Mid-Mersey A&E Delivery Board, Widnes Vikings, Renova Developments and Cheshire & Merseyside Health & Care Partnership – Beat the Scrum

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People in Halton – a region in north west England with a challenging socioeconomic makeup – have often not used the NHS in the most effective way. More than £10m was wasted in the Mid Mersey region last year through visits to accident and emergency for situations which could have been more effectively dealt with by pharmacies, or by walk-in or urgent care centres.

Public Health England data further quantified the problem. It showed some 40 per cent of the population did not engage with traditional services. The local rugby league team, however, attracts no such wariness. Widnes Vikings attracts 217,000 live spectators each season, with 5.3 million watching the team on television and 35,000 following them on Twitter.

The demographics of these devoted supporters closely match those of the “hidden 40 per cent”. And so the local NHS decided to partner with the team to offer education on how to make the most of its services.

Beat the Scrum launched in July 2017. It has involved the creation of around 75 funny, and creative videos which feature rugby stars and which aim to show viewers how to make the right NHS choices.

Together, the films have been viewed more than 400,000 times. This equates to at least 14 times the engagement rate seen with Halton Clinical Commissioning Group’s traditional marketing, and 12,903 weeks of traffic to their local NHS advice pages.

A Winter Health campaign generated around 300,000 views alone. During the campaign, usage of Halton’s urgent care services rose by 25 per cent compared to the previous year, indicating an avoidance of A&E usage.

Read a detailed case study about this project at HSJ Solutions


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