Its good to talk

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November 2nd 2016
Published: November 2nd 2016
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The morning began early setting off a 10 past 9, we went to meet Helena and Thomas who work with Communications and External Relations.

They work together in different units dealing with different teams, Thomas explained they all want the same goals and objectives and working together dealing with internal parties to have a better attitude and getting people to work together with better understanding and to also move forward with different projects within their organisation.

Thomas spoke about how they work to be transparent and make sure that they give information to anyone who requests it (with the exception of patient information and information regarding national security) and he also mentioned with any information that they give they must give it within 24 hours or at least give a response within that time frame that they are getting the information that was requested.

Helena started going into a bit of detail of what she does and the fact that there are only 5 people within her team and they mainly focus on the health care of the communications office, Thomas works with the News group side of their communications team he deals with press and maintains their communication channels such as Facebook, their external site and Twitter. Also the News group try to combat negative press when it comes to problems with their Healthcare or if something goes through the government that the press/public aren't happy about.

Here is a link to their website so you can see the kind of work that they focus on in their region:

What I also found interesting was that they mentioned that all managers have a contact person within communications so if they have problems with anything regarding wording of a presentation to giving a statement to the press they can use the right language and also make it very clear as to what they want to say, this also applies to anyone else although people within the organisation aren't as fortunate to have a direct person to go to they have support for said people, Helena told us that this support is open from 9am to 3pm on working days and again this helps to provide a quick and easy service for people within the organisation regarding their technology and communication issues. They aimed at making sure they help people within 24 hours from the time they called with an issue (which is always nice!).

Once Helena and Thomas finished with their presentation a colleague of theirs came in who is an editor of a website that they use for the public to discuss and find out about health issues that they might be struggling with, it is also a platform for people to discuss health issues that might be chronic or that they might have faced earlier in their life such as cancer or other medical issues. It also gives info on people to write about amazing stories like service dogs that have been trained to help their owners with specific health issues or disabilities, there was a story that their colleague told us about a man who had lost movement because he was in a car crash and had damaged his spine which again unfortunately caused him to lose movement, but this amazing service animal gave him help with shopping and getting him changed and was just a huge help within his life. There are many more amazing stories like that if you are able to get on their website and are able to find and translate a story that is on there! I would definitely try and read one! 😊

In the afternoon we met up with Karin, she guided us through how she wants to make Västra Götalandsregionen more sustainable and greener with transport and projects that she helps bring forward and makes happen with all the municipalities in the region. She asked about some of the projects that we do within Durham to help make the county and country greener and encourage more people to travel more sustainable, we discussed about cycle to work and setting up projects within schools to help and encourage children and their parents to travel more sustainable.

Karin mentioned the projects that she has set up and that they give their employees a chance to try out their public transport for free for a month and again try to encourage them to use it afterwards. With the different projects that they set up they sometimes give rewards and prizes for people who get involved and try and make things better for their sustainability, for example she mentioned that they gave free winter tires for someone who participated in their winter cyclists project. They also have projects for immigrants who are new to Västra Götaland to again make sure that they are coming into their region and are automatically thinking greener and making sure that they understand the importance for not only the community but for themselves as well.


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