This site is intended for health professionals only

NHS England working with branding agency to revamp its image

NHS England working with branding agency to revamp its image

NHS England is working with a branding agency to revamp its image and rebuild trust with those working within the health service, it has emerged.

The Thompson agency, which specialises in health organisations, presented a strategy document to senior NHSE leaders last month, which was seen by HSJ.

Thompson’s recommendations, which were described as necessary in order to rebuild ‘lost trust’ in the organisation, will become the foundation of a new NHSE campaign to be launched in April.

They highlighted the need for NHSE to ‘cultivate the right personality’ and to be seen as a facilitator focused on collaboration rather than ‘regulation, policy and budget control’.

Thompson also concluded that the organisation should ‘adopt a “down to earth” type of voice’ to ‘avoid the perception that NHS England is an “ivory tower”’ and should focus on connecting with those working at the ground level. 

This ‘interim update’ was based on research Thompson carried out with senior NHSE figures during the last three months of 2022, as well as analysis of key NHSE strategy documents.

The exercise was connected to its merger with NHS Digital and Health Education England (HEE), which went live 1 February, according to NHE England.

An NHSE spokesperson said: ‘NHS England, NHS Digital and Health Education England are coming together to create a single organisation to lead the health service, cutting costs to the taxpayer and reducing headcount by up to 40%.

‘The focus of this work is to bring three major public organisations together while ensuring patients, staff and the public can easily understand its new and combined role, and find the information they need.’

Thompson has previously carried out similar work for NHS organisations, including reviewing the visual identity of NHS Digital to ensure patients and staff were clear on what support it offers, and developing a ‘comprehensive identity policy’ for NHSE in 2016.

NHS England has been seen to alienate GPs on a number of occasions including the recent ‘blindsiding’ of the BMA’s GP Committee over last year’s contract imposition.

It was also accused by GP leaders of having sent a ‘tone deaf’ and ‘badly-judged’ letter regarding GP face-to-face appointments during the pandemic.



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Mr Marvellous 10 February, 2023 3:18 pm

Maybe someone should tell NHS England that the best way to “revamp its image and rebuild trust” is to actually become trustable?

I promise it will work better then the brand agency approach.

Mr Marvellous 10 February, 2023 3:44 pm


Michael Mullineux 10 February, 2023 4:47 pm

Rebranding only leads me to trust them less than I already do. Tone deaf and at times monstrous. Led by self aggrandising acolytes. It really is a struggle to think of a single useful intervention from NHSE over the last number of years.

Kevlar Cardie 10 February, 2023 5:30 pm

(Oh come on. You knew it was inevitable).

Turn out The Lights 10 February, 2023 6:17 pm

Scrap NHSE and put these toadies in th DoH where they belong, stop being a firewall for the politicians make to SoS responsible again.Kowing where the buck stops is good or the voters.The current multi layered mess needs to be cleaned up a bit. Using a Trumpism, drain the swamp.

Northern Trainer 10 February, 2023 6:26 pm

How many nursing salaries is this PR exercise costing the taxpayer??

Anonymous 11 February, 2023 10:43 am

I remember when our trust hired PR agency to improve staff morale.
They were gone within 6 months and nothing changed.
Well the trust spent millions on it.

If they are reading this, I will tell you one thing fat cats. Piss off.

Nathaniel Dixon 12 February, 2023 10:41 am

NHSE GPs are usually clever enough to judge you by your actions and not words or spin or PR. If you want to improve your image act better, be better, actually try and engage with the profession. I won’t hold my breath…

Simon Gilbert 13 February, 2023 11:11 am

Any organisation that believes the main driver of trust concerns are related to branding are guaranteed to have not resolved the underlying problems that led to this image.