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Vanity videos

August 29, 2013

You Tube clips by Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs)

Just been invited to view An intro to NHS Leeds South and East CCG (click here), an information video about how CCGs buy NHS services on patients’ behalf. Seemed rather patronising, but public involvement is important, and the video wasn’t aimed at me, so maybe it’s OK. With this Twitter push from GPonline (click here) it’s had 956 views in a month.

“Great watch, all CCGs need one of these! @NHSLeedsSE: our fab animation that explains what a CCG is & what we do http://bit.ly/170J5ig

It set me wondering how many CCGs are spending money this way, and whether anyone’s watching. Do all 212 CCGs “need one of these”? At least 16 already have one (table), of which Leeds S&E is by far the most watched.

CCG Animated/Live/ Still Duration of clip (Mins) URL You Tube views Time on You Tube (months)
1.Leeds South and East Animated 2.5 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVkWWU8ffEA 956 1
2.Newark & Sherwood Live 9.19 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRPzMuRarP8 145 8
3. Rotherham Live 2.09 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qcjzs2xuiy8 309 8
4.Kingston Live 2.52 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hwv1OEVpNU 393 8
5. NEW Devon Live 7.25 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrcTzpu4Mf4 311 5
6. Nene Live 2.16 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWcqUhLggoE 262 7
7. Stockport Live 2.48 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynv6yPLPtUk 194 5
8. Wandsworth Live 15.26 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TI4WQdy8HVE 140 2
9.Gateshead Still 5.37 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVUhdaCXOYE 125 6
10.Dorset Still 2.37 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGWOhWKNyhY 106 5
11.Canterbury & Coastal Live 1.31 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59Kbcm0HC-4 97 2
12.Swale Live 1.43 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OMuZOFZJJc 80 4
13.Coventry & Rugby Live 4.15 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBotA-LHvaU 71 8
14.St Helens Live 8.58 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8cFnvnaRLM 58 1
15. Leeds West Live 11.55 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zr2WZLbSYFk 17 2
16.Tower Hamlets Live 3.51 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXfApo80zI0 6 2

They’re appearing thick and fast; seven in the last two months – perhaps the CCGs have all been told that a publicity video is a good idea – but their view numbers are tiny. Many You Tube patient information videos have upwards of 0.5 million views. For example a video about taking a child to hospital for surgery produced by Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Trust, Jasmine Goes to the Operating Theatre, (click here) has had 367,749 views in a year.

The CCG videos are all scripted, and mostly professionally made. Most consist of senior staff, patient and clinician interviews with voice overs. I’d be surprised if any cost less that £10K, even without counting CCG staff time.

If Leeds S&E keeps up the current view rate, that would work out at just under £1 per view over a full year, the others up to 50 times more. Commercial advertisers pay Google about 1p per view.

But it’s worse than that.  These are just the general information videos. Searching You Tube for “CCG NHS” reveals 978 more!  None with any more views than Leeds S&E CCG.  Only 40 got over a hundred. Most are in single figures. They’re aimed at the public but no-one’s watching.

Not all are professionally produced. Many are single camera jobs of a talk, clips from a conference, or even committee discussions. Packed with jargon, undefined acronyms and, forgive me, no cliché or platitude left unsaid. Even the speaker’s mum would struggle to watch some.

CCGs need to inform the public, but unwatched You Tube videos are the wrong way to go about it. This should be an easy bit of NHS waste to stop.

Jim Thornton

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 2, 2013 8:29 pm

    @NHSLeedsSE have just twweted “interesting blog/feedback https://ripe-tomato.org/2013/08/29/vanity-videos/ … video well received & costs significantly lower”.

    Good to know. LeedsSE video is certainly best value in terms of £ per view.

  2. September 10, 2013 9:38 am

    Interesting blog!

    But as the creative agency involved in producing the Leeds South & East CCG video, can we correct a couple of (pretty wild!) assumptions you’ve made about its cost and viability?

    Firstly, we don’t know about anyone else’s costs, but ours are definitely less than the £10,000 you’ve estimated. Much, much, much less.

    (We’ve just done some calculations in the office, and reckon that the video costs about the same as producing and mailing an A4 publicity leaflet to 10,000 homes – and who knows how many of them are read. That means that, at the current rate of clicks, it would be a cost-effective way to reach people, just on YouTube.)

    But the second (massive!) assumption you make is that YouTube is the only place to see the video, when it’s primarily designed to be played in surgeries, health centres, local meetings, community events and public engagement exercises. Counting YouTube stats and calling that the total audience for the video is – if you don’t mind us saying so – pretty bad science.

    So, yes, we agree with you that there’s no point making videos that no one’s watching.

    But we think there’s real value in presenting information to the public in cost-effective ways that will engage them. And the feedback and views we’ve had about our animation suggests that we’ve done a good job in doing that for Leeds South & East CCG.

    Thanks,

    Gingernut Creative

    • September 10, 2013 10:33 am

      Delighted to be corrected. But the cheque Leeds S&E CCC paid to Gingernut is only a fraction of the total. Imagine the committees discussing whether to have a video and what to do with it now!

      I take the point about other outlets, and if other feedback has been good I guess that’s encouraging. I’d still rather read a book while waiting for the GP to return from the local CCG committee!

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