Increasing access to services

NHS South East Essex needed help meeting national targets for breast screening service uptake and so commissioned us to carry out research to indentify barriers and drivers, then create a social marketing campaign.

We identified key themes and required messaging for non-attenders, but more importantly, established for the first time the extent to which women are using a private service that offers significant competition to the NHS service.

Face-to-face interviews and focus groups helped us to develop a marketing plan that clearly segmented the target audience and provided accurate messages for each.  A key part of the plan was to develop a friendly, approachable image for the NHS service to more effectively compete with the local competitor.

The resulting campaign comprised posters, window stickers for pharmacies, self-standing and desktop literature dispensers, leaflets, mobile unit branding and signage and a website.  All content and photography we generated was, based on the insight findings.  Creative testing as part of the insight phase enabled us to develop the campaign efficiently and cost effectively.


  • The required uptake was achieved
  • The campaign helped encourage a greater understanding of marketing among staff and they continued to evolve the campaign, by making service improvements
  • We were subsequently commissioned to work on a school meals research project and toolkit development to increase uptake, specifically of free school meals
  • A further insight commission around bowel cancer screening helped us inform the regional screening programme with actionable ideas to drive uptake in home screening tests

“We’ve worked together on two key social marketing projects to date. For both, they have demonstrated a sound understanding of the subject area, significant expertise in community engagement and a strong desire to deliver us the best possible results.

I always find them a pleasure to work with. Their service is professional and high quality and the effort they put in is evident in their outputs.

Our breast screening campaign has been extremely well received and, most importantly, driven more people to our services.

The more recent school meals insight resulted in the production of a toolkit for schools which is surpassed our expectations. It’s being rolled out to schools and has influenced a bigger piece of work on school meals.”




  • Categories: Health
  • Client: NHS South East Essex