The Health and Wellbeing Board Communications Group has developed the Health and Wellbeing Board Communications Plan which outlines joint priorities for communications activity in 2023. The plan builds on successful work from the previous year as well as making sure that the refreshed Health and Wellbeing (HWB) Strategy is reflected in the priorities within the Communications Plan.
Giselle Rothwell - Director of Communications and Engagement, Surrey Heartlands ICS
Sarah Archer - Communications Account Manager - Public Health, Surrey County Council
Key points raised in the discussion:
1. The Director of Communications and Engagement (Surrey Heartlands ICS) noted that:
· The Board’s Communications Group supported the Health and Wellbeing Strategy through a range of communications work, it was jointly chaired by her and the Strategic Director - Communications (SCC) and had a broad membership including representatives from the voluntary sector.
· The Group had matured and evolved over the last couple of years, it was increasingly talking across Surrey with one voice across its partners; noting a joint campaign around mental health last year, the huge amount of work around Covid-19, and the current collaborative work on winter plans.
· The Communications Plan 2023 had been refreshed to reflect the Board’s revised Health and Wellbeing Strategy.
· Greater value could be added as a Group through focusing on larger campaigns during the year, resourcing them well to deliver greater impact; rather than doing lots of smaller campaigns. The Group was always looking for new ways of evaluating communications campaigns.
2. The Communications Account Manager - Public Health (SCC) noted:
· That the Plan which had been Covid-19 focused over the last two years, had been tweaked and expanded to focus on the Health and Wellbeing Strategy’s priorities; whilst being flexible, reacting to health and wellbeing priorities as they change.
· Areas of focus concerning Priority One included the: winter plan, children's immunisations including information on diphtheria and polio, promoting cancer screening and health checks, campaign around Stoptober, the Changing Futures Programme to reduce the stigma around people with multiple disadvantage; a new logo had been created.
· Areas of focus concerning Priority Two included the: Face of Support campaign last year concerning early intervention, building resilience and connecting people in communities and working with the Community Champions to disseminate messages, using case studies to highlight lived experience and using mental health workers in a recent campaign.
· Areas of focus concerning Priority Three included the: aforementioned Surrey-wide leaflet and there had been requests for that leaflet to go much wider, campaign about domestic abuse highlighting the coercive and controlling behaviours, work underway with other directorates around Active Travel which provided health benefits.
· The Tactics and Channels, Opportunities and milestones, Key Audiences, and Success sections in Annex 1.
3. A Board member noted that she fully endorsed the focus on a few campaigns a year and she encouraged the Group to look at the Food Strategy under development - under Priority One - which cut across a number of the key themes discussed such as the cost of living, sustainability and the health impact of diet; it would be useful to use those insights.
- In response, the Director of Communications and Engagement (Surrey Heartlands ICS) would take that suggestion to the Group’s next meeting.
4. A Board member asked whether there was sufficient linkage into the VCFS groups and priority populations and whether there was anything more that could be done to support that. As had been highlighted by the Covid-19 communications campaigns it was vital to get that culturally aware messaging out; whilst delivery was important so was co-designing messages which she felt was missing. As there was no additional budget allocated to that, she asked whether there were concerns around delivery and whether the VCSE Alliance could help the Group to get closer to some of those groups and priority populations.
- In response, the Director of Communications and Engagement (Surrey Heartlands ICS) acknowledged that there was always more that the Group could do, she noted that the work underway with Healthwatch Surrey and the wider sector was critical in delivering the Plan through reaching out into local communities. She noted that it was positive that a few communications officers from across the VCFS groups were members of the Group and she welcomed the offer regarding the Group linking into the VCSE Alliance and the voice group to help them do that.
5. A Board member noted the impressive range of campaigns and channels that were used to access as many residents as possible. Regarding the GP texting service which was a trusted means of communicating with residents - a letter alternative to those not digitally connected - and was one of the most extensive databases available in Surrey, she asked how that could be expanded to circulate some of the preventative and wider messages potentially including social care support from across agencies without devaluing that trusted source.
- In response, the Director of Communications and Engagement (Surrey Heartlands ICS) noted that it was a valuable channel and that the Group had to be careful about how it used it so that it does not dilute it and there was a cost involved. The Group worked closely with the primary care teams in health to think about when a cascade might be useful such as during Covid-19. She noted that Group would look to explore the cascading of those health prevention messages through the GP texting service.
6. Referring to Priority Three, area of focus: community-led action, looking ahead to the work around priority populations a Board member wondered whether the concept of neighbourliness could be pursued as it helped to cut across several of the priorities as a well-informed neighbour may be able to support somebody with their mental health or to keep safe. He noted the Emoji Awareness campaign which was launched last week, which was under the area of focus concerning safeguarding and exploitation, he encouraged Board members to look at that and he would send the link to the Committee Manager (SCC).
- In response, the Director of Communications and Engagement (Surrey Heartlands ICS) noted that the Group would like to know more about the Emoji Awareness campaign and she agreed that it should explore all those avenues of neighbourliness, working in partnership. She noted that there was much potential as there were many channels available, resourcing and the time to pursue those was a consideration.
7. The Vice-Chairman noted that a positive about Surrey Heartlands ICS was that primary care were all on a similar website and she would be happy to work more closely with Director of Communications and Engagement (Surrey Heartlands ICS) as she believed that primary care would be willing to share a communications campaign on their social media platforms, as the websites were cluttered; it would be useful to work on having a more aligned social media communications campaign.
- In response, the Director of Communications and Engagement (Surrey Heartlands ICS) noted that she was working with a company called Redmoor Health with primary care colleagues, who were supporting general practices to get their social media up and running. The Group was looking at circulating consistent messaging through primary care’s social media; she would liaise with the Vice-Chairman on her offer of support.
1. Noted the alignment of the Communications Plan with the refreshed HWB Strategy and the stronger links between the Communications Plan priorities and the HWB Strategy outcomes.
2. Approved the refreshed Communications Plan for 2023.
3. Shared and endorsed the priorities within members’ respective organisations.
4. Ensured representation on HWB Communications group.
5. Considered appetite and capacity for considering allocated money or formally pooled budgets for the Communications Plan.
Actions/further information to be provided:
1. The Director of Communications and Engagement (Surrey Heartlands ICS) will take that suggestion to the Communications Group’s next meeting to look into the Food Strategy.
2. The Director of Communications and Engagement (Surrey Heartlands ICS) will follow up the offer with the Board member (Kate Scribbins) for the Communications Group to link into the VCSE Alliance and the voice group to help them to link into the VCFS groups and priority populations on delivery and co-designing messaging including culturally aware messaging.
3. The Director of Communications and Engagement (Surrey Heartlands ICS) via the communications Group, will look to explore the cascading of those health prevention messages through the GP texting service; without devaluing that trusted source.
4. The Board member (Gavin Stephens) will send the link to the Emoji Awareness campaign to the Committee Manager (SCC) to be circulated to the Board.
5. The Director of Communications and Engagement (Surrey Heartlands ICS) via the Communications Group, will look into the Emoji Awareness campaign and the suggestion to explore all those avenues of neighbourliness, working in partnership.
6. The Director of Communications and Engagement (Surrey Heartlands ICS) will liaise with the Vice-Chairman following up her offer of support around working more closely on having a more aligned social media communications campaign and sharing those campaigns on their social media platforms.