Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust was changing its policy to remove smoking areas at their properties for staff, patients and visitors. We were asked to find an engaging way to convince employees to lead the way in enforcing smoke-free premises.
Our first steps were to investigate what barriers the potentially unpopular policy might face. From staff feedback, it was clear there were a number of potential challenges, especially when managing mental health patients with addiction issues.
With this in mind, we realised that to drive behaviour change we needed to appeal to both hearts and minds. So we created a series of three films to communicate both the key information about the policy, and the reasons behind it.
Two informative films were created with the key facts, one to share with staff and the other for stakeholders and patients.
For part three we worked with an existing mental health therapy group to understand how the policy could positively impact patients. The participants used poetry to explain their relationships with smoking and addiction and the difficulty of the recovery process: having a safe environment free of reminders of their addictions was important to them.
The materials created by the group were extremely powerful and emotive. By using content created by real patients the policy wasn’t received as an ‘order’, but as an opportunity for people to reflect on why a smoke-free healthcare environment mattered. When the policy was introduced it had strong support and the poetry campaign received positive feedback.