Winter is an incredibly busy time for the NHS, putting intense pressure on available help and resources. NHS Lanarkshire is the third largest health board in Scotland, experiencing some of the highest A&E referrals and longest waiting times in Scotland, above the national average.
This campaign focused on social media and used a new direct messaging approach in a creative way to successfully engage audiences and generate the first decrease in A&E visits in four years.
NHS Lanarkshire already knew the benefits of direct messaging, after a press release highlighting immense pressure on emergency staff was well received by local media. We continued this strategy, developing an abrupt and direct messaging campaign with social media at its core.
Content was designed to drive audience behaviour, so hit social feeds ahead of the busiest A&E times and featured eye-catching call to actions. We produced toolkits for internal staff and external stakeholders to increase support for the campaign and help staff respond to the business times of the year over the Christmas and New Year holidays.
Our social content reached over 1m impressions over the winter months and was shared over 4,300 times with the help of 30 stakeholders. Alongside the traditional media campaign, our messages received nearly 7m opportunities to see and hit every local and regional news title. NHS Lanarkshire achieved its first decrease in A&E visits in four years (-1.24%) during the campaign period. Based on the Public Health Scotland Costs Book 2018/19, we estimated the cost saving of reducing these emergency admissions to be over £100,000.
Note: All social content was produced in-house. 162 organic posts were supported by 7 sponsored social media adverts.
This work was awarded the Best Digital and Social Media Campaign Award and was Highly Commended in the Campaign Challenges category at the 2020 PRIDE Scotland DARE Awards.