Winter health campaign in Suffolk wins national praise

Carla Pinto, membership officer, and Dr Ed Garratt, chief operating officer, NHS West Suffolk Clinic

Carla Pinto, membership officer, and Dr Ed Garratt, chief operating officer, NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, with the NHS Health Business Award 2014 for best NHS Publicity Campaign - Credit: Archant

Health professionals are celebrating after winning national praise for its winter health campaign.

NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), in partnership with Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG, has scooped the accolade of NHS Publicity Campaign of the Year from Health Business magazine.

The 2013/14 winter campaign was praised for being innovative and far-reaching. It included a hard-hitting cinema advert showing the consequences of using A&E inappropriately as well as posters, leaflets and social media.

It was run in partnership with West Suffolk Hospital, Ipswich Hospital, Public Health Suffolk, Suffolk Community Healthcare, Healthwatch Suffolk, Community Action Suffolk, Age UK and the East Anglian Daily Times.

Dr Ed Garrett, chief operating officer at West Suffolk CCG, said: “Good communications are vital in helping people make the right health care choice. When you are ill it can sometimes be difficult to know where to go for help and advice. Our winter health campaign aimed to inform and educate people in west Suffolk on the options available to them.

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“Although the West Suffolk CCG is named as the winner of this award, the success and reach of the campaign could not have been achieved without the support and input of our healthcare partners and a local media which supports the NHS.” The campaign’s purpose was to encourage people to make the right health care choices over the winter months by looking after yourself, having a well-stocked medicine cabinet, asking a pharmacist for advice, calling NHS 111 or making a GP appointment when necessary, instead of visiting A&E.

Isabel Cockayne, head of communications at West Suffolk CCG, said: “Communications experts from across health, social care and voluntary groups, are very passionate about giving good information to people.

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“This year we have improved on our work by developing messages with the public about maintaining good mental health over the winter, and visiting supermarkets with advice on how to look after yourself and using radio advertising.”

Alan Murray, chairman of Suffolk’s Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for West Suffolk CCG, which has been recognised on the national stage for its innovative approach to keeping people well over winter.

“This is an important message at a particularly busy time of the year for the NHS, as with other health providers, so it’s particularly encouraging to see that a partnership between Suffolk organisations has won this prestigious award for publicity campaign of the year.”

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