Here to Help and Advise - Spotlight on Communications

Here to Help and Advise – Spotlight on Communications

In this feature we highlight some of the work of the Communications Department and give an insight into how the team can help you to raise awareness of key service developments and promote the work of local staff and volunteers. If you would like to highlight the work of your service or department in a future issue please get in touch at

Kate Fawcett, Communications Manager

Here to help and advise- Community NewsBetween forays into newspaper journalism and subsequently radio and television, I dipped my toe into the world of public relations (as it was then known) working for an assortment of employers including a brewery (now there’s a cheery job) a major supermarket chain (free turkeys at Christmas) and an overseas tourist board (plenty of sun, sea and sand!)
It all sounds very glamorous and exciting, and at times it was. But in today’s world of multi-media communications it seems positively archaic to think that press
releases were hammered out on what was known as a ‘daisy wheel’ electric typewriter,
printed using a duplicating machine where carbonated sheets of paper perforated with typewriter keys were wrapped around an electrically-operated drum, and the ink-smudged result had subsequently to be folded and slotted into an envelope for posting!
In reality ‘public relations’ was a euphemism for marketing. We were always selling something -whether it was holidays, a particular type of beer or even a pot of paint-and any events such as a Barmaid of the Year competition (cringe) were designed to promote the brand.

Today however, it’s a whole new ball game. The role of a Communications Department is to provide professional advice, expertise and leadership for all aspects of internal and external communication.

This means that within NHS Forth Valley we are responsible for leading, developing and managing the organisation’s communication activities especially in relation to:

  • Media Relations- working with local, national and specialist health media to respond to enquiries and proactively promote the work of NHS Forth Valley
  • Digital communications- NHS Forth Valley’s website, intranet and social media channels (Facebook and Twitter), video production and photography
  • Internal communications – via the Staff Intranet, Staff Brief and Staff Newsletter
  • Event management – organising key events, visits and service launches
  • Corporate publications and resources – including the quarterly Community Health magazine and Annual Report
  • Promotional Campaigns – in-house design and development of a wide range of local health campaigns

We want to raise awareness of key developments and ensure staff and volunteers in Forth Valley get recognised for their achievements, both within the organisation and throughout Scotland. Whether your service or department is piloting a new scheme or you have some good news to share about your work we are here to help and advise. We are always looking for details of new initiatives, events or service developments as well as positive stories involving our staff, patients and volunteers. So if you have any news which you would like to share with your colleagues or the wider world then please get in touch by emailing or phone 01786 457243.

Get Online!

DavidDavid Anderson is our Webmaster who is responsible for designing and developing the NHS Forth Valley website ( and our intranet.

“I arrive in the morning, coffee glued to my hand in order to function!  My day starts with checking the dreaded inbox and peeking at my calendar to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything. Then it’s responding to numerous emails, updating text on the intranet, fixing typos on our website and designing visuals for the latest health campaign.

“Making sure everything is up to date is a constant challenge.  Add to this a daily technical check of all the services that keep our intranet and website running smoothly while squeezing in time to edit the latest video to add to our ever-growing YouTube collection for patients. Sometimes I think there’s not enough time in the day and most of the time I’m right ….on to the next big project!”

You can reach me on or call 01786 457252.

Get Social!

LindsayOur Communications Assistant Lindsay Hathaway, who provides a wide range of support to the Department, monitors and develops NHS Forth Valley’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

“Over the past year our Facebook ‘likes’ have more than tripled and continue to rise. Social media is a great way to showcase the work of local staff, volunteers and services, and this little bird is constantly tweeting. I also post a weekly Throwback Thursday picture which is proving very popular, giving staff a glimpse of what healthcare looked like as far back as the Victorian era! If you’ve anything you’d like to share give me a call on 01786 457243 or email

Get Organised!

Here to Help and Advise - Julie WilsonCommunications Officer Julie Wilson is our events ‘supremo’ and has many years experience of organising key events, visits and service launches.

 “I can help with your campaigns from beginning to end and work with you to develop a communications plan. Somehow I have also become ‘chief photographer’ for the Department. If you need a photo to capture a memorable moment, then I’m your girl! Get in touch and I’ll be happy to help or 01786 457243.”

Spring 2016 News