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NHS managers warned of need to adopt marketing tactics

16 February 2007

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NHS hospitals will have no option but to invest in marketing tactics if they are to survive against private firms, the BBC recently quoted Dr Jonathan Fielden from the British Medical Association as saying.

For managers with little marketing experience this can be daunting. As a result, The Chartered Institute of Marketing has instigated a one-day workshop, “Marketing to Succeed in a Competitive NHS”, designed specifically to give NHS managers insight into the application of marketing principles in the health service.

“NHS managers now have to understand how to market themselves to the public, build reputation, develop a patient-led service, measure effectiveness in terms of value delivered, and all in a way that does not drain resources from patient healthcare,” said the Institute’s Head of Insights, David Thorp.

“We have to accept that patient choice and ‘Payment by Results’ are now a fact for the NHS and managers need to understand how they will have to alter what they do to take it onboard. For those that have never worked in this type of competitive environment, it will be quite a change, and we want to help them adjust as quickly and effectively as possible.”

The workshop will tackle issues such as developing the “commissioner-provider” relationship, resource planning, delivering a patient-focused service, developing a marketing plan, financial performance and using research to improve planning.

The course is aimed at NHS foundation and acute trust directors, and managers involved in service development and delivery.

Further details of “Marketing to Succeed in a Competitive NHS” can be found by visiting