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Public asked to help shape NHS Lanarkshire communications strategy

Written by Calvin Brown.
Published at 15:32 GMT on Monday, July 8th, 2013.

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NHS Lanarkshire is asking the public to help shape how it communicates with them.

The health board is up-dating its communication strategy and is looking for comments on the draft document.

An updated draft Communications Strategy 2013-2018 and action plan have been produced setting out NHS Lanarkshire’s communication priorities for the next five years along with: our values and principles for communication; where we are now with communications; where we want to be; and how performance is monitored and evaluated on an ongoing basis.

The strategy lists the key groups and individuals that NHS Lanarkshire communicates with such as patients, carers, public partnership forums, MSPs and staff.

It also includes the numerous communication methods it uses to communicate such as newsletters, Facebook, Twitter, display screens, leaflets, posters, the NHS Lanarkshire website, newsletters and the media.

Karon Hamilton, NHS Lanarkshire’s Head of Communications, said: “We know how important it is that we communicate effectively with our patients, the public, staff, and a wide range of other key stakeholders.

“We are committed to providing up-to-date and relevant information to people in a format that they can easily access. To get this right, we need people to tell us what they want to know and how they want us to communicate with them.”

Health staff and members of the North and South Lanarkshire Public Partnership Forums gave comments on the revised strategy at communications strategy workshops earlier in the year.

Karon said: “In developing the draft strategy we have already received some very helpful feedback from the public and staff that we have reflected in our draft communications objectives. We would welcome any further comments people have on the strategy and action plan.”

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The plan proposes the following strategic communication objectives for 2013-2018:

  • Deliver communication plans to support effective involvement in line with A Healthier Future service change process
  • Reduce jargon and increase the use of Plain English
  • Increase the use of newsletters for the public
  • Develop new ways of using online technologies, including websites and social media, to improve public communications and engagement
  • Develop NHS Lanarkshire’s social media channels to provide information about NHS Lanarkshire and opportunities for interaction and involvement
  • Positively promote NHS Lanarkshire services and initiatives in the media and protect the organisation’s reputation
  • Develop the new FirstPort2 (intranet) to provide timely and relevant information to staff
  • Ensure The Pulse (staff newspaper) is relevant to all staff and accessible to staff and the public
  • Increase the effectiveness of the weekly staff briefing
  • Improve effectiveness and efficiency of email communications
  • Improve the standard and consistency of local manager/staff communications and team meetings.

The draft communication strategy and action plan can be viewed on the NHS Lanarkshire website at .

To make a comment on the strategy and action plan or request printed copies, contact Alison McCutcheon on 01698 858111, email .

Alternatively, write to NHS Lanarkshire, Communications Department, Kirklands HQ, Fallside Road, Bothwell, G71 8BB. Comments should be submitted by Friday 2 August 2013.

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