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Beat the Scrum > News > Campaign shortlisted at HSJ Awards…

Campaign shortlisted at HSJ Awards…

Beat The Scrum, a unique campaign that helps to tackle the pressures faced by the NHS by using the power of rugby league, is shortlisted for the two prestigious awards at the HSJ (Health Service Journal) Awards.

The ‘Beat The Scrum’ campaign is featured in the Best Primary Care Innovation and Best Acute Care Innovation categories at the awards, which represent the pinnacle of recognition for the UK healthcare sector.

The campaign sees past and present Widnes Vikings stars, and legends of St Helens and Warrington Wolves, unite to help educate the public on how to choose the right services when they are injured or ill. The programme has been commissioned by the Mid-Mersey A&E Delivery Board, a coalition of NHS organisations that deliver or support local Accident and Emergency departments. It has also been supported by Renova Developments, a specialist estates provider for the NHS.

Beat The Scrum sees rugby league stars take part in a number of innovative online and PR campaigns, which aim to inform and inspire the public. A key objective of the initiative is to raise awareness of how by choosing local walk-in or urgent care centres in situations that aren’t serious or life threatening, instead of A&E departments, people can save themselves time and take pressure off local hospitals.

With Beat The Scrum programme generating more than half a million online video views and extensive local, national and regional coverage, as well as being heavily showcased at Super League games and the Magic Weekend fixture event at St James’ Park in Newcastle, it has given the NHS an important platform to engage with the public.

This success follows the campaign winning the ‘Best Sponsorship’ accolade at the prestigious international Leaders Sports Awards last month, being selected ahead of programmes with the likes of Manchester United, the NFL and the LA Clippers.

Mel Pickup, Chief Executive of Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS FT, says, “Beat the Scrum has been a really innovative campaign that has taken our ‘Make the Right Call (Choose Well)’ messages to a very diverse audience, many of whom we have struggled to reach in the past.   By making the campaign totally relevant to fans, the fun and impactful short films have been widely viewed and shared across multiple channels.

We certainly could not have hoped to have reached and informed so many potential users with our traditional and very stretched NHS resources.  We congratulate the Vikings on their commendation, which is richly deserved, and we look forward to working together again soon.”

James Rule, CEO of Widnes Vikings, says: “It’s been an honour for our club to be part of a campaign that makes such a big difference to local NHS services and our communities. To know that the hard work of everyone who has contributed to the campaign has been recognised at a such prestigious event is something that we can all be proud of. I would like to thank all of the supporters who have played a massive role in this success. Special congratulations must be given to the Mid-Mersey A&E Delivery Board and Renova Developments for their vision in commissioning this campaign.”

Ian Willett, General Manager of Renova Developments, says: “Rugby League is a massive part of the local culture in the north west of England. Partnering with Widnes Vikings has proven to be an innovative way to reach a big audience and one that is highly localised – ideally so for promoting locally relevant messages such as raising awareness of local Urgent Care services. The Beat The Scrum campaign has generated a tremendous amount of exposure, it is highly innovative partnership, and I am incredibly proud that Renova has been able to support it. To be nominated in two categories at the HSJ awards is a great honour.”

Terry O’Connor, Sky Sports presenter and former Great Britain star, says: “This is an innovative campaign that has an important social purpose, so it has been inspiring to see the Rugby League community give it their support. This campaign has had a grabbed public attention, engaging and educating people on many important issues. I am proud of the NHS and proud of this great sport – that’s why I have signed up as a Beat The Scrum Ambassador.”