UHCW NHS Trust wins national communications award

UHCW Wins AHCM AwardA hospital team has won a prestigious industry award for its work to relieve pressure on A&E services.

The Communications Team at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust came out top in the ‘Issues Management’ category at the annual awards of the Association of Healthcare Communications and Marketing (AHCM).

The team scooped the prize at a ceremony held in Dunchurch on Thursday, March 16, for their innovative approach to make the public aware of pressures facing the Emergency Department earlier this year.

A video which featured the Trust’s Chief Medical Officer appealing to the public not to use the Emergency Department as it was exceptionally busy was published on Facebook in January. It received over 71,000 views and reached over 148,000 people.

The judges praised the team for the numbers of people reached by the video, and for using new methods of communication to refresh messages about the use of A&E.

The small team was also commended in the ‘Internal Communications’ category at the awards on March 16, 2017, for the Trust’s new intranet. The new site enables the organisation’s 8,600 staff to access information they need quickly.

The team was praised by the judges for involving staff throughout to create a widely-used site that would meet their needs, and as a “text book example” of developing a new intranet.

Communications Officer Tom Phelan was also shortlisted for the Rising Star award. Although he unfortunately didn’t win this category, Tom had a major part to play in the success of both the emergency department videos and the Trust intranet.

Professor Meghana Pandit, Chief Medical Officer and Deputy Chief Executive Officer, said:
“I’m really proud of the Communications Team for winning this national award.

“I was very pleased with the success of the videos, and in particular that the message about using our Emergency Department appropriately was seen by so many people.

“Keeping up-to-date with technology and the social media channels that people use most is really important to help us improve the ways we communicate with our staff and our patients.”

Lynda Scott, chair of the AHCM, said:
“We are proud of all of our winners – they all demonstrated the willingness to go above and beyond in their quest to communicate health.

“Our industry plays a vital role in ensuring important healthcare messages are communicated, communities are engaged and healthcare achievements are celebrated.

“The team at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust can consider themselves ranked amongst the cream of NHS communicators having won this highly sought-after prize.”

The AHCM (Association of Healthcare Communications and Marketing) is the primary independent network for people working in communications and public engagement for the NHS.

Launched 20 years ago, the AHCM awards are the only awards programme that exclusively recognise and reward excellence in NHS communications, and are open to people working in or for the NHS, as well as other health and social care organisations.