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Frisky not risky

Social marketing campaign to meet Chlamydia screening targets

Published: 20 Aug 2010

The social marketing campaign enabled NHS Waltham Forest to meet its Chlamydia screening targets

Client: NHS Waltham Forest

Agency: 90TEN Healthcare

Campaign: Frisky not Risky Chlamydia screening

Timescale: November 2008 to March 2009

A quick look

With one in 10 young people under 25 infected with Chlamydia, and NHS Waltham Forest severely underperforming in Chlamydia screening, 90TEN Healthcare had just five months to turn the situation around. In consultation with young people, the agency created an innovative, targeted and interactive Frisky not Risky campaign that took Chlamydia screening directly into schools and colleges, while supporting outreach teams to engage effectively young people in their environment. The dramatic uptake in screening propelled NHS Waltham Forest to third best PCT in the country and the only Outer NE London PCT to achieve the national Chlamydia screening target.


Engaging young people (YP) aged 16-24 years in the uptake of health messages is a major challenge. Sexual health is intertwined with stigma and peer pressure so even those YP who are aware of chlamydia may not present for screening.

NHS Waltham Forest appointed 90TEN Healthcare to run a social marketing campaign that enabled it to meet its NHS Chlamydia screening targets.


Following consultations with local stakeholders and YP, the Frisky not Risky campaign was rolled out in local schools and colleges in the form of ‘games-led’ Chlamydia sessions with integrated screening. The initiative was well received because of its novel and interactive approach – never before had games been the main focus of a Chlamydia tutorial. The sessions were run by the 90TEN Patient Engagement Team in partnership with THT.

Older YP were targeted at gyms, leisure centres, tube/train stations, pubs/clubs, youth clubs, shopping areas and local businesses with high percentages of staff aged <25.

The Frisky not Risky campaign achieved an average of 37 screens per activity (48 per cent over target) – significantly higher than the PCT had achieved previously and well exceeding the client’s targets.


The campaign achieved a total of 9,197 screens (180 per cent of target) by end-March 2009, equating to a percentage screening rate of 30.7 per cent, well over the PCT’s 17 per cent target and significantly greater than the national average of 15.9 per cent. NHS Waltham Forest was ranked third best PCT in the country and the only Outer NE London PCT to achieve the national target. Comparing the 2008/09 screening figures against the 2007/08 campaign, it demonstrated a marked improvement. Screens achieved increased from 1,093 screens (3.6 per cent of target population) in 2007/08 to 9,197 screens for 2008/09 (30.7 per cent of target population).

Client verdict

“Being ranked third best PCT in the country for Chlamydia screening 2008/09 was a remarkable achievement, which we could not have achieved without the support of  90TEN Healthcare.

“The team there really provided us with effective insight which they precisely translated into a series of interlinking mechanisms which engaged, educated and motivated young people in the borough to screen – no easy task. I was hugely impressed by their creativity, passion and determination to help us succeed and how much they delivered within the budget available. The campaign enabled us and our stakeholders to reach young people in an effective and appropriate way, and it was well received by schools, other stakeholders and of course the young people of Waltham Forest.”

Deirdre Cumberbatch, Former Head of Social Marketing, NHS Waltham Forest. 

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