Health and social care research
NEW – published 03 May 2021 – The Lived Experience (AAM version), Journal of Communication Management, : during summer 2020 CHCR carried out in-depth research among NHS professional communicators during the peak period of the pandemic communications response to Covid-19 (C19, March-June 2020). Overall, the programme, run in collaboration with NHS Confederation and NHS Providers, aimed to:
- Identify and report ‘best practice’ as it happened
- Contribute insights that may help them manage and mitigate any second C19 ‘wave’ and/or future pandemic both within England and internationally.
The final version of this first phase of research is available above in its author-approved manuscript (AAM) version (*). Special thanks are due to Prof. Anne Gregory, a major contributor to the course over recent cohorts, with whom CHCR collaborated and who led on the article’s production. The full reference is: Gregory, A., Nichols, B., and Underwood, J. (2021), The lived experience of UK health communication professionals during the Covid-19 pandemic, Journal of Communication Management, DOI: 10.1108/JCOM-01-2021-0014.
The article explores four phases and ten major themes. Given that another pandemic is probably a case of ‘when’ not ‘if’, CHCR hopes that it will prompt serious reflection and contribute to new long-term strategy development. To this end, we highlight the four concluding recommendations to:
- “Review, revise and test in national planning and rehearsal exercises (those) embedded systems, processes and practice (which) disempower and frustrate communicators;
- “(Give) additional consideration to the needs of minority communities and (develop) strategies and tactics to address them;
- “(Build) additional resources into emergency plans to help manage the personal work and stress impacts on communicators… working at senior levels in the ‘engine room’ where policy is operationalised;
- “(Conduct) a full review of the psychological and unintended consequences of (moving) to more on-line and homeworking.”
This peer-reviewed version complements our own earlier (August 2020):
- Technical research paper, Anatomy of a Pandemic: NHS communicators on the COVID-19 front-line, March-June 2020, and
- Highlights white paper, The Rapidly Changing NHS: communication in the age of coronavirus.
Collectively, these latest papers fulfil the first of our three research commitments. To:
- Sponsor and/or undertake new formal (academic) research into key areas of health communications practice
- Carry out rigorous evidence-based commercial research. As an example CHCR is currently working to investigate the potential of social and digital media tools to facilitate more effective patient self-management, enhance patient outcomes and improve overall cost-effectiveness
- Run our own research programme alongside the NHS PgCert in health communications to track its impacts and the relationship between communications and a range of outcomes, including clinical. First round findings were presented at a conference in Autumn 2018 and are now (August 2019) published in the Journal of Innovative Business. A second and final part of this project is currently in draft.
To learn more about our research services, please contact CHCR’s deputy director, Dr Bill Nichols: Email Bill.