Bevan Exemplars develop communication skills to promote their work

Over 30 Bevan Exemplars from this year’s cohort recently attended a communications workshop, run in conjunction with the Aneurin Bevan Continuous Improvement (ABCi) centre.

Led by Andrew Cooper, communications manager at ABCi, the all-day ‘Communications with Impact’ workshop was designed to help Bevan Exemplars improve their skills to engage their stakeholders and clearly articulate the purpose of the projects they are developing.

“We know that many projects and programmes often fail because the work to shape the message, identify the right audiences and select the best channels is overlooked,” said Andrew. “It was great to meet with colleagues who are passionate about the work they are leading – and keen to develop the skills to ensure that the right people know about it!”

Delegates were introduced to the ‘Six steps for communications with impact’ framework, which supported them in designing a communications strategy for their projects.

During the day, sessions were also provided on writing a blog and how the concept of ‘sketch noting’; creating small interlinked drawings of concepts or events, can be used to communicate ideas visually.

Dr Sara Long, clinical fellow at ABCi, explained that sketch notes can be used to refine thinking. “Giving yourself a small space into which you try and fit a complex idea forces you to really distill your thinking. If you can explain an idea on a sticky note, you can explain it to anyone!”

Dr Doris Behrens demonstrated how graphical redesign of commonly generated graphs could be used to present data differently, providing a visual story. A hands-on workshop encouraged thinking about how to communicate effectively through decluttering charts, effective use of colour and simplification.

“I found the day a refreshing change with lots of innovative ways to communicate,” said Becky Thomas, senior nurse for professional standards and quality improvement from Cwm Taf UHB. “I have shared the six steps to communication video widely and am furiously practicing my sketch noting skills!”

Dr John Boulton, director of ABCi, said: “We have been pleased to support the Bevan Commission and their exemplar programme with this session. We are discovering the real value and role of communications in improvement and I am delighted that we have been able to share this learning with Exemplars.”

For further information about ‘Six steps for communication with impact’, watch the animation. [Link:]

(See more images from the day here -

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