The fifth #FuturePRoof book marks a unique moment in the history of the NHS

The impact of COVID-19 on NHS comms documents the scale of the challenge faced by professional NHS communicators since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic in early 2020.

Sixteen compelling essays tell the story of how the pandemic has prompted a wholesale digital transformation of the NHS and how internal communications has become a primary function for comms teams working round the clock to keep staff updated and safe.

An upbeat read, a clear take out is how COVID-19 has cemented the role of communications as a strategic management function with both NHS management teams and external stakeholders who have recognised its central role in the crisis response.

The need for greater flexibility from NHS England, which operates a command and control approach when a level 4 national emergency is declared, is also a key theme within the book.

#FuturePRoof founder and editor Sarah Waddington said: “This is a very special book and I’m massively grateful to all the amazing contributors who somehow in the midst of a global pandemic found the time to write and capture an important stage in the history and evolution of the NHS.”

Reflecting on the book Mandy Pearse, CIPR President-Elect, said: “This is a brilliant and timely addition to the #Futureproof series. The collection of essays from some of the top NHS communicators shows just how well our profession has risen to the challenge of COVID-19. It provides lessons with high applicability for the rest of the public sector and the industry as a whole.”

Anne Gregory, Professor of Corporate Communication, University of Huddersfield, commented: “This is an exceptional collection of essays chronicling the most remarkable achievements of a most remarkable group of people at the forefront of the most remarkable health crisis the modern age has seen. Read, learn and celebrate how communication professionals rose to the challenge, gained the highest respect and delivered compassion as well as professional service under the most pressured of circumstances. Hats off to them and to Sarah Waddington for telling their stories.”

Waddington added: “This complex network of organisations stands as a beacon of hope in these difficult times and offers a reminder that while communications may have previously been the invisible thread connecting organisations with their workforces, stakeholders and communities, it is invisible no longer.”

The book’s contributors are Chris Hopson, John Underwood, Bill Nichols, Adam Brimelow, Daniel Reynolds, Victoria Macdonald, Cassie Zachariou, Amanda Nash, Caroline Latta, Claire Riley, Kirk Millis-Ward, Liz Davies, Mark Flannagan, Paul Dunn, Sarah Rose, Michael Carden, Ross Wigham, Lisa Ward, Adam Shepphard and Ranjeet Kaile.

#FuturePRoof Five: The impact of COVID-19 on NHS comms can be purchased at cost via Blurb and on the Kindle. A chapter a day will also be published on the #FuturePRoof blog and shared on Twitter via @weareproofed.

All costs associated with the design, production and marketing of #FuturePRoof are paid for by Astute.Work as part of managing director and #FuturePRoof editor Sarah Waddington’s mission to improve social mobility within the PR industry by making thought leadership and best practice accessible to all.

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