#CQCConnect is here

Today the first episode of our home grown, home produced podcasts series has been uploaded and launched to the world. Hopefully a few people will listen, enjoy it and find it informative (we’ve got 60 after 1 hour, so it’s looking positive so far).

These days the whole world is podcasting, so this might not seem big news. But we’re quite proud of this work, the way we’ve gone about it, the way we’ve based it on evidence and insight and that we’ve produced a four episode series from scratch without any additional budget.

I’ve shared below a bit about the work we did to get here.

A bit of background.

Just over a year ago we started implementation of a new team strategy, looking to revamp and improve our current work and shift our focus to ways of working with more impact.

Part of this was looking at what channels / content we should be using for the audiences we target, and if we currently used these what more we should do and if we didn’t what could we do to test out new approaches.


Underpinning where decisions around where we focused our resources when implementing our strategy was developing a richer insight for our audience (in this case people who work in health & social care services, in England), around their communication preferences and behaviours.

We were able to be part of a group of similar public sector organisations who shared together all the insight they had in this area and combined to produce a detailed picture of how health & social care professionals accessed information about their areas of work, who they trusted, what content they found engaging and what influenced the way they thought, felt and behaved.

This told us something interesting about podcasts. 33% of doctors within NHS Trusts, 30% of nurses across all providers, 29% of GPs and 28% of GP practice managers listen to podcasts at least weekly, and sought out health & social content through podcasts. This compared to approx. 9% of the general population listening to podcasts at least weekly.

So, definitely an opportunity there.


So we knew we wanted to try podcasts, but what do we want to say and how to actually make a podcast?

Part of the answer to the first question was in the audience insight we’d gathered, through that we understood the broad types of messages the evidence showed were of most interest to our audience and would have the greater impact. We also knew from our ongoing conversations with stakeholders some of the specific topics that were high on people’s agendas.

This gave us a good idea of where our focus should be and with that in mind we were able to look at what we had to talk about, what was new, what work had we recently done, where was the appetite within the organisation and match what the external audience wanted to hear about with what we could confidently talk about.

So we got topics for a series of four episodes, next actually making the podcasts.

This was actually a lot easier than you might initially expect. Now, we haven’t got a multi million pound recording studio (we never will) or a cupboard of fancy recording equipment (maybe one day) and as we were testing this approach out we didn’t want to invest at this stage. But smartphone technology being as amazing as it is we were able to adopt a slightly low fi approach that delivered good results.

We also didn’t want to overly script the episodes, instead we wanted a conversational feel that would hopefully be more engaging. Bringing together experts on a subject (from us and elsewhere) to talk freely from their point of expertise. We’ve been really lucky to be supported in this with colleagues from all across the organisation being keen and enthusiastic participants.

We’re certainly not the flashiest, smoothest sounding podcasts on the market but where we’re at is ok for a start.


So we’re up to the current day (Jan 2020) and we’re launching. We’ve hopefully covered off most places people find their podcasts, we’re hosted on Soundcloud and distributed through Spotify, Apple Podcasts, TuneIn & Stitcher.

We’ll be promoting through social media and email bulletins (LinkedIn has worked really well for us here).

What next

So what have we learned and what are we doing next? There’s still a full evaluation to go, so we’ll have to wait before saying how much of a success this work has been. But the initial response has been very positive, we’ve got good numbers of listeners and built a load of interest, so we will be producing some more episodes to further test how successful this can be.

But to be really assured that this is the work we should be doing we need the evaluation to help us understand whether this way of communicating is effective at influencing the way people think, feel or behave around the topics we’re talking about.

We’ve also learned a few things we’ll be taking forward into any future podcast work:

  • An engaging host really makes your podcast
  • A few mics to improve sound quality would be a good idea
  • A conversation is better than just one person speaking
  • An external view on your podcast is a positive

Look out for more in the very near future!


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