Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
Guy’s and St Thomas’, which includes Evelina London Children’s Hospital, is one of the largest and busiest NHS Trusts in the country, which also provides community services to the London boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark.
The GiST, a quarterly publication targeted at patients, members of the Foundation Trust and local community and more than 17,000 staff, was launched in 2011 as a single publication to replace a staff newspaper and community magazine.
It is a key communication tool, used for highlighting the Trust’s latest developments, innovations, research and first-class patient care. All content aligns with the Trust’s clinical and strategic priorities. But it also has a role in boosting staff morale, recognising individuals and teams for their achievements.
With more than 150 different languages spoken by families living in Lambeth and Southwark, and a reading age lower than the national average, the publication works hard to be accessible to as many people as possible. The fonts used are clean, simple and easy to read. Big pictures are used with ‘fast facts’ sidebars and pull out quotes to break up large chunks of text. And case studies and photography also reflect the diversity of the local community, patients and staff.
Healthcare information can be difficult to understand. All technical terms are carefully explained while accompanying patient case studies demonstrate the impact of each service. For example, a recent article highlighted changing attitudes to HIV, with accompanying fast facts explaining that more than 36,000 people with diagnosed HIV live in London, and Guy’s Hospital provides specialist care for about one-in-ten of them. It also explains what HIV is, and features an interview with a 19-year-old who was born with the condition.
Each issue includes at least one story for each of the Trust’s clinical priority areas: cancer, cardiovascular, adult community and children’s services. These feature patient case studies and supportive comments from a clinician.
The magazine also highlights the work of the Trust’s staff and their achievements, such as the team at Evelina Hospital who developed an NHS rainbow badge, to show support for LGBT+ patients, which is now used by NHS organisations across the country. There are ‘day in the life’ interviews and Q&A sessions with practitioners, who often see a spike in referrals afterwards.
In a recent survey of The GiST readers, 100 per cent rated the magazine as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ while 92 per cent view it as ‘very effective’ or ‘effective’ at keeping them up-to-date with news and events at the Trust.
The judges said The GiST had the feel of a ‘high quality magazine’, which ‘achieved great outcomes for a very low budget’. They added: ‘It was very clever to make this one piece of content work for both internal and external audiences.’