The Department of Health and Social Care regularly asks for the public to engage with its work through different platforms. From sharing stories on GOV.UK to Twitter chats with community groups. On 10 September 2018, Matt Hancock launched Talk Health and Care, a space for those working in the health and social care sector to share their ideas directly with the department.

In the first month of the platform, we had over 500 people sign up to take part in the conversations that have been happening. These conversations range from agreeing with an idea and sharing good practice to asking for change from the department.

The site consists of multiple pages, with a collaborative space for people to submit ideas relating to 6 challenges. We have found that some challenges receive more ideas and interaction than others. As the platform is an ever-evolving project, we are able to trial and test different approaches.

Jimmy, one of our content and channels managers, noticed that the challenges with shorter titles were receiving more comments. We shortened one of the challenge titles to see if this increased idea submission, which it did.

This live testing enables us to bring policy and comms colleagues along the journey of improving digital content and engagement.

The platform also has a blog section. This has also been an experiment to find out what kinds of issues people who work in health and social care want to hear about. Having guest bloggers on the platform has allowed us to put a spotlight on different issues while ensuring the experience of those affected by the issue has been shared.

We have a long way to go to make sure that the engagement we do reaches all of those who work in health and social care. The #TalkHealthAndCare platform is the beginning of a new era of open consultation and discussion for the department – sign up to keep up with the latest developments to the platform.

Original source – Stephen Hale

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