NHS Foundation Trust Council of Governors Elections

The greatest challenge in any election lies in securing the largest possible turnout. This can be difficult to achieve, but delivering tailored and comprehensive election services is what UK-Engage does best. We recently faced such a challenge at the University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust Council of Governors Elections. UHSM is a major acute teaching hospital trust providing services for adults and children at Wythenshawe Hospital and Withington Community Hospital, and community services which were formerly operated by Manchester Primary Care Trust.

UHSM asked UK-Engage to manage the complex 2012 Council of Governors Elections, to provide a comprehensive electoral support service and to boost turnout at the elections. The Council of Governors consists of 35 elected and nominated Governors: 18 of the Governors are elected by the public, 7 by Foundation Trust staff and 10 nominated by partner organisations. The Council of governors plays an active role in building relationships with members and represents their views to the Board of Directors, which has the responsibility of running the organisation and preparing the Trust’s strategy.

The Solution

Engage was asked to deliver a fully-managed integrated election and boost voter turnout at the Council of Governor Elections. UK-Engage had already provided updated nomination forms and redesigned ballot packs, in line with the Trust’s corporate identity design, to make the election more appealing to members. The Trust already held the mobile phone numbers of approximately 500 of its members so it made sense for UK-Engage to use this information to boost turnout. UK-Engage therefore sent short, polite reminders by SMS text messages to the 500 members.

The Result

UK Engage and UHSM were delighted by the increased turnout generated by the use of SMS text messaging. Turnout among members who received the text message reminder was 25 percent higher than the overall turnout., confirming UK-Engage’s belief that low cost- high impact text message reminders can boost election turnout.

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