CHCR is, we believe, a UK ‘first’. A university centre dedicated to the communications dilemmas, challenges and issues confronted by health sector organisations. And by their professional communications teams.
Health communications really is different. From operational performance to clinical outcomes, it can help unlock beneficial results.
Our own CHCR goal is that, across health communications, we are recognised as a leading resource in three areas: professional development, applied and academic research and consulting practice.
The Centre launched formally in 2012 and began operations in late 2013. Two major developments shaped our thinking:
- First the wave of changes unleashed both by the global economic crisis of 2008/09 and by the British general election of 2010. These heralded dramatic change in the UK public sector. ‘Austerity’ Britain abruptly ended automatic annual ‘real-terms’ growth in areas such as healthcare. Health (and social care), however, remains a major sector that will continue to grow as Britain’s population ages. Majorreform, founded on the Health and Social Care Act 2012, is well advanced and evolving rapidly.
- Second by the escalating need to professionalize a discipline – health communications – that is rarely out of the spotlight at every level (national, regional and local) and across every media platform (including especially social).
Our response was a portfolio of services. These are led by professional development, founded on our flagship postgraduate certificate in health communications, supported by innovation in both research and consulting.