NHS Isle of Wight

In 2013, we won a tender to work with the Isle of Wight Public Health Commissioning Team to undertake insights research to explore local people’s attitudes and behaviour around alcohol misuse. Our methodology combined telephone interviews and a street survey to gather the views of current and past users of alcohol support services alongside the general population who drink at harmful levels but do not currently access any services and a cross-section of local health and other professional stakeholders.  Our research revealed that the public have relatively poor levels of understanding about the harm that alcohol consumption can have, consistently underestimate the amount that they drink and significantly exaggerate the behaviour required to constitute alcohol misuse.  It also identified people have significant issues with accessing current support services. To help to tackle the island’s alcohol misuse issues, we proposed an audience segmentation based on attitude, along with the differing motivators and barriers which affect each group. Our final report provided recommendations covering the scope of services, service accessibility, communications and broader education work.  In September 2013, the findings were presented by the Isle of Wight’s Acting Director of Public Health at the Public Health England Annual Conference.

“We ran a competitive tender to commission an audience insights project around understanding local perceptions of alcohol misuse and knowledge and willingness to access support services. We selected Meadows Communications because of their social marketing experience and familiarity in conducting research on sensitive subjects with participants who may be vulnerable.  During this project Meadows Communications spoke with a broad cross-section of stakeholders and their inclusive approach was particularly valued. Their combination of recruitment techniques help to ensure we reached beyond the usual easy-to-reach research participants. As a result of their probing questioning and careful analysis the Public Health Team have been provided with intelligent insights to shape the way we think about the services we provide and our messages about alcohol. It has been extremely valuable to take an alcohol-specific focus rather than looking at alcohol as part of substance-misuse in general as there are important differences in the way the public frame the issue. The project was delivered in budget, and on time ,and we would happily recommend Meadows Communications to other commissioners.”
Carol Foley, Public Health Development Commissioner, Isle of Wight

Amy has also led two other social marketing audience insight projects on the Isle of Wight that have informed strategic and implementation plans. In 2012, the project focused on identifying the messages and services that would support women under 25 to take up breastfeeding and to stop smoking. In 2007, the focus was on exploring the factors that influence obesity and exercise participation amongst adults. For each project we produced intervention recommendations based on the research findings and devised a process for engaging with local stakeholders to ensure a collaborative approach to implementation.