Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust was shortlisted in the HSJ Awards for this project.

After considering such possibilities as ‘meeting in a marquee’, ‘yelling in a yurt’, and ‘canvassing under canvas’ – Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust went quite rightly with the promotion of ‘Event in the Tent’ – an internal staff communications initiative.

We supported the Trust’s communications team with event branding and the design of supporting materials. We also facilitated an ‘open space’ staff engagement event allowing clinical and managerial colleagues to air the issues of pertinence to them so they could seek answers and resolution.

Staff are the co-creators of your organisation’s values and are the people who deliver services/productivity. Yet many organisations often fail in their strategic approach to how they involve, support and empower their key internal resource. It was therefore very pleasing to work with this NHS Foundation Trust on this initiative which is central to their ongoing staff engagement programme. As Sam Holden, Head of Communications (Interim) for Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, explains:

“At a time when our staff are treating more patients than ever before whilst still improving standards of care, it was essential for us to not only recognise their hard work but hear from them about how we can help to improve their working lives

“Event in the Tent helped us to create a space on site that felt different from the rest of the hospital – a versatile space that hosted keynote speeches, workshops and market stalls where staff could come to talk, listen and learn. A wide variety of staff, from porters to A&E consultants, came to sessions and there were a lot of hugely valuable comments and discussions that will help us to make small changes to improve both staff and patient experience and also help the hospital get closer to achieving an ‘outstanding’ rating from the Care Quality Commission.

“It was also hugely valuable for the communications team to engage with seldom heard groups and areas of staff, and we have already seen a greater demand for our services since the event which, whilst tiring, is great because we can now help to support many more campaigns and projects across the hospital.

Working with Touch is always massively helpful (and fun) as it allows us to bounce ideas off people outside of the organisation and also take advice on new and different ways of communicating and engaging with people. Their design work alone helps us to engage people and they are always poised to turn things around really quickly for us with a minimal brief."

Event in the Tent is now in its second year, it scooped a win in the UnAwards last year and was shortlisted for a HSJ Award.


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