Stars front public health campaign urging people to see GP during the pandemic

Gordon Ramsay, Dame Emma Thompson and Nadiya Hussain are among celebrities taking part in a campaign by NHS England, NHS Improvement and Public Health England (PHE) to encourage people who are worried about their health to see a doctor.

Gordon Ramsay is among the celebrities fronting a campaign urging the public to see their doctor
Gordon Ramsay is among the celebrities fronting a campaign urging the public to see their doctor

The latest 'Help Us, Help You' campaign sees celebrities join forces with frontline NHS workers, in a film developed by freuds' health and behaviour change unit. 

A key message is that people can be seen safely and treated by the NHS, whether they are worried about cancer, pregnant women needing check-ups, or have mental health issues, as well as just keeping routine appointments.

TV doctor Amir Khan is also a spokesperson for the campaign, which will run until next March. 

The campaign is being run under the ‘Help Us, Help You’ umbrella brand, which promotes the importance of taking responsibility for your own health.

In addition to the campaign video a series of short adverts are being run on social media channels. 

One features a man who has spotted some blood after going to the toilet, one depicts a woman concerned about a pain in her neck, while another shows a woman worried about a lump in her breast.

The campaign has been prompted by fears that people are not going for the medical help they need, with a recent survey showing that almost half (48%) of the public would delay or not seek medical advice at all.

NHS England's medical director, Professor Stephen Powis, said during yesterday's COVID-19 briefing at Downing Street: “We also want you to help us help you stay healthy and get the care that you need... please use NHS health services if you need them for your health needs; contact your GP if you are worried about cancer symptoms, an unusual lump for example, or blood in your urine.”

Opportunities to conduct feature interviews with some of the people in the campaign film, as well as patients who have received NHS treatment during the pandemic, are being offered to long-lead titles as part of the media strategy. 

M&C Saatchi developed a 'Just' creative for the campaign, to highlight excuses people often use for not going to the doctor, such as “I’m sure it’s just nothing”. The 'Just' excuses are depicted as tattoos on the body on locations relevant to each symptom. 

The campaign will evolve in the coming weeks to focus on abdominal cancer symptoms and mental health issue, while awareness of lung cancer symptoms is planned for early 2021. 

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