North West London collaboration of CCG’s

North West London collaboration of CCG’s

MES provides support for major public engagement and consultation exercises.

In June 2012, London Communications Agency appointed MES to create a suite of materials for NHS North West London’s ‘Shaping a healthier future’ programme. This was the start of a five-year relationship with SaHF.

‘Shaping a healthier future’ is one of the biggest health reconfiguration programmes ever undertaken covering 11 London boroughs, 2 million people, 9 hospital sites, some of the most diverse areas of London, 12 provider healthcare trusts, 1,000 GPs and 8 Clinical Commissioning Groups.


MES was initially charged with the design (and in some cases, print) of the key materials used in the public consultation, and also asked to support the event management of 19 public events run over a period of 12 weeks. Our design and creative output included: an 80 page A4 consultation document; A5 summary consultation document; 18 A0 roadshow exhibition boards; A2 and A3 posters comprising 22 different designs; A6 postcards comprising 20 different designs; newspaper adverts comprising 25 different designs; pop-up banners comprising two designs; email templates; public factsheets; graphics and branding.

In May 2014, we were appointed for a second time. We were asked to conduct a number of focus groups to establish public perception of the SaHF project within the London Boroughs of Brent, Ealing and Hammersmith. Our focus group tasks included: ensuring focus group participants were representative of the socio-demographic profile of the borough; exploring among participants what was known about the proposed changes; discovering the perceived misconceptions held about the SAHF programme; asking what local people wanted to know more about; and how best to communicate changes to local healthcare services.

In 2015 we assisted the CCG’s again with a series of focus groups exploring Maternity Services with patients and staff who had been effected by the changes to services in the North West London area.

In 2016 MES were commissioned to run a series of focus groups with parents and guardians of children exploring the subject of Paediatric Services in North West London.

Most recently in 2017 MES helped NHS North West London Collaboration of CCGs evaluate quality of care received in children’s emergency or overnight facilities and hospital services. The CCG’s wished to engage with parents whose children used emergency or overnight facilities/hospital services outside of the borough of Ealing between November 2016 and February 2017. The report provided the CCGs with a useful insight into patients and service users’ opinions enabling them to better understand their experiences, any pain points and/or areas for improvement as well the overall quality of care received.


This project was multi-faceted and many elements were time-critical. For example, in 2012, our main role was to coordinate the delivery of the design and print elements while providing space for review, amends and reconsideration from the client. This required MES to communicate continually with our various suppliers (i.e. designers and print-houses) and several client stakeholders, each of whom had responsibility for a different aspect of the SaHF programme. As such, a bespoke project management team was put together to deliver the various tasks and communications that would surface on a day-to-day basis. A dedicated Project Manager also acted as primary contact for the client and was on-hand 24/7 for the duration of the job. Along with senior members of staff at various touch points, MES provided continual advice based on our considerable experience of consultations within the NHS.

What we brought to this large-scale programme was a ‘can-do’ approach: outside of the original brief, MES was able to provide solutions to last-minute requests, often working around the clock to do so. We were also able to help with other elements of the ‘Shaping a healthier future’ consultation including event management, distribution of materials, and storage and transportation services.

For the subsequent focus groups, a socio-demographic analysis was conducted for the London Boroughs, drawing from the 2011 Census and geo-demographic segmentations, CACI Acorn and Wellbeing Acorn. This analysis allowed MES to not only identify the socio-demographic spread of the borough, but also the key groups to engage throughout the focus group programme, both in terms of local residents and representatives of Voluntary and Community Sector organisations.

With a tight deadline, and at times, tentative participants needing extra support and encouragement, MES worked hard to deliver this key element of the public engagement programme, responding to changes and needs quickly, and providing the necessary skills to achieve fair socio-demographic representation, and robust spread of focus group involvement.


Our work as part of the ‘Shaping a healthier future’ programme helped to shape plans for how health services were to be delivered in North West London. The NHS North West London Collaborative of CCGs (which spearheaded the SaHF project) are now implementing those improvements in partnership with local councils and NHS provider organisations.

What our client thinks

LCA has worked with MES on several pieces of work now, and we’ve always found them to be professional, informed and able to deliver. The 2012 ‘Shaping a healthier future’ consultation was no different. The timely and efficient manner in which they delivered quality material was not only appreciated by us, but also by our client. We were very pleased with the designs they produced. Thanks to their considered work on style, layout and individual graphics, we were able to produce a document that was clear and communicative.

London Communications Agency