Havas Lynx Group has been working closely with people within healthcare who are taking action for equity, diversity, and inclusivity (ED&I) to address how healthcare communications can make lasting change.
We caught up with Cath Brassington-Richards, Chief Growth Officer at Havas Lynx Group, to learn more about Health For All.
Tell us about the Health For All project and the message it aims to amplify.
This year we launched Health For All – a campaign exploring the separation of humanity and healthcare, and what happens when ED&I are missing.
So far, we have worked with people who’ve experience of bringing the realities of real life to the heart of medicine. We’ve heard some amazing stories which have really helped show how taking an inclusive approach to healthcare can overcome challenges we’re working so hard to solve. Together, we can reach more patients, diagnose conditions earlier, bring more effective medicines to market, support more patients, and improve both commercial and clinical outcomes.
The campaign is full of inspirational stories from individuals who have experience of bringing the humanity and connection back to medicine. Can you tell us about some of the cases that stood out for you?
There are so many incredible stories we have heard and are still hearing about! However, one story which really stood out was Rainbow Café, an inspiring project created by Switchboard, a leading LGBTQ+ charity, to support people either living with dementia or who are concerned about memory loss.
We spoke to their CEO Jacob Bayliss and Rainbow Café Lead John Hammond – it was incredible to hear of the massive impact changing the mindset of people caring for people with dementia within the LGBTQ+ community can have. Traditional reminiscence therapies can be upsetting for people from an LGBTQ+ background, taking them back to places and times where they had negative experiences when they potentially were not able to be their true selves. The team at Rainbow Café have turned that on its head – and the standard tea dances and bingo nights have been swapped for drag nights, cocktails, brunches, and personalised support. By breaking the mould to navigate this chronic degenerative condition, Rainbow Café is ensuring healthcare is fully inclusive for all members of society.
There is a lovely quote from John Hammond, project lead of Rainbow Café, which really encapsulated what we’re trying to overcome through Health For All: “Dementia is a very human story, as all chronic conditions are, and I think that’s what healthcare can sometimes lose sight of… it’s a human story.”
There are lots more stories covering topics from LGBTQ+ inclusion in healthcare through to how we should be looking to change the current approach to medical communication and representation in research over at nooneleftbehind.co.uk
Is this platform a potential tool for our clients? How can these stories be utilized?
Absolutely. We’ve been fortunate enough to have the support of experts who have been able to share perspectives, experiences, and passion to help us develop something that is more diverse, more inclusive, and more human: Professor Eleanor Stride spoke to us about how a more inclusive drug development process can bring new medicines to market more quickly; Dr Christine Ekechi provided insight into how overlooked patient populations can be identified at the point of diagnosis by tackling gender and racial biases; and Shiron Rajendran, who is currently studying medicine, discussed the importance of ensuring equity and accessibility in patient support for a meaningful impact on patient education and adherence.
From clinical research to the diagnosis and management of everything from asthma to oncology, we see opportunities at every contact point to improve the experience of people and communities who are currently underserved by our healthcare systems – and this is something we will certainly be pushing and exploring with our clients in both current and future work.
Alongside the stories, we have developed a full toolkit to support our people internally when conversing with clients – from guides, checklists, and case study banks, to demographic benchmarking tools and persona frameworks – the range of resources created will ensure our work is always considering ED&I at every juncture.
This is something we want all our teams to be comfortable discussing and engaging our clients with, but also, we’re hoping through the development of this campaign that it will encourage our clients to open up conversations with us as well, and to allow us to have an open dialogue about how we can all do better.
How will this project grow and evolve into other spaces?
2021 has seen the start of our Health For All journey, but we’re hoping that the conversation is going to continue to grow into 2022 and beyond. We’re constantly on the lookout for inspirational human beings and organisations who are already making an impact. We want to continue to work with those people, to capture their stories, their voice, and share it far and wide in hope that it will inspire others and drive change, but also to allow us to learn from the great work already out there so we can be mindful when it comes to us and our clients.
We’re due to hold a Focus Group in the next few weeks which will see us meet with a variety of individuals from across pharma, education, public health, the charity sector, and hopefully government. We can only hope the conversation can capture the hearts and minds of more authoritative and influential people who have the power to drive change.
Watch this space.
How do projects like this fit into the mission on HH&Y and Havas Lynx Group?
At the start of our discussions, we were told that if the healthcare industry strove to make ED&I a priority, it had the potential to ‘deliver results beyond the imaginable’. Those results mean that every single person will have equal access to healthcare. Without human purpose rooted at its core, Health For All will not be a reality.
An increasing number of organisations are recognising EDI as a priority – with the World Health Organization setting ‘leave no one behind’ as its guiding principle for the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
We’ve asked ourselves, what can we do to align to this principle of leaving no one behind, to drive long-term change in healthcare communications? There’s no single answer. It’s a mindset shift that will shape the ideation, development, and delivery of every piece of work we do, at every point of the patient journey we try to influence. Ultimately, we want to see more work that reflects the world we live in, that captures different people’s realities in an honest and human way.
To learn more about Health For All and to read the inspirational stories – head to nooneleftbehind.co.uk