What were the objectives?

South Eastern Hampshire CCG wanted to breathe new life into an under-used hospital by expanding some existing services and introducing a range of new outpatient services. This was to be the foundation of a new model of integrated care for the community, which entailed the controversial closure of the remaining eight-bed ward. The commissioners asked South, Central and West CSU’s Communications team to promote and publicise their programme objectives and to actively engage and involve the local community in the debate about the services that would be delivered from Chase Community Hospital in the future.

What did we deliver?

  • We co-designed an appropriate and compliant communications and engagement strategy.
  • We handled all proactive and reactive media relations activity related to the service redesign.
  • Our dedicated team led a series of local engagement workshops and ‘meet the project team’ events, producing all event collateral and managing local promotional advertising.
  • We further engaged the local population and gathered opinion by creating online surveys, newsletters, and setting up dedicated engagement pages on the CCG website.
  • We produced regular reporting for public sector partners such as the Hampshire Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee
  • We participated in monthly Project Board and Steering Group meetings and organised a communications Task and Finish Group for key stakeholders, to maximise visibility of the engagement process.

Customer Feedback

“The CSU has been a tower of strength in providing a sound communication and engagement strategy and dedicated support throughout a series of public engagement events in a very challenging arena around closure of hospital beds. ”
Dr Barbara Rushton, Clinical Chair, South Eastern Hampshire CCG

How did we add value to the customer?

The dedicated team we provided had extensive skills and experience in both media and local government, which enabled them to actively promote the aims of the project positively, whilst also managing negative response sensitively.

By continually involving and informing a wide range of stakeholders during the engagement process, our team became the main point of contact for the project for internal and external stakeholders, which considerably reduced pressure on the CCG team.

To optimise cost-efficiency for the CCG, we supplemented the small core team in place throughout the project with additional communications and engagement resources to manage specific activities at peak times, for example to organise and run community events.

Read or download the case study – Effective local engagement to support service redesign'