Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Engaging staff and wider stakeholders with a new Five Year Strategy to create the culture change necessary to support this important initiative.

  Working with Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (BTH), we sought to engage staff and wider stakeholders with their new Five Year Strategy and create the culture change necessary to support this important initiative.

Without everybody ‘on the same page’, the ambitious transformation set out by the Five Year Strategy would not be realised. This was therefore a large scale engagement challenge within an organisation that identified as having a limiting staff culture and complex service offer.

The Trust serves a population of approximately 444,000 residents across Lancashire, and comprises Blackpool Victoria Hospital, which is a large busy acute hospital, and two smaller community hospitals. The Trust is also responsible for the provision of Community services to a large geographical area.

Our sector knowledge meant that when presented with the Trust’s case for change, we were able to quickly develop an engagement strategy to bring the transformation process to life in a way that communicated to staff a financially and clinically sustainable future, whilst simultaneously motivating them. 

We became the Trust’s partner in the Five Year Strategy, replacing McKinsey who had supported the Trust in assessing its current performance, and ensured all-important clinical engagement in the 6 month strategy development process, with task-and-finish working groups being led by senior clinicians from across the Trust.    

  With more than 6,000 staff to engage, we began by working with Trust leaders to ensure that the behaviours associated with the strategy were modelled ‘at the top’. With a clear goal defined for the campaign, this allowed us to build a staged approach.

Our first challenge was to raise awareness of the Five Year Strategy amongst staff, and then to call staff to action in relation to the strategy’s work programmes. Once a significant internal culture shift had taken place, external engagement would be undertaken so that staff and patients alike have a shared understanding of the Trust’s vision.

Cultivate solutions included:

• design of a dedicated sub-brand and strapline for the campaign, with a clear message to staff – ‘together we can’.  

• launch of a microsite as an easy-to-navigate hub for all resources

• easy-read printed and online publications to reinforce key messages, such as the Strategy on a Page

motion graphics along with social media activity and dedicated hashtag

a board ‘buy-in’ workshop to address need for increased visibility of all board members.

We have been working with Cynergy on the launch of our new Trust strategy, ranging from branding to stakeholder engagement. I find Cynergy extremely passionate, energised and agile in their approach to the provision of excellent
support ensuring organisational ownership and that a legacy is left with
our own internal team, sharing their approach, methods and mediums. 

I would whole-heartedly recommend Cynergy to anyone considering engaging a specialist communications and engagement team, they have ensured an inclusive and flexible approach at all times and we wouldn’t have progressed as quickly without them.

  We aimed to create a ‘done with’ rather than ‘done to’ feel to implementation of the strategy, so bringing staff together to prioritise and define key actions was vital to clearly demonstrable results. 

Activate solutions therefore included: 

• Trust-wide roadshows supported by benefit-driven marketing 

• Monthly Exec-led campaigns to highlight the different work programmes, and personal commitment behind them

Organisational development opportunities refreshed to better align with the Five Year Strategy

Visual environment work

Continuous online survey to allow us to ‘temperature check’ with staff and adapt our solutions accordingly.

The project created an increase in staff awareness and understanding that is tangible in the workplace, and was captured colloquially as well as through more formal evaluation. 

Keeping the momentum, and keeping messages fresh yet consistent has been key to this campaign successfully inspiring BTH staff.

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