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Our NHS: Exposing ‘Secret Plans’, Mobilising Public Engagement

by Incisive Health for 38 Degrees

Summary of work

Our NHS: Exposing ‘Secret Plans’, Mobilising Public Engagement

In 2015, NHS England announced 44 Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs). Despite the importance of STPs to the future of healthcare delivery, by August 2016 little effort had been made to engage the public in the process, to explain why change was necessary, or what the implications of change might be. Many STPs did not even have a website and media coverage was limited to behind-paywall specialist publications.

38 Degrees became increasingly concerned that the development of STPs behind closed doors would undermine public support for the NHS and lead to services implementing irreversible changes without public consent.

Following an audit of draft STPs, 38 Degrees launched a concerted media campaign to expose the planned changes to the NHS to political pressure and to persuade NHS leaders to engage the public. As well as running as the splash in the Guardian and the Independent, it featured prominently in the Telegraph, the Sun and the Daily Mirror. The story secured the 7.10am slot on the BBC Today Programme and led the BBC lunchtime news. On social media, the campaign achieved 155,632 engagements in two weeks, whilst the petition calling for the Health Secretary to publish STPs was signed by 286,969 people.

Judges' comments

We really liked this extremely impressive campaign with phenomenal results. Incisive Health and 38 Degrees put together in depth research with a tailored message. They translated media scrutiny into policy action in this multi-faceted campaign.

Highly commended

Accelerating Change for Stroke Patients Through the Media - by Reynolds-MacKenzie and Medtronic In-House Team


Exposing Cuts in Access to Contraception - by Incisive Health for The Advisory Group on Contraception, supported by Bayer Plc

The Infant and Toddler Forum (ITF) Rethink Portion Sizes Campaign - by Say Communications for Danone Nutricia Early Life Nutrition

Pathfinder 2016 - by Target Ovarian Cancer

Category Sponsors

Key dates

Entry deadline 5 March 2020
Extended entry deadline 12 March 2020
Judging day 1 7 May 2020
Judging day 2 21 May 2020
Awards Ceremony 2 July 2020

Contact information:

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Tel: +44 (0)1372 414243

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