Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust is one of the largest and busiest NHS trusts in the country, providing hospital and community services in two London boroughs as well as specialist care for patients from further afield.
When the NHS celebrated its 70th birthday in 2018, Guy’s and St Thomas’ was determined to celebrate with ‘something extraordinary’ that would stand out and was quite unlike anything the trust had done before.
The ‘something extraordinary’ had several boxes to tick: it needed to celebrate the trust’s staff and everything they cared about, it had to demonstrate the trust’s values and also the diversity of its staff and, finally, it had to make patients, staff and local people feel proud.
But the in-house team also had to make sure people saw their work, make the campaign have national appeal by using the #NHS70 hashtag to connect with an existing audience and also make it multi-purpose - so that it had life beyond the 70th birthday celebrations.
The solution was a video poem We Care. Written in-house - other than a taxi fare, there was no budget for this campaign - the poem was delivered by 36 staff and patients and was filmed across 31 locations. No names or job titles appeared on screen to identify the speakers, who included the chief executive, suggesting that anybody could deliver the line because each employee is driven by the same set of values.
To ensure that the video was authentic, sincere and personal, it was filmed on a handheld camera in natural or ambient light with all lines spoken directly to camera. The project took three months to complete as it worked around the availability of clinical staff.
Prior to its release, the in-house team created a ‘teaser trail’ on the trust’s social media channels. It was also promoted to all 17,000 staff across internal communications channels, including the intranet, and by links in the trust’s magazine The GiST, which has a circulation of 28,000.
We Care premiered at the trust’s NHS70 staff event, as well as featuring at its annual public meeting, team meetings and its staff awards ceremony. It was also shared on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube, as well as on the trust’s public website.
Within six months, the film had been viewed more than 90,000 times. On Facebook and LinkedIn, it generated an organic reach of almost 295,000 while there were 71,000 impressions on Twitter. There were also almost 9,200 likes, comments and shares of We Care. It is now screened every week to 100 new staff at induction.
The judges described the video as ‘moving’, adding: ‘This was such a great job using real people. It was highly authentic.’