Communications Development Programme

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We've designed this programme with NHS England to support NHS communicators across all levels.

Postgraduate Certificate in Health Communications

Who should apply

The bespoke NHS communications qualification is a part-time post-graduate course that would benefit those from Band 7 and 8 who wish to develop their knowledge and who aspire to positions of leadership in NHS professional communications. The course may also suit an ambitious and talented Band 6, although this would require particular competencies. 

Course topics

The course consists of four week-long modules, which address external, interpersonal, internal and management/leadership communications. The course has been designed to reflect the current challenges facing senior communicators and communications teams, whether working in a provider organisation, a clinical commissioning group or in one of the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STPs) or Integrated Care Systems (ICSs).

Key topics covered include:

  • influencing at board level

  • social marketing/behaviour change

  • crisis communications

  • how to develop and evaluate effective campaigns

  • the Francis commitment to openness, transparency and candour and much more   

The four weeks of residential teaching is spread over the academic year and includes:

  • lectures and exercises

  • input from senior professional NHS communicators, guest keynote speakers and communications experts from inside and outside of healthcare

Funding bursary

Committed to supporting NHS communicators, we're offering a 50% match-funded bursary to all those accepted onto the course. The remainder of the fees must be covered by the student’s organisation. We've run four successful cohorts to date. Cohort 5 started at Bucks New University on 5 February 2018. Applications for cohort 6 will open near the end of the year. Further information to come.

For all enquiries please email nhsi.commsdevelopment@nhs.net

Regional communications and engagement workshops

Our bi-monthly regional communications and engagement development workshops cover key topics relevant to NHS communicators with the aim of supporting communications teams across the system.

We aim to improve practical skills as well as understanding of the more strategic elements of communications and engagement vital to delivering NHS objectives locally, regionally and nationally. There are 65 places per workshop and they are free to attend.

All presentations from previous workshops can be found on CommsLink, or alternatively you can email nhsi.commsdevelopment@nhs.net

Please email nhsi.commsdevelopment@nhs.net to reserve a place on a first come first served basis.

Date Topic Location Time Venue
Tuesday 13 March 2018 Communicating finance and statistics to patients, public and staff Manchester 09:30-15:30 The Studio
Manchester
M1 1FN
Tuesday 15 May 2018 Maximising impact through partner and stakeholder engagement London 09:30-15:30 Broadway House
London
SW1H 9NQ
Tuesday 10 July 2018 The importance of evaluation in NHS communications and engagement (theory and practical exercise) Liverpool 09:30-15:30 The Bluecoat
Liverpool
L1 3BX
Tuesday 18 September 2018 Crisis communications and reputation management (theory and practical exercise) London 09:30-15:30 Broadway House
London
SW1H 9NQ
Tuesday 13 November 2018 Public consultation and engagement
(theory and practical exercises)
Birmingham 09:30-15:30 The Studio
Birmingham
B2 5EP
Tuesday 22 January 2019 Trends in internal communications and staff engagement London 09:30-15:30 Broadway House
London
SW1H 9NQ
Tuesday 19 March 2019 Using social media in NHS communications – theory and skills training Manchester 09:30-15:30 The Studio
Manchester
M1 1FN
Tuesday 14 May 2019 Storytelling for NHS communicators London 09:30-15:30 Broadway House
London
SW1H 9NQ
Tuesday 16 July 2019 Developing and delivering a communications and engagement strategy: delivering organisational objectives Newcastle 09:30-15:30 Centre For Life
Newcastle
NE1 4EP

Mentoring scheme

Our mentoring programme aims to support all NHS communicators at every level. The aim is for senior NHS communications, engagement and marketing professionals to mentor those in their local area or region. Although most of our mentors work or have worked in senior positions in the NHS many of our mentors come from health charities, national bodies and large third sector organisations.

If you're interested in mentoring either as a mentee or becoming a mentor, please fill out the relevant form and email the completed form to nhsi.mentoringcommunicators@nhs.net.

The refreshed online network connecting and supporting all NHS communicators working in Trusts, Clinical Commissioning Groups, Commissioning Support Units, and Arm’s Length Bodies is now live.

CommsLink is an excellent place to share resources like campaign materials, share good practice and success stories, create forums and blogs,  and keep up to date with the latest need to know information.

Please email  NHSI.CommsLink2@nhs.net to request access.

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