Communicationson a Shoestring Conference 27 June, 2012, London #shoestringcomms
“If you think youre too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito.”Anita Roddick, founder of the body shop and campaigner
How The Hepatitis C Trust got policy makers to sit up and take notice• The Hepatitis C Trust• What is hep C?• Changing policy: Securing a National Liver Strategy and a ‘Liver Tsar’• Keeping up with policy changes & making sure your issues remain high on the political agenda
Key factors1. Identify policy solutions - ambitious but obtainable – Looked at successful solutions in other health areas (e.g. cancer, coronary heart disease) – Identify strategic calls – Highlight health impact of hep C – Highlight failure of existing approach – Show progress could be made
Increasing number of liver deaths in the UKin contrast to the decreasing trend in the rest of Europe
Episodes of, and individuals with, hepatitis C in Hospital Episode Statistics: the financial years 1997/98 to 2006/07 (HPA)
Key factors2. Find – and nurture – political friends• All-Party Parliamentary Hepatology Group• Identify champions & those with an interest• Don’t be afraid of knock-backs• Think about their motivations • Constituency link – how will this be of interest to my constituents… and get me re-elected?! • Positive media exposure, make a mark
• Series of All Party Group reports and meetings highlighting deficiencies (auditing health services; comparing international approaches)• Innovative meetings – testing MPs, Anita Roddick, using experts, involving public health minister• Series of parliament questions, debates, meetings with the Minister and Shadows• Work with the DH, providing evidence, building relationship
Key factors3. Small is beautiful• Flexible• No waste• Organic, credible• Be small but use large spokespeople!
Keeping up with policy developments• Labour Government committed to Liver Strategy April 2010• Coalition Government agreed to continue work - autumn 2010• Trust participation in NHS work-streams to develop• NHS reorganisation (Health & Social Care Act) – Ensure liver strategy will make most of new structures – Interim work – GP training, NHS Liver Care – Local influencing strategy• Expecting final publication autumn 2012
Summary• Clear policy goals (include steps)• Understand the political environment – be ambitious and consider what is possible• Know your targets and what motivates them• Know (and use) your friends – and make more!• Capture the imagination and use small to your advantage• You CAN make policy makers sit up and take notice!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, its the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead, firstname.lastname@example.org 07779 595609