Skip to main content Skip to footer

NHS Highland Change Campaign


NHS Highland Change Campaign

Recent discussions with students and trainees indicated that they viewed quality improvement as a dull, tick-box exercise. Some had ideas to create change but did not know where to start. With the threat of another COVID-19 wave at the time, there was also concern about our undergraduate students' and postgraduate trainees' low morale. Amid all this, we thought, "What can we do to improve this?". These discussions instilled a desire to educate, inspire and empower our learners to create change, and this was the inception of the "Be the Change" Campaign.

In NHS Highland, our students and trainees are spread across Scotland's geographically largest health board. Months prior, we had created an Instagram page to establish an online community and connect with our learners spread far and wide. Studies have shown that students have a favourable view of using social media to learn (Guckian et al., 2021). Our initial work echoed this, and our content on the page had already reached over 70,000 accounts.

We chose Instagram as the platform for the campaign as our data showed that the page reached our target audience, and surveys indicated it was the preferred form of social media engagement amongst our population. Our learners, especially our undergraduate students, loved the page and regularly engaged with activities we shared on the platform. We also observed that Instagram offers more engagement opportunities than any other social media channel. We aimed to use audio-visual content to engage with our audience, and the platform works exceptionally well with this style of educational material.

The campaign involved a five-day event, and each day we shared one step in the journey to creating change. We introduced our followers to change management principles and shared quality improvement methods using posts, stories, and reels. Our content reached over 7,200 accounts in one week and had over 37,000 impressions. Over 290 accounts engaged in the campaign, and from the accounts that did engage, 200 of them were our followers. We also included an inspirational video message from a different change leader each day. Professor Jason Leitch (National Clinical Director) and Dr Emma Watson (Medical Director NES) both contributed to these inspirational videos. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

Professor Leitch’s video message is here:

We aimed to show our learners that small projects can have a significant impact and that quality improvement can be creative, exciting, and even fun. Importantly we wanted to activate our learner's agency, demonstrate that they have power and give them the courage to act. Feedback shows that our audience, from students to senior staff working within the organisation, have been inspired to create change due to the campaign. As a result, this project has changed the culture of online education within our organisation and generated a shift in our practice. In addition, we believe other educators can use the platform to engage and educate following our template. Instagram therefore can be a powerful educational tool, and we think there is so much more potential to unleash.

If you are interested in hearing more about the project or wish to discuss this further, you can contact Dr Cara Bezzina (General Practitioner) & Dr Kate Arrow (Consultant Anaesthetist).

NHS Highland Change Campaign