I think you have done an amazing job and I always hold you up as the benchmark when it comes to our expectations from other agencies around the country.Elaine Towell, Nuffield Heath - Press Officer, Hospitals
Use of PR in a sensitive planning environment
When Nuffield Health decided in 2012 to go ahead with its long-intentioned plan to build a brand-new hospital in Cambridge on the same site as its current hospital, it recognised from the outset that sustained good communication to local residents and other stakeholders was essential. The hospital stands in a quiet, affluent residential area, immediate to a school, apartments and large private houses. Construction on a major scale would inevitably have an impact; managing that impact was judged to be crucial.
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To be seen as a good neighbour throughout. To ensure that excellent communication to the planners, neighbours, ward councillors, media and Cambridge would support the hospital through the planning process, the building of the new hospital, the demolition of the old and the final landscaping of the site. Communication was to encompass also liaising with the appointed construction company and profiling the diverse public art programme developed for the new hospital.
- The Nuffield led from the front in establishing itself as a considerate neighbour
- The plans were submitted with comments from the neighbours following public consultation, but with no objections
- The neighbours took an active, positive interest in the progress of the new hospital and its twitter feed
- The construction company engaged with the neighbours
- The press responded positively in their coverage
- The public art projects peripheral to the work of the appointed artist involved the neighbouring school, artists from the region, and a local charity
- The new hospital is open and is being well received by the community