Celebrating the best of both worlds


Creating an employer brand for a Northern powerhouse

When two become one

The Northern Care Alliance is an NHS Group formed by bringing together two NHS Trusts, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust incorporating five hospital sites along with Community services. These are Salford Royal Hospital, North Manchester General Hospital, The Royal Oldham Hospital, Rochdale Infirmary together with Fairfield General Hospital in Bury.

Created to deliver a high-quality, joined-up health and social care service to the people of greater Manchester, it’s one of the largest NHS organisations in the country and is focused on ‘saving lives, improving lives.’

Our challenge was to create an employer brand identity for this new organisation, that celebrated everything that was unique, exciting and positive about it but also enabled each of the four Care Organisations within it, to retain their own unique identities. It was a huge challenge and in order to rise to it, we needed to get right under the skin of this healthcare giant.

We started by doing our research

We met and spoke to people across all of the Care Organisations. We sent out and received 574 completed surveys, held 3 senior leadership interviews and 3 focus groups where we spoke to 20 people across clinical professions. This all helped to build a picture of who the Northern Care Alliance were and what it’s like to work for them. It also resulted in the creation of an employer brand proposition that was centered around the idea of being: Greater together.

This thought encapsulated everything that the Northern Care Alliance stands for.

As, by bringing together two NHS Trusts within Greater Manchester, even greater things can happen – for both colleagues and the communities they serve!

Greater Together alludes to the greater geographical and career-focused opportunities for growth and development that come from shared resources and support. It also reflects the personal opportunities for greatness that the size, structure and increased choice offered by the Northern Care Alliance brings.

Importantly, Greater Together recognises the individual strengths of each Care Organisation and everyone who works there, whilst acknowledging that by joining forces, things can only become even better in the future.

A united creative approach

Our next challenge was how to translate the essence of Greater Together across all creative, in a way that celebrated the joint purpose of the Northern Care Alliance, while at the same time allowed for the individual identities of each Care Organisation to shine.

We chose This is the place as a way of telling the many and varied stories that the Northern Care Alliance had to tell.

This is the place epitomises pride of place and excitement in the moment. It celebrates everything that’s being achieved and will continue to be achieved by the Northern Care Alliance.

Manchester and Salford have always been exciting cities, full of possibilities and ‘firsts’. And now, with the creation of the Northern Care Alliance, things are really happening for health and social care here too. So, this approach is all about celebrating the innovation, the excitement, the immediacy and the impact that you can make at the Northern Care Alliance.

Using colours that represent the various geographical areas and Care Organisations within the Northern Care Alliance group, we’re bringing to life iconic architecture and grounding all of this excitement in a truly northern landscape. We’re saying – this is the place where history is happening. Be part of it.

We created a suite of headlines that highlighted the multi-faceted reasons why someone should choose to build a future with the Northern Care Alliance. Each headline will resonate with its target audience and reveal a truth about life and work at the Northern Care Alliance. Together, they create a compelling identity that the Northern Care Alliance will own and can continue to add to and build on as they grow and evolve.

For the people, by the people

To encourage an internal buzz and complete engagement with the new employer brand we asked for volunteers from across all of the Care Organisations to audition to be our new brand ambassadors and the face of the new employer brand.

Truly epitomising the spirit of Greater Together, we then created a suite of original photography to use across all branded material, internally and externally. This was developed and rolled out into a useable toolkit with clear guidance, to ensure that everyone across the Northern Care Alliance understood how to confidently and easily use their new employer brand.

And this is just the start

We’ve developed a brand that people believe in and that has been embraced by colleagues – old and new. We’ve also developed a strong and ongoing relationship with a client that trusts our expertise and advice. We’re now looking at:

  • Designing and building a careers site for the Northern Care Alliance.
  • Developing branded video content.
  • Rolling out the employer brand across the
  • Talent Life Cycle.