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UK Health Care Covid-19 Response


ECC’s Communications Group Executive was engaged to lead the COVID-19 response for the South Western Ambulance Service Trust (SWAST). Working with regional, local, and national NHS leadership teams and stakeholders, communications were distributed to support the 5000 emergency frontline staff and inform the 7 million citizens of the latest health advice.

Key activities were coordinated and managed across key government stakeholders from Public Health England (PHE) and NHS England & Improvement (NHSE&I), NHS healthcare centres throughout the region, including hospitals and patient services to inform staff, unions and the community on public health matters relating to COVID-19.


  • SWAST COVID-19 Communications Plan, Crisis Media Management Plan (off duty) and SWAST Corporate Communications Strategy to mitigate emerging media and reputational issues.
  • SWAST and NHSE&I COVID-19 strategic advice at tactical briefings on campaign messages, activities, and issues resulting in positive health messaging for staff and community. Consultation included unions and key management team leaders to drive consultative and open-dialogue approach.
  • Workshops resulted in the review of media handling and community key messages.
  • SWAST Corporate Communications work-plan activities to deliver across ~30 channels.
  • Revised communication review processes to ensure the accuracy of communication.
  • Filled the communication gaps, and issues-based feedback that informed and/or advised of community health or staff operational advice.


  • Holistic community communications between national and regional Health Care agencies and SWAST union representatives provided trust and reassurance to leadership and stakeholders.
  • Communications reporting provided a sense of delivery and achievement, which correlated to reduced non-emergency community calls.


  • Two Public Health Systems – Public Health England and NHS England and Improvement
  • 7 Million citizens and 5000 staff.
  • Over 1000 communication materials produced, from newsletters, social media, vlogs, media, reports, posters, and public health messaging.


  • COVID-19 specific intranet pages and daily Vlogs (video blogs) were an innovative channel implemented specifically for new COVID-19 policies (or updates), staff mental health matters, and information as it was released by NHSE&I.


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