doing practice-based commissioning, actually, it seems to have stalled in may places.

prettybird Sat 16-Aug-08 14:59:53

To be fair on New Labour (and I don't like being that! wink), the Purchaser/provider split was introduced by the Tories. It's just the New Labour has continued to promote that type of ideology and indeed almost seems to want to out-Tory the Tories hmm

I agree with you about the public sector suffering from politicians' warped views as to how an efficient market works. It's a long time since I worked in the Health Service, but when I did, it was as a small cohort of private sector people who had been brought in at a relatively senior level and were to be exposed to the best of NHS thinking - and interestingly, not one of us thought that the purchaser/provider split, as it was being implemented, was how best practice in industry would do it. We wrote a paper called "Are Partnership and Competition Incompatible?" (Answer: NO -especially when you have a common objective: the Health of the Nation - but you need to be mature about it).

Choufleur: is the communication involved all external or is it also internal? If it is also internal, you could also consider what communication is required to ensure that all staff understand what they are trying to achieve and what they can do as ambassadors for the PCT.

prettybird Sat 16-Aug-08 15:04:44

Meant to say the paper was also published in the NHS Journal as well as being presented to the Chairmen of the Two Regional Health Authorities involved in the scheme we had been recruited through.

Another thought: what sort of profile does the PCT currently have? Have there been any particular issues that it has faced? Where are the areas that their users have real choice? What would the message be that yuo would want to convey to those users?

edam Sat 16-Aug-08 16:02:07

Oh, I know about the Tories and their blasted internal market, prettybird. What's really sad is Labour started off by undoing some of the damage, then went mad and decided to do something even worse... the Tories would never have dared privatise the NHS to the extend that Labour has.

prettybird Sat 16-Aug-08 16:51:42

I agree - they are now trying to do things the Tories only ever dreamt about

choufleur Sun 17-Aug-08 09:02:30

It an external comms job - so mostly PR. Am i right then that its trying to selling in the PCT to commissioners (i.e. GPs) not the end user? I thought patients were meant to be able to choose wheer they were treated, so comms should be targeting them as well

SueW Sun 17-Aug-08 09:44:03

I don't work in the NHS but I would agree with you that patients should know they have choice. If they do not know this, GPs should be making them aware of this. So a two-pronged attack making both more aware - and confident that the system works. As a potential patient who lives close to the borders of Derbys, Notts and Leics, I could easily choose any of these and my choice would be swayed not only by familiarity with the services but also say if I heard (could google) about success stories. (Actually, having made a choice this week between Derby Royal Infirmary and Nottingham's QMC for my daughter, I chose QMC because her extensive medical records are there - but that's another can of worms altogether!)

(Since you've posted exactly what job/where you are going for, I hope no other candidates are googling and come across this thread! Perhaps you should get your first post deleted)

Good luck.

tribpot Sun 17-Aug-08 09:57:16

choufleur, the PCT may be considering spinning off their provider arm completely into a Community Foundation Trust, have a google on this.

The Choices website is starting to publish patient 'reviews' of local services so you'd want to think about how that would affect a comms strategy.

I think we are now living in the era of free choice (I say think because I know it was coming but not sure when it was meant to arrive) so the patient can choose where to be treated (in theory) but in reality mostly a set of services will be commissioned by other PCTs and possibly practices. How does Leicestershire win the business? Think waiting times - remember, the patient can (in theory) see an indicative waiting time for each service through Choose and Book, so that's another piece of comms you have no direct control over. Star rating likewise.

Good luck!

choufleur Sun 17-Aug-08 19:59:26

THanks everyone - all of your thoughts are really useful

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