A picture of a female doctor in white scrubs with a stethoscope around her neck

The NHS 
Health Uncovered 

Client: NHS 
Sector: Health
Audience Vertical: Teenage Health
Format: Series
Services: Casting | Scripting | Full Production | Distribution | Consultation

The UK’s NHS needs no introduction but some of the struggles it faces might do. One of those is around teenage mental health. 

The smartphone generation of young people listen to nearly thirty hours of audio a week, yet the use of live or recorded audio by the NHS to engage with teenage health service users has been minimal.

So, we set out to introduce podcasting as a new way to engage more young people in conversations about their health and wellbeing.


Read about how we worked together below.
 

Objective 


The NHS came to us with the brief of helping teenagers gain information, insight and information into teen health. They were keen to explore new ways of communicating with their very young target audience and wanted to try audio.  

The objectives of the project were to:

  • Introduce podcasting as a new way to engage more young people in conversations about their health and wellbeing.

  • Help young people by addressing key themes in teenage healthcare particularly themes chosen by young people and the practitioners which are thought to be sensitive or inaccessible.

  • Encourage young people to stream or download the podcasts on their smartphones so they can listen anytime, anywhere.

  • Make young people the stars of the show, leading the conversation, so that we touch on the things that are meaningful to them.

  • Have a robust clinical approach delivered in collaboration with healthcare professionals who will provide a clinically qualified voice to balance the opinions and thoughts offered by young people.

  • Create a conversational atmosphere where clinically accurate advice is interspersed with engaging content.

  • Use a tone of voice that is relatable to young people, edgy and funny with compelling stories, not preaching or overly educational.

  • Fly the flag for some of the health services that support young people, helping young people to be aware of them.

Creative 

  • We decided very early on to create a round table discussion podcast using teenagers in the discussion and to use a host that was relevant to the target age group but who could also speak on their level.

  • We decided on CBBC, Cold Feet and Radio 1 host Cel Spellman to lead these discussions done at 5 different schools around the country with kids aged 13 to 18. Having these conversations in the teenagers own schools was very important so they felt comfortable and could speak their mind. 

  • Each round table discussion was a free conversation steered by Cel with a few fun games to loosen everyone up. 

  • The end result was an emotive, editorially led podcast series revolving around NHS topics they were struggling to communicate. We recorded incredibly honest conversations with kids on topics from sexual health to grooming but included help on what to do as well as where to go via school nurses that contributed to the conversations and content.

CEL SPELLMAN APP BANNER A.jpg

Outcomes 

“One of the most exciting and innovative things our trust has ever been involved with”

NHS Staff Survey

 

“These were so informative and felt less like a lecture and with much more informative”

 

Listener feedback Survey

The NHS couldn’t believe the uptake not only via online listens but also as a tool to take into schools. The series achieved just under 20K downloads in its first month alone which although not huge is impressive for such a targeted series containing tricky subject matter.  The NHS has been blown away with the amount of nurses, teachers and kids talking about these podcasts.

 

The show was featured by Apple Podcasts in its main promotional spot for the month of November increasing awareness and publicity for the show.

The podcast also won a Silver Award at the ARIA (Audio Radio Industry Awards) 2019 for Best Podcast against stiff competition from the BBC and Commercial Radio.