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Regional NHS campaign scoops another major award

It’s a hat-trick for a regional NHS team as it picks up another award for their innovative women’s health campaign.   

The #OUCH #ByeByeUTI campaign by the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB), was announced as the winner in the category of NHS Communications Initiative of the Year at the Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards 2023.

The HSJ is the third awarding body to deem the campaign worthy of a top prize, having already won top place in a total of four categories at the CIPR PRide North East and the National CIPR awards in the following categories:

  • CIPR North East PRide Awards 2023: Gold winner for Public Sector Campaign
  • CIPR National Excellence Awards 2023: Gold winner for Low Budget Campaign
  • CIPR National Excellence Awards 2023: Gold winner for Healthcare and/or Wellbeing Campaign
  • CIPR National Excellence Awards 2023: Gold winner for Public Sector Campaign

Initially starting as a nine-month ICB pilot scheme, the #OUCH #ByeByeUTI communications campaign has grown and has urged more than 26,000 women aged 16-64, excluding those who are pregnant, to receive over the counter advice and treatment for uncomplicated UTIs from community pharmacists without the need for a GP appointment or prescription - providing convenient and fast access to treatment for patients, whilst also helping to reduce pressure on GP practices.

With 357 pharmacies taking part, the campaign helped to save the region's NHS over £395,434 in protected GP appointment time and created a 47% reduction in antibiotic prescribing - a further saving of around £43,000. 

HSJ judges commented: “This is a really effective campaign that uses a creative approach. The team involved, demonstrated outstanding results in the target area through collaboration and a comprehensive delivery model.”

Claire Riley, North East and North Cumbria ICB executive director of corporate governance, communications and involvement said: “This was an extremely tough category, with the shortlist being so equally deserving.

“I’m delighted that we have been able to have our campaign success recognised and shared amongst our colleagues and peers.

“This campaign demonstrates the value of communications, not only promoting enhanced health services to the public, but also in the substantial savings it has made to the NHS.”

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