NHS Oldham CCG Communications & Engagement Strategy Summary

How we communicate with and engage you

This is a summary of the key points and principles which guide our stakeholder communications approach.

The strategy describes the overarching aims and ambitions of communicating well with our ‘audiences’. It also intends to reflect and support other vital initiatives, which encourage key stakeholder engagement in the CCG.

The CCG External Communications Strategy is led by our Vision, Strategic Objectives, and our Values, all interlocking under the umbrella of the Oldham Cares.

To fully support our Vision, Objectives and Values, the aims of the CCG’s External Communications Strategy are to:

• Further raise awareness of the CCG’s reputation as a successful commissioning function, offering real value for money

• Build our reputation for quality, expertise and innovation, and as a commissioner which looks to join up care, tailored to the individual patient’s needs, where they most need it

• Strengthen our communications with GPs and other key stakeholders across the Oldham Cares Alliance

• Establish our essential role within the local health economy with the will, focus and expertise to meet the NHS ‘care closer to home’ agenda

• Promote the excellent health and care we offer, outlining our commitment to providing personalised and joined up services for the benefit of local people

• Promote our committed and expert workforce

• Use the patient/public voice when describing services and staff

• Emphasise the CCG and Oldham Cares as an integral part of the local community


Key principles of effective external communications and public engagement within the CCG 

Our 10 key principles for good external communication and public engagement  are:

• Communications will be upheld as a responsibility of all within the CCG and we will continue to empower, enable and encourage patients, staff and stakeholders to communicate positively and effectively on behalf of the CCG

We recognise that effective communications are essential to our development and achievement of our Values, Vision, Goals and Objectives

• We recognise our responsibility and duty of care to communicate with all stakeholders, including staff, members, partners, patients and public, in a timely and accessible manner

• We will encourage open two-way communication between the CCG and our stakeholders, including staff, patients / public, members, providers and other commissioners

• We will identify our core audiences, and develop the tools and channels to communicate better with our stakeholders / core audiences

• To achieve and maintain a reputation for excellence and innovation we will continue to recognise and invest in the value of effective and consistent communication with all stakeholders

• We will promote our work and that of our partners, members and other key stakeholders across Oldham Cares and the Greater Manchester footprint to ensure that we are able to further enhance patient / public and stakeholder confidence in our ability to commission high quality, innovative and cost effective health and care services

• We will audit and evaluate the effectiveness of our communications messages and methods and continue to improve and develop these

 • PR projects will require development in partnership with departments/directorates involved, identifying budget, key targets and messages

• Communications will be delivered in line with NHS Branding guidelines and principles

• Communications will adhere to principles of equality and diversity. As a public duty we should make information on services accessible to everybody. This requires us to ensure that our published material is accessible, clear and easy to read and meets the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and the Equality Act 2010


We utilise a range of tools in communicating with our audience, including face-to-face interactions, digital and printed communication materials, events, media and PR. Some of the key approaches are outlined below:

Media and PR

The CCG is committed to a policy of openness with the public and therefore has a responsibility to inform the media about health and care services, changes to services, our policies and the way the organisation works


For proactive Public Relations activities, including events and campaigns, we will endeavour to deliver engaging activities, but we will always consider these in light of value for money and ensure that any spend in this area is ‘justifiable’ and offers real benefits to our patients or public

Patient Experience and Involvement

NHS Oldham CCG has adopted three key principles to guide our engagement work which set out an ethical framework against which it invites the public to judge our engagement activity against:

A) Accessibility, equitability and supporting involvement

B) Honesty, accountability and transparency

C) Responsive engagement with clear outcomes

The most important factor in communicating well with our patients is that by doing so we improve their overall experience of the services we commission and ultimately help to improve their health outcomes

Because of this focus, our primary engagement activities with patients and the public are driven by the Public Affairs function, with ongoing liaison with the Quality, Risk and Patient Experience colleagues across the organisation


Our CCG website enables us to provide information about what we do and how we do it, showcasing the breadth and depth of expertise, while fulfilling statutory requirements to publish corporate documents such as policies and Board papers

The website is continually monitored and developed in response to CCG priorities and audience need, such as, regularly updating homepage information – one of the most heavily-used sections, and expanding the Get Involved section to showcase our innovation and invite the public to take part in our engagement work

Social Media

Recognising the importance of social media, the CCG has developed an advisory Social Media Strategy to address:

• Aims and objectives of using digital media to communicate

• How best to target appropriate patient groups / stakeholders who will be most receptive to this form of communication

• Managing the risks of using social media

• Developing and governing the use of social media within services and between services and patients groups


The Communications team will design, deliver and evaluate events on behalf of the CCG including our Annual General Meeting, patient engagement events, PPG network events, campaign launches etc. The team will also lead on and/or support any Oldham Cares events which are commissioned by the leadership team or Alliance Board.