Launch of Future Hospital: caring for medical patients

by Royal College of Physicians

Summary of work

As the organisation that represents 30,000 hospital doctors, the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) set out to make Future Hospital: caring for medical patients its most important report for a generation. The report recommends a radical restructuring of hospitals and the wider local healthcare system to improve patient care. 

Communicating the report as widely as possible, partly by achieving excellent media coverage, was vital to gain approval and buy-in from the wider health community, to ensure that the recommendations were clearly understood, and encourage development partners to implement its radical ideas. 

We decided on a traditional media relations campaign with simple key messages, planned carefully, executed well in advance, and involving stakeholder engagement and vivid case studies. We achieved a huge amount of media coverage in our target audiences of the national and medical media, including the front page of The Times and The Lancet, positive responses from both the Conservative and Labour parties, and wide stakeholder approval. Over 25 hospitals/local health economies have applied to become Future Hospital development sites.

Judges’ comments

Really impressive! To get the coverage they wanted, exactly where they wanted it was outstanding. How ever important the concept (and the RCP saw this as the report of the decade), this was essentially a detailed, dull and boring report that would have made their job incredibly difficult with the media. But they achieved great results thanks to a very clever, low budget campaign.