Are we on the brink of a healthcare revolution?

By Catherine Scale on February 3, 2014 | Category: Blog | No Comments

Self-monitoring your health is now easier than ever. With the touch of a smart phone we can monitor our heart rate, posture and even our sleeping patterns. If we were that way inclined we could gather an overwhelming wealth of data about ourselves. Not only smart phone apps but gadgets and pocket-sized machines are available to provide us with an enormous insight into our every day functioning. Rapid technological improvements are offering us evermore accurate data, but we have to ask ourselves whether simply seeing these numbers is enough to motivate us to make positive change. Is looking at a pedometer that tells us we’re 45 per cent behind the national average number of steps going to make us get up off the couch? Read more …

The fight for patient data – PR techniques versus fear tactics

By Catherine Scale on January 28, 2014 | Category: Blog | No Comments

Recently, charities and health-care providers from the Wellcome Trust to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine have been queuing up to give their public backing to the Government’s efforts to create a single online NHS database for patient medical files. The coverage of this story shows an interesting divide between a government-backed, carefully orchestrated PR campaign on the one hand, and on the other, privacy activists and certain parts of the press who have cleverly linked this story to a general narrative of NHS privatisation. Read more …

Journey to Journalista: from higher education to graduate employment

By Catherine Scale on January 18, 2014 | Category: Blog | No Comments

The recent spate of coverage of the changing experiences of students and new graduates has encouraged me to reflect on my own journey to Journalista. Greg Hurst’s Times article (13/01/14) analyses the rising trend of university as the first step onto a conveyer belt of internships, starting with Freshers’ week networking events, and hurtling on via open days, career fairs and summer internships towards a Grad Scheme Job in a Times top 100 company. In theory. The Labour Party has meanwhile announced plans for a ‘debt free’ degree program, with costs shared by government and employers, with, presumably, employers influencing the curriculum (reported in the Guardian), potentially spelling the end for the humanities and arts. We have seen articles varying from Razavi’s ferocious piece in the Independent (25/11/13) suggesting unpaid internships are a just punishment for those too lazy to gain work-experience while studying, to pieces like Jack Davis’s recent post on the Information Daily, arguing unpaid internships threaten social mobility. Read more …

Telehealth

By Mel Bennardo on August 18, 2013 | Category: Blog | No Comments

Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are to partake in the largest deployment of telehealth services in the country to date, giving some 1,500 patients the opportunity to use touchscreen technology to respond to questions about their own health at home.

Read more …

Rare Cuts: What are the changes to health and social care after the spending review?

By Mel Bennardo on June 28, 2013 | Category: Blog | Comments Off

Something very rare occurred last Wednesday during delivery of chancellor George Osborne’s spending review – and it had nothing to do with burgers (although that may have been rare too); there was good news in that £3bn has now been set aside from the NHS pot in 2015-16 for increased integration of health and social care services. Read more …

The Mid Staffordshire Inquiry: Too many lessons to learn?

By Oscar Holland on February 12, 2013 | Category: Blog | No Comments

“I would have written a shorter letter,” the 17th century mathematician Blaise Pacal famously explained, “but I did not have the time.” Using similar reasoning then, many might have expected something a little more distilled to emerge from the 14 months that passed between the final hearing into the collapse of NHS care at Mid Staffordshire and the publication of Robert Francis QC’s report last week.

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How to handle a crisis

By Daniel Saunders on July 13, 2012 | Category: Blog | No Comments

This past few weeks have played host to a number of high profile technology failures with major issues affecting banks in the RBS group and more recently with the nationwide failure of the O2 phone network.

Whilst the banks’ responses to their crises were admirable – opening branches on weekends and vowing to cover any financial losses incurred as a result of their failure – it has been completely eclipsed by the efforts of O2 and its social media team. Read more …

Car crash interviews

By Daniel Saunders on June 28, 2012 | Category: Blog | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments

Newsnight is more known for reporting the news than making it but, thanks to Paxman’s notorious interview techniques, it has a habit of making headlines of its own. Tuesday’s edition was looking like another run-of-the-mill round up of the day’s news until Chloe Smith, economic secretary to the treasury and the government’s youngest minister, stepped up to the table (from 6 mins 10 secs).
Read more …

Battle of the hashtags

By Daniel Saunders on May 21, 2012 | Category: Blog | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments

One of the central features of Twitter is its ability to detect trends through #hashtags. Once the preserve of protesters and campaigners, hashtags were seen as an opportunity to join the global conversation that communications professionals couldn’t resist.

This eagerness was responsible for some very public examples of what not to do as companies’ attempts to seize the initiative resulted in embarrassing own goals. In one notable case in 2009 tags used by Iranian pro-democracy campaigners were ‘piggy-backed’ by the furniture store Habitat to promote a sales promotion. This serious breach of hashtag etiquette resulted in widespread condemnation and served as a valuable warning of the pitfalls that issue-hijacking can present. Read more …

This week’s media round up

By Daniel Saunders on May 18, 2012 | Category: Blog | No Comments

Manchester turned blue on Sunday after City secured their first top-flight league title since 1968 after scoring two goals in stoppage time to edge out United on goal difference, the closest finish for 23 years.

The Leveson Inquiry moved into its third stage with former News International employees Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson presenting evidence. Part of Brooks’ testimony focused on conversations between herself and David Cameron which lead to the amusing revelation that the prime minister believed that ‘LOL’ meant lots of love rather than laugh out loud.

The State Opening of Parliament and this year’s Queen’s speech led the headlines with plans to reform the House of Lords standing out from the Government’s proposals. Read more …