The NHS shake-up: Three opportunities for PROs

Three opportunities for PROs

1.Social enterprises NHS PR staff can create their own specialist groups

In March, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley launched the Right to Provide initiative, enabling NHS staff to form social enterprises to run health services. As well as creating a new group of organisations in need of PR support, it also gives NHS PROs the opportunity to form their own health comms specialist social enterprises. The PR team at PCT NHS Leicester City is among those looking at this option. Yeaman, director of corporate affairs at NHS Leicester City, says: 'Right to Provide is a huge opportunity for entrepreneurial communicators in the NHS.'

2. Local councils May need PR advice for their new public health responsibility

Council PR teams are likely to need to bring in either in-house or PR agency healthcare expertise if they are to successfully promote their new responsibilities for public health. Furner Communications director Ben Furner says NHS PR professionals and specialist agencies will prove invaluable in helping councils to communicate with hard-to-reach groups who are the targets of most public health campaigns.

3. GP commissioning consortia Existing PCT PR support set to disappear by 2013

The PRWorks MD Andrew Gould is already looking at opportunities to work for the new GP commissioning consortia. In a statement on the agency's website, he warns consortia that the PCT PR teams currently supporting them will disappear in 2013, leaving them without a comms function. He urges GPs to plan ahead and ensure they have a comms strategy and professionals in place to deal with the media after 2013. 'What I am sure they do not want is for a crisis to happen and find they have no-one to help them,' he says.

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