Today we’re launching a new company that specialises in strategic communication in health and care. We’re called Blue Lozenge, our ambition is to support health and care leaders with excellent communication and engagement strategy and support. Now let us explain the name.
The NHS blue lozenge was first used in the 1990s. Following an intelligent rebranding exercise in 1999, the new identity brought together over 600 different variations, unifying communications for the public and patients who use the service. Today it is claimed the brand has an impressive 95 per cent recognition among the general public. And thanks to the dedicated people who provide care and other essential services, it has become a potent symbol of national pride.
As is often mistakenly the case, the value of the NHS rebranding exercise was initially called into question. However, the NHS blue lozenge identity and brand, has undoubtedly played an important role in unifying the health service, and in becoming the UK’s most identifiable and relevant brand. Devolution has posed its own challenges to the unity with Scotland and Wales adopting their own logo and Ireland opting for a new name. But nonetheless, the blue lozenge is synonymous with unified healthcare in the minds of the public.
Too often the power of professional and strategic communications in the public sector is underplayed and devalued. It’s an easy error to make, especially if communication is ill-thought through or poorly executed – people, therefore, perceive that the taxpayer’s pound is better spent elsewhere. The communication profession has a hurdle to overcome as too often communication value is only seen in media relations. The reality is that reputation in the media is an outcome of an organisation’s performance, therefore competent and intelligent communication programmes especially in healthcare focus on how communication and engagement can drive better performance and better care.
People are at the heart of the vision of transformation for healthcare systems, and therefore communication must be too. Effective, actionable insight, engagement with the workforce, public and stakeholders, programmes of transformation and change, managing reputation and risk are core communication capabilities and ones that need to be developed and grown in healthcare.
We are passionate about the value that excellent communication brings to patients, employees and the population. As integrated care becomes a dominant model for care delivery, our ambition is that the practice and benefits of strategic, integrated communication is bought fully to bear in health and care services.
We have developed the unifying spirit of the NHS identity into our own identity here at Blue Lozenge. We work on complex projects that require a deep understanding of healthcare and we bring the power of exemplary strategic communication to help achieve success for your projects and the people you serve. If you’d like our help and to talk through your project please get in touch.