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NHS Communicate

27 Jul 2022

The need to protect and promote the reputation of the NHS has never been greater

Adam Brimelow and Daniel Reynolds
Plans are shaping up well for this year’s NHS Communicate conference and awards. Last year’s inaugural NHS Communicate events were a roaring success, but we aim to make this year’s conference on 14 September and awards on 15 September even better!

The rationale

We wanted to create a conference for senior NHS communicators to share experiences and ideas, to harness the learning from the pandemic, and to celebrate progress and achievements in our profession. We wanted to reinforce that sense of community, of shared advice and mutual support that has served us so well through some very difficult days. And we wanted to draw on the lessons from senior communicators working in other sectors beyond health and care.

The conference

As the health service comes under growing critical scrutiny, the need to protect and promote the reputation of the NHS has never been greater. That’s why the over-arching theme of this year’s conference is The reputation of the NHS.

We have some brilliant speakers lined up. We’re really excited to have Professor Sir Jonathan Van-Tam who will reflect on his experiences communicating the twists and turns of the pandemic from his very public platform at the No. 10 press conferences, and the ingredients behind his success as a respected and trusted communicator.

We’re also looking forward to hearing from NHS England’s new chief strategy officer, Chris Hopson who in his previous role as NHS Providers chief executive was a key figure in explaining the challenges and the achievements of the NHS. Our conference will provide an early opportunity for him to set out his stall in his new role, which includes overseeing communications at NHS England.

We will build on the success of our recent NHS Communicate webinar with a further session exploring how we create a more ethnically diversity NHS communications profession.

The former director of BBC News, Helen Boaden, will be part of a stellar panel looking at the challenges of reputational management  under pressure. Sarah Campion from NHS Charities Together will discuss the key role of communicators in charities. And the Sunday Times’ Shaun Lintern will contribute to a conversation about the perils of being caught in a media storm.

And, of course, we’ll be hearing from some of our great NHS communicators including Edna Boampong, Kate Jarman, Kat Raven and Emer Delaney. Truly, an event not to be missed!

The awards

Last year’s awards event was for many people a revelation in generating excitement and providing an opportunity to celebrate excellence in our profession. We’ve had huge interest in the awards again this year, with almost 150 submissions across our 11 categories.

The judging is underway and once again it’s already clear that the quality of work on show will be very high. We’ll be there to celebrate their achievements on another night of virtual glitz and glamour! While we can’t promise the same level of drama, we are confident our awards will bring the same level of excitement as the Oscars!  

The legacy

We are building NHS Communicate on firm foundations. We are working with an advisory panel of senior NHS communicators to help us develop a conference and awards event that will be a positive landmark in the year for our profession. And our NHS Communicate website will help ensure the learning and insights generated will have a legacy.

We are proud to have the chance to highlight once again the work of NHS communicators through the unprecedented challenges of recent times, and to have this renewed opportunity to support and promote the reputation of the NHS. We look forward to you joining us.