NHS North East Essex


Campaign: Small steps, Big change


To promote self-care and alternatives to going to GPs or A&E over the winter


  • The campaign was a success and contributed towards the Trust receiving a ‘Good’ as part of the NHS annual assurance rating, electronic referrals increasing from 13 – 99% and over 81% rating their GP surgery as Good (GP Patient Survey 2019).
  • The success of the campaign led to us being invited to work on the spring/summer campaign.

The campaign has a very broad audience, so we had to appeal to everyone from children right through to the over 70s. We also knew that the campaign would predominantly be print and featured in surgeries where there would be a multitude of other health care advice fighting for patients’ attention. This provided us with a unique challenge to solve.

We delivered the ‘Small Steps, Big Change’ campaign using online and offline creative, covering a range of different topics including sore throats, coughs and colds, beating flu, trips and falls, back pain and good hand hygiene.

We knew lots of text would be off-putting and difficult to read, so we created a large and bold title using a short rhythmic sentence structure which could be read easily and quickly at a glance. By structuring the sentences in quick bursts it helped highlight the small steps that could be taken to make big change in the public’s general health and ability to treat it without visiting a GP or A&E.

We then supported the text with visually appealing imagery to help emphasise the self care messaging, using small figures to add a playful element to the imagery and emphasise the ‘small steps’ part of the message. Without the figurines the imagery would be generic, but now it draws the attention and appeals to a younger audience. It also allows us to be playful in future iterations of the campaign.

NHS Small Steps Big Change
NHS Mobile adverts