A video starring comedian Dom Joly spread the word about the right and wrong uses for 999 and NHS 111

Communication

Winner: Sussex CCGs

NHS 111 was launched in 2014, a non-emergency medical helpline replacing NHS Direct. National research has shown a low awareness of the number, with millennials (those aged 18-30) least likely to be familiar with it.

In Sussex, with its above average millennial population, this group is also the most likely to visit A&E at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust.

The local CCGs therefore commissioned a local digital media company to improve awareness of when to use 111. The resulting communications campaign was particularly targeted at 20 to 24-year-olds, and featured Dom Joly given research showing ‘pranking’ is the most commonly watched social media content among this group.

Dom joly in 2011

Dom Joly

A video, shot in Sussex with hidden cameras, featured the comedian asking the public whether he should call 999 for minor ailments. While clearly bemused, not one onlooker suggests he should call NHS 111 instead.

The video was launched to coincide with Christmas and New Year, times at which 999 and A&E are under particular pressure. The total number of calls made to the NHS 111 helpline in Sussex rose to 22,047 in December 2015, from 16,111 in November – a 37 per cent increase during the campaign’s launch month.

The video has been viewed more than 100,000 times, received national media coverage, and more than 25 other CCGs have promoted it. All this was achieved with a project budget of only £18,000.

Judges’ comment: Stunning achievement – excellent value for money.

Highly commended: West Green Surgery