The Kings Fund


How does the NHS Work?

If you work in healthcare or the NHS, it’s likely you’ll have seen The Kings Fund animation: An Alternative Guide to the NHS. The original animation, created 5 years ago, was their most viewed digital communication, hitting over 2500 views a month. That was until we worked on the update last year.

The original was a tough one to follow but, working collaboratively with The Kings Fund team again, we’ve managed to explain the NHS in six and a half minutes, including all the new acronyms, Simon Steven’s ever-changing beard and the NHS five-year-forward view. After a workshop with The Kings Fund team and a lot of discussion on how to simplify this complex topic, we decided to go down the route of a pinboard. Not only are these commonly used across the NHS (you’ll see the blue versions covered with NHS leaflets and notices everywhere, from GP surgeries to hospitals), but they are a tool that is often used to process a lot of information at once (think Carrie’s evidence wall in Homeland). Using different coloured string and pins helped us to create a colour-coordinated pinboard that segmented the NHS whilst also connecting it all together to show the hugely complex landscape that is the NHS, all in six and a half minutes!

The video received over 50k views in the first week. a year on, it’s clocked up 142k views and is used in universities, inductions, training sessions, and anywhere else where people need to understand the structure of the NHS. The film has received huge praise from everyone involved in healthcare, and those outside of it. In 2018 it won an award for Best Use of Video at the UK Public Sector Communications Awards.

Below are a number of other explainer animation films we have made for the Kingsfund.

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