In 2011, our client Simpl UK won a £4m deal with one of the country’s few providers of integrated health and adult social services, Torbay and Southern Devon Health and Care NHS Trust, to build a single community care record [SCCR]. The Trust wanted the system to provide staff with office-based, remote online [where a 3G network was available] and remote offline access to comprehensive and secure records of patient and client care details – ensuring unbroken, synchronised access to the right information to deliver the right care in the right place and at the right time. Simpl UK tasked us with promoting the project through media, social media and influencer channels, to build a platform for Simpl to further develop its care trust business.
- We first engaged all parties in the project, including teams from Simpl UK and its New Zealand HQ; management, IT and press office staff at Torbay; and Simpl UK’s delivery partners, Microsoft and Optevia
- We agreed a clear plan of action with all parties to maintain each parties messaging; to take a collaborative not competitive approach to working with each other; to extend Simpl’s influencer reach [not just relying on the media] and to position the company as a thought-leader on integrated health and social care
- We quickly drafted an initial press announcement, secured approval from all parties and agreed pitching deadlines and next steps
- Our team verbally pitched the announcement to media with strong impact on the care trust community. Following a round of media interviews with Simpl and Torbay spokespeople, the PR team secured dedicated press coverage in key titles Health Service Journal, eHealth Insider, Computer Weekly and Guardian Government Computing. The story was also syndicated with EHI Primary Care and Guardian Healthcare Network
- Additional press coverage following wider distribution of the announcement was secured on three news sites (Publictechnology.net, eGovMonitor and British Journal of Computing)
- Working with Simpl UK’s international team, additional press coverage was secured in Global Hospital Health Management and National Business Review
- To support the news announcement, we drafted and placed thought-leadership articles, authored to Simpl, on innovation in healthcare [published in Publictechnology.net and Health Service Journal] and agile development techniques [published in eHealth Insider]
We also used our extensive influencer relationships to good effect ensuring the industry’s most important people were both aware and, talking about the Torbay project.
- We instigated a partnership with the British Computer Society’s ASSIST membership group. We drafted, completed and promoted a memorandum of understanding and partnership announcement with ASSIST.
- The team provided a case study of the project to high-profile trade association, Intellect. It was included in Intellect’s whitepaper response to the Government’s information strategy for the NHS
- We also secured an opportunity for Torbay’s COO to speak at the prestigious NHS Confed conference
- The team also built a great on-going relationship with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, which resulted in the Torbay project being included in NZTE’s whitepaper on the role of technology in healthcare. We also attended NZTE’s launch event [for the whitepaper] and live-tweeted throughout on behalf of Simpl
Social media outputs
The team set up and established on Simpl’s behalf a blog [built using the Tumblr platform] and a Twitter account. We wrote several topical blog posts including
- ‘Perspectives on integrated care’
- Torbay SCCR moves into build phase’
- Agile ERP good for healthcare too’
- ‘Health innovation importance’
- ‘Healthcare must embrace agile’
The blog acted as a platform for thought-leadership from Simpl’s EMEA Regional Director Paul Malcolm. We tweeted regularly throughout the period sharing news of the project, general thought-leadership on health and social care; plus we interacted and engaged with Simpl’s followers. We submitted questions and comments on integrated health and social care to the Community Care magazine forum and on a related LinkedIN group.
Impact on the business
“The PR work around Torbay gave us more ‘right’ to speak about integrated care demonstrating our credentials to prospects and stakeholders,” says Paul Malcolm, EMEA Regional Director, Simpl UK. “We can also relate new business prospects at Luton and Lincolnshire care trusts directly to the media campaign around our work with Torbay. Plus, we also received contact from PWC, on the back of a Torbay-related press article in Health Service Journal, to investigate a possible partnership for jointly targeting care trusts.”