Communications and Engagement

Specialists in marketing and engagement

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Our Team

Katrina Wilcox: Senior Communications and Engagement Manager

Katrina Wilcox: Senior Communications and Engagement Manager

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A passionate communicator, Katrina has a diverse background in both public and private sector marketing and communications including education, publishing, manufacturing and most recently healthcare. Driven by a strong desire to improve patient care and understanding of the health system, Katrina manages the MLSCU marketing team who, amongst other things, work tirelessly to ensure the right people know how to access the right services at the right time.

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Katrina also leads on marketing for the wider Commissioning Support Unit, exploring opportunities for our products and services to transform ways of working within both public and private sector organisations. Prior to working for MLCSU, Katrina was instrumental in the launch of the UK’s first Sports Academy for young people with a visual impairment, forging partnerships with the FA, England Golf and British Blind Sports.

Proudest moment

“When Jess Perkins, my comms apprentice at the Heart of Birmingham Teaching Primary Care Trust, was promoted to manager at MLCSU earlier this year, showing just how much can be achieved with hard work, drive and determination. Congrats Jess!”

At play

When not in the office, or driving to the office (Katrina probably has the longest commute of any member of the team!) Katrina can be found up a mountain or in a yoga class, or if lucky enough, up a mountain doing yoga, something she was lucky enough to experience in Brazil earlier this year. Highly competitive, Katrina is also a keen runner having completed a number of half marathons and 10km races, more recently choosing the steadier local 5km Park Run, but aiming for first or second female finisher – a hard target to maintain!

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Jenny Fullard: Senior Communications and Engagement Manager Media and Public Affairs

Jenny Fullard: Senior Communications and Engagement Manager Media and Public Affairs

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Jenny has supported many public sector agencies with advice during complex and multi-agency media issues. Jenny is experienced in handling proactive and reactive media campaigns, utilising the local newspaper and broadcast agencies to promote behavioural change.

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Proudest moment

Completing my CIPR Diploma in 2013. Supporting NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG’s nomination for CCG of the Year and being involved in the team that won the Silver CIPR Pride Midlands Award for Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG for Best Internal Communications. The most random media enquiry to date still has to be late on a Friday afternoon, when she was asked what a council would do about stray Emus escaping onto the county’s roads. She is still proud that she managed to get an answer within the reporters' deadline.

At play

When not working, Jenny enjoys baking and always the challenge of a new recipe. She is a formula one fan and a Mercedes supporter. She enjoys walking especially along the coast and national trust estates. Jenny has always loved reading a good book, and has to admit that Harry Potter is one of her favourites.

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Janet Mee: Senior Communications and Engagement Manager

Janet Mee: Senior Communications and Engagement Manager

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Janet has been a member of the communications and engagement team since 2013, initially as an account manager and for the last year as head of editorial services. She also helps to run the media team. With experience in newspaper and magazine journalism, publishing and communications for a broad range of NHS organisations, Janet specialises in writing and editing but can turn her hand to most things.

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Proudest moment

“Looking at recent times, that would probably have to be the surprisingly stress-free coordination of the production of a long list of annual reports and annual report summaries in 2016. Bring on 2017’s!”

At play

“Having just moved from the middle of fields to a riverside town, I’m thinking of swapping cross-country running for rowing. I’ll miss the mud though.”

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ASAD KHALIQ: Social Marketing Researcher

ASAD KHALIQ: Social Marketing Researcher

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Asad is one of the newest additions to the Communications & Engagement team. Joining as a Social Marketing Researcher, Asad is greatly experienced in conducting market research studies to unpick complex issues and providing relevant insight to support the campaigns developed by the Communications & Engagement team.

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Before joining MLCSU, Asad applied his trade in the private sector, conducting market research studies for clients in the pharmaceutical, industrial, commercial, leisure, health and charity sectors.

Proudest moment

Managing a nationwide, multi-phase research project for the Church of England that utilised a range of engagement techniques and innovative methodologies to encourage participation amongst the target audience. This culminated in a white paper being presented at the faith in research conference 2016.

At play

In his free time, Asad likes to keep fit by following a weekly workout routine. When not ‘pumping iron’ Asad enjoys watching and keeping up to date with all the latest sports news as well as watching the latest movies, especially if they are comic book based!

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Peter Snowdon: Communications and Engagement Service Partner

Peter Snowdon: Communications and Engagement Service Partner

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Peter’s time with the NHS pre-dates the formation of Commissioning Support Units, having started his career working within a Primary Care Trust. Initially Peter trained as a system engineer and this IT experience helps him to blend innovative digital practice with his master’s level education in Public Relations to create innovative communications and engagement solutions.

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Most recently, Peter’s further education with the National Social Marketing Centre has helped him create MLCSU’s first true social marketing service; a service realising behaviour change and real outcomes that benefit the NHS and health of our communities. While Peter has spent most of his career in the NHS, he has and continues to enjoy a diverse professional life – a modelling career in London and a directorship of an internet homewares retailer being a couple of examples.

Proudest moment

“When solutions were being delivered after the Mid Staffs failures, we were brought in to help communicate the changes and restore some pride in the local NHS and the county it called home.

“There was so much determination among patients and clinicians to get the right outcome and I was reminded of the positive role that good comms and engagement can play in restoring patients’ confidence and NHS accountability to the people it serves. Clinician-led change continues to happen at pace, as a result.”

At play

Peter remains a techy at heart and nothing is more fulfilling for him than tinkering with web page code and pushing his photography skills on his X100T to the max. Interior design is also a big passion and Peter has advised a handful of large, prestigious commercial schemes in London and overseas.

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Veena Darbhanga: Communications and Engagement Specialist

Veena Darbhanga: Communications and Engagement Specialist

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Veena has vast experience in delivering award winning healthcare campaigns across the UK, and using market research as the foundations for them. Having worked with NHS Trusts, Public Health teams, CCGs and Local Authorities from Glasgow down to Devon, she understands what makes an influential communications campaign on a local, regional and national level.

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Passionate about social marketing and making a difference, she always aims to bring an extra depth and theory to our marketing and research projects. Veena finds the best ways to secure insights and translate them into communication messages that trigger positive behaviour changes, increase knowledge and recruit into services.

Proudest moment

“My proudest moment occurs every time I know we have created a campaign that has lead to a positive change to someone’s health and the care they receive.

My first proud moment came when I managed the implementation of a regional social marketing campaign that increased the uptake of the HPV vaccine. From focus groups with young girls, concept creation and evaluation, it was amazing to discover what encourages people to overcome their fears and barriers to change – and motivate them to act.”

At play

Veena enjoys the occasional shopping spree as well as enjoying Mexican food with her family and friends. She often takes the time to catch up on the latest movies and has a soft spot for chick flicks!

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Ritchie Brett: Communications and Engagement Service Partner, Design and Digital

Ritchie Brett: Communications and Engagement Service Partner, Design and Digital

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Ritchie is founding member of the communications and engagement service and a member of the senior leadership team.

Ritchie heads up our Design, Digital and Insight services, combining his technical knowledge and design background with years of communications/marketing experience to support organisations across the country to exceed their expectations through innovative, measurable approaches.

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Proudest moment

“I am extremely proud of EasyProject, our agile project management system designed and developed in-house, which is core to team delivery. ”

At play

When not at work Ritchie enjoys taking cooking far too seriously, walking [being walked by] his dogs and pondering his next crazy DIY projects.

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Stephen O’Hanlon: Communications and Engagement Service Partner

Stephen O’Hanlon: Communications and Engagement Service Partner

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Stephen is the newest member of the MLCSU Communications and Engagement Senior team and brings with him a wealth of public and private sector communications and change management experience. Stephen’s focus is developing MLCSU’s primary care support offering, helping to put primary care at the heart of the community, and patients at the heart of primary care.

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Before joining MLCSU, Stephen was the Communications and Engagement Lead for one of the largest patient record sharing programmes in the country and, prior to that, he worked as an international management consultant, specialising in communications and change management, travelling to such far-flung, exotic locations as Nairobi and Bangkok. Oh, and Woking.

Proudest moment

“I am going to cheat and put two: the most recent would be helping to rebuild Birmingham’s long-delayed patient record sharing programme through extensive, robust patient and staff engagement, the capstone of which was having it shortlisted for a HSJ award in 2016.

My second would be running a highly-successful two-day workshop in Bangkok for representatives of 15 different countries to help them implement a large-scale change initiative.”

At play

When not working, Stephen enjoys spending time with his wife and young son, playing far too many computer games and trying to keep up to date with the latest movies, which has become much harder since becoming a parent (especially if they’re not animated!).

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Stephanie Belgeonne - Senior Partner of Communications and Engagement

Stephanie Belgeonne - Senior Partner of Communications and Engagement

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Steph is a quirky, quality focused and entrepreneurial Communications Director. She is always looking for creative solutions to the many public sector challenges. She tries to claim shyness but is anything but when on her favourite mission seeking what is fair and just for the health and welfare.

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She has been a devotee to the NHS over 23 years and has previous experience in marketing and advertising. She combines experience and skills in marketing, communications and quality management to bring together a diverse team of talents who are not afraid to challenge and create a better future. She is passionate about excellence and has front line, commissioning and provider management experience.

Proudest moment

It’s the simple things that make me most proud. The moment you see people inspired to rise to a challenge. The moment you see the potential in someone and you help them achieve that for themselves.

I have a few..

Helping deliver a £19m savings target for a Birmingham Primary Care Trust (PCT) but ensuring we ran it in a transparent and fair way in the best interests of people most affected. This taught me to see the value in involving people early on and during the process.

Setting up some key programmes that are working to effectively engage local people – initiating Future Fit in Shropshire to give people a voice on changes to healthcare, Solihull Together for Better Lives creating a community momentum for self-care and mutual support and Staffordshire It’s Our Time bringing together partners to communicate and inform local people about changes.

Setting up the first PALS service pilot which led to customer service at each hospital and within community services.

Currently running a £6m Communications and Engagement Service for health and social care to provide cost effective services to over 80 organisations across the UK.

At play

Loves family time, fun with friends and occasional precious quiet time. With a background in dance she is usually first up on the dance floor but so rarely gets to one these days! Mainly enjoys walks, weekends around the UK and regular holidays away. Chicken and cat keeper (not together of course). Good lifer and occasional baker. Oh yes and a secret scrabble addict (not so secret now).

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Stephen Williams: Senior Communications and Engagement Manager, Research and Involvement

Stephen Williams: Senior Communications and Engagement Manager, Research and Involvement

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Stephen is a senior manager in the involvement team and leads on research activities across the department as well as the management and advice for pre-consultation and consultation engagement activities. He has led on the design, management and delivery of a range of research and customer insight projects working with both quantitative and qualitative methodologies.

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His skills have focussed on bringing evidence-based research to the heart of the decision-making process using information and data from a range of sources including: patients, customers, business intelligence and secondary data sources.

Proudest moment

• Leading on and winning a bid for a pilot project to promote GP practices across the Midlands and East regions to GP candidates.

• Setting up a temporary open-response analysis centre with 15 temporary workers as part of leading on the analysis of a consultation survey which received 7,500 questionnaire responses and within that 40,000 responses to the 11 open-ended questions.

• Being awarded his PhD in 2010.

At play

Stephen rides a bike, reads history books and is a member of one of the oldest debating societies in England.

Midlands and Lancashire CSU
Kingston House
438-450 High Street
West Midlands
B70 9LD

Contact us to find out more
Tel: 0121 612 3806
E-Mail: businesssupport.mlcsu@nhs.net

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