Public relations investment helps NHS London meet ‘massive challenge’
The CIPR has spoken out in defence of NHS London’s investment in public relations.
BBC London highlighted £9.7m spending on the salaries of public relations staff and £3m on consultancy contracts over three years, which was attacked as ‘wasteful’ by pressure groups. This is in proportion to the over £40bn London invested in NHS services over the same period.
London faces unique healthcare challenges with a younger, more mobile and more ethnically diverse population living in some of the most deprived areas of the country, facing higher rates of teenage pregnancy, mental health problems and childhood obesity than in other parts of the UK.
This all presents a massive challenge for the NHS, communicating with more than eight million London residents, as well as to over 100,000 staff, and delivering life-saving public health initiatives such as the Be Clear on Bowel Cancer Campaign, Flu Safe and anti-smoking campaigns. Managing the reputation of the NHS in London is key to maintaining trust in healthcare services such as cancer care and world class paediatric services, as well as lifesaving Accident and Emergency centres which offer 24-hour seven-day-a-week responses to health emergencies.
NHS public relations professionals work directly with health care professionals to ensure that issues such as wellness and healthy living campaigns are properly communicated. These campaigns aim to save the amount of time and public money spent on public health issues which can prevented at source by information provision and the raising of awareness. In doing so, they make a contribution towards the £20bn of efficiency savings the NHS has been asked to find by 2015, but more importantly, they help keep Londoners healthy and happy.
Notes to editors
About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners in the UK and overseas. The CIPR is the largest membership organisation for PR practitioners outside of North America. By size of turnover and number of individually registered members, we are the leading representative body for the PR profession and industry in Europe.
The CIPR advances professionalism in public relations by making its members accountable to their employers and the public through a code of conduct and searchable public register, setting standards through training, qualifications, awards and the production of best practice and skills guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and awarding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner status (Chart.PR).