Case study 7

Developing a new local design style for a PCT


How Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale PCT worked with an agency with a local presence to develop a flexible, easy to use design style and templates.

This case study shows how you can:

  • engage staff and stakeholders to obtain buy-in for the project, by carrying out a consultation and communications programme;
  • create simple, easy to implement in-house templates to ensure your design style is correctly applied;
  • use design process to help streamline the production of communications materials.

Developing a new local design style for a PCT


Why did you decide to develop a design style?

We wanted to make our communications consistent, instantly recognisable and to express the NHS identity in a way that was relevant locally. We believed that this would help our local communities understand who we are and what we do, as well as helping our staff feel part of a local NHS organisation. It was also important that we had a set of templates, which managers with different levels of expertise could use easily.


How did you go about it?

We worked with an agency that had a designer near us in Preston. They helped us to prioritise the materials we needed, such as patient information leaflets, exhibition stands and annual reports. We developed a brief around the key issues, stressing how important it was to develop something both identifiably local, yet which reflected our area’s cultural diversity. The agencies developed three routes. We chose one design, which they then developed into easy to use templates and guidelines, from which we could create designs ourselves.


How did you get buy-in?

We had a carefully structured communications programme aimed at all our stakeholders. We presented the first concepts to board members, senior management and more widely to staff and patients through team briefings to managers and patient forums.


Was it successful?

Much of the project’s success lies in the future after the launch. We have developed a plan to make sure everything runs smoothly. But the extensive consultation programme has already helped our stakeholders to focus on raising standards.


What advice would you give other NHS trusts?

We found that a key part of the project was looking at how we create materials, such as who’s responsible, whether the materials are produced internally or externally and which software packages to use. This approach helped us achieve the right solution. And make sure you involve stakeholders properly. It really improves acceptance.



Hilary Thornton – Corporate Services Manager

Last updated: 16/07/08

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