Street stalls: Many NHS campaigns do weekly street stalls in their local high street, or other areas with lots of people on weekdays or weekends. Stalls can host information, distribute leaflets & posters and become a focal point for the campaign, generating regular activism and places to meet new people.
A page of ideas to help you #fight4NHS through public engagement & events
Public engagement is crucial to any campaign.
Making your campaign visible and attractive to the public is a necessary part of winning their attention and making participation appealing.
Petitioning: Making a petition about your campaign and collecting signatures is a way to highlight public opposition, and connect the campaign with new people. Petitions can be hosted online as well as collected in person, on sites like Change.org or 38 Degrees. Once you have a large number of signatures, organise a public event handing the petition to your local councils, MP, or NHS management.
Days of Action: For large events or campaigns it may be possible to call a Day of Action and mobilise a large team of people to campaign, canvas the community and spread the word. Leafleting, getting speakers on cars and driving round broadcasting your message are some ways campaigners have spread their message to the public. Organising a public rally in the town square, or a march through the town can help mobilise public support and create media attention that breaks through the blockade on news stories about the NHS.
Large days of action can attract media coverage, especially when they are around issues affecting local people which will be newsworthy. Giving cakes to NHS staff outside the hospital on valentines day, a gig for the NHS, a march or large rally can be newsworthy items and help publicise the campaign.
Street Theatre: staging stunts or street theatre in a public place is a lively way to catch peoples attention. Theatrical campaigners could conduct a public auction of NHS services, or dramatise politicians giving the NHS away to his banker & entrepreneur friends. Creating a target or dummy with a politicians mask, a colourful character costume themed around medicine or CUTS perhaps.
Vital for any campaign
Letters to the local press
Press Releases with photos
Facebook, Twitter & other social media
You should aim for local radio, community & regional TV.
Tip: Remind journalists about CCG Board meetings and other NHS admin events that they should be covering.
The Health and Social Care Act has created a new array of institutions for patients and campaigners to interact with. ATTENDING MEETINGS can be vital (if sometimes dull) work. But first you need to understand what they are.
...allow residents to become members, and they hold public AGMs & have public board meetings which people can attend to lobby board members & monitor proceedings.
Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs)
... have public board meetings & activists can attend these to ask questions and hear plans for service changes.
Patient Participation Groups (PPGs)
GP practices should be running PPGs which patients can attend. These forums are a place to discuss and commend on local services. They may be a venue to raise concerns about privatisation and cuts.
Health Scrutiny Committees
Your county, district councils will have a committee with a specific duty to scrutinise the regional health provision. This is a good committee to target as you can demand councillors take action - especially as they are directly involved in the Sustainabillity & Transformation Partnerships (many councillors will not totally understand this)
Once you find your feet there are endless avenues to follow:
Local Councils, Unions, NHS Staff
Local GPs, community groups
Download the leaflet to help you discover your best campaign yet.
NHS Detectives: 999 Campaigners have successfully carried out "Investigations into the Attempted Murder of the NHS" at rallies and demonstrations around the country. Click on the photo to find out more about how you can join the investigation team and carry out a full enquiry in your town or at campaign events.
Our Steve is touring his one man show and campaign groups are finding news ways to attract attention. Designed for pubs, clubs, coffeeshops - Special Measures is entertaining AND gets the message loud and clear - we need the public on board! we need to reach new ears.
If you would like to organise a Public Event with a difference get in touch.