Strategy refresh "highly commended"

A project to co-produce the Trust's new five year strategy with staff and external parties was highly commended at a national awards ceremony on 16 March 2017.

A project to co-produce the Trust’s new five year strategy with staff and external parties was highly commended at a national awards ceremony on 16 March 2017.

Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust received the commendation for Best Internal Communications at the annual Association of Healthcare Communications and Marketing (AHCM) awards for Re-imagining Our Future – a project to co-produce and refresh the Trust’s five year strategy.

The winners and runners up were crowned at a ceremony on Thursday 16 March 2017 when the Trust came up against strong competition from healthcare communications professionals from around the UK.

Oliver Tipper, Head of Communications at the Trust said: “It’s great to be highly commended by our national association and I would like to thank the project team for all their hard work as well as all those who contributed to the online conversations which made this such a success.

“In 2016 we worked with staff and stakeholders to refresh our five year strategy – developing a new vision, a new set of values and behaviours and a five year plan.

“We only had six months to produce the first draft and with over 2,600 staff working across more than 40 sites in Leeds and York, we had neither the time nor resources to do this using a traditional face-to-face approach.

“We ran an intensive campaign called Your Voice Counts to get people involved in a series of online conversations – powered by innovative crowdsourcing technology.”

Between April and August 2016 the Trust received over 6,500 contributions which included 403 ideas, 1,750 comments and 5,245 votes from around 650 people in three online workshops. A fully representative sample of staff from across the Trust got involved and a sample of 100 service users, members, governors, carers and other stakeholders also joined the conversation.

Oliver added: “This fantastic engagement exercise achieved its goals on time using significantly less resource than traditional methods would have incurred to achieve the same results. People felt they owned the results and all the feedback collected during and after the project was either positive or suggested how to make it even better.”

The AHCM judges said: “This entry was a good strong internal communications campaign to engage with staff, building on a well-established brand: ‘Your Voice Counts’. The crowdsourcing approach was innovative and helped to reach those who might not normally engage.

“It was a fantastic example of how strong participation can be achieved by creating genuine and easy opportunities to contribute through face-to-face and online workshops. Clearly the whole campaign being led from the top also had a big impact on staff.”

Lynda Scott, chair of the AHCM, said: “Our industry plays a vital role in ensuring important healthcare messages are communicated, communities are engaged and healthcare achievements are celebrated. The team at Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust can consider themselves ranked amongst the cream of NHS communicators having been highly commended.”

Find out more about the Trust’s strategy refresh project and Your Voice Counts campaign here.

The AHCM is the primary independent network for people working in healthcare communications, public engagement and marketing for the NHS.

Launched 20 years ago, the AHCM awards are the only awards programme that exclusively recognise and reward excellence in NHS communications, and are open to people working in or for the NHS, as well as other health and social care organisations. For more information about the AHCM, visit