The Brief

MIH Solutions was chosen by SYNLAB UK & Ireland in 2020 as its trusted partner for communications and PR. SYNLAB has a clear vision that, by 2027, it will be recognised as the UK’s leading laboratory diagnostics organisation which has people, quality and innovation consistently at its heart.  

SYNLAB has four NHS pathology partnerships across the UK - Synnovis in south east London, The Christie Pathology Partnership (CPP) in Manchester, Southwest Pathology Services (SPS) in Taunton and Pathology First (PF) in Essex. These, together with SYNLAB Laboratory Services and Lextox, form SYNLAB UK & Ireland. 

As SYNLAB UK&I continued to grow, its leadership team had a strong desire for colleagues to feel better connected and engaged across their six services, as well to raise the profile of the business externally. MIH was commissioned to provide ultra-flexible communications and engagement services in lieu of in-house resources.  

As well as day-to-day communications and PR provision, MIH was asked to support a variety of significant change and transformation programmes.  

What we did

The team at MIH delivered a plethora of solutions during more than three years supporting SYNLAB. During that time we have created and delivered everything from strategy, stakeholder management, newsletters, interactive virtual PR and engagement events, through to video, motion graphics and social media. We’ve facilitated annual staff feedback surveys, multi-service digital roadshows and the SYNLAB Excellence Awards event. Through these channels we have been able to amplify the great work underway across all SYNLAB UK&I service areas. 

SYNLAB initially chose to work with us because of our NHS/healthcare expertise, knowledge and experience, which has proved invaluable to Synnovis in its ongoing work to transform pathology services in south east London, as part of a pathology partnership with the NHS. It is one of the largest pathology transformations in UK healthcare history. 

Our communications and engagement activity at Synnovis extended across the breadth of the NHS and the local Integrated Care System, including GPs, primary and community care, acute hospitals, mental health and other providers, commissioners, regional and national regulators and other bodies. We have developed positive relationships and work hand in hand with NHS leaders and communications services to ensure maximum reach and impact of Synnovis key messaging to NHS colleagues. 

We have also been able to support SYNLAB UK&I on those few occasions where things haven’t gone to plan. Experienced in crisis handling and media liaison, our team was responsive and able to scale up support when required, to protect reputations across all UK&I service areas.  

Other work has included: 

  • Leadership and delivery of digital communications, including social, web, e-newsletters and  online engagement sessions 

  • Planning, co-ordination and delivery of staff recognition events 

  • Brand development and management across all service areas 

  • Development and launch of the new Synnovis brand including design of promotional assets to support brand launch 

  • Development and launch of SYNLAB UK&I’s  new purpose, vision, values and strategic priorities, including design and creation of supporting assets 

  • Suite of photography for use across web, social media and printed assets 

By building relationships and working as a trusted partner, MIH acted as a seamless extension of SYNLAB’s leadership team. The Chief Executive Officer said of us: “I particularly appreciate how the team at MIH cares about our organisation as much as we do, so that SYNLAB’s needs are always at the heart of everything they do for us.” 

We were entirely supportive of SYNLAB’s long-term vision to bring leadership of its communications function in-house, utilising the foundations we helped to put in place. Once the new UK&I Communications and Marketing Director was in post, we played a key role in bringing them up to speed and ensuring a smooth and seamless handover process towards self-sufficiency. 

The result

Outsourcing integrated communications support has had a profound impact on SYNLAB’s overall communications approach and its outcomes. Working with MIH meant SYNLAB had access to an experienced team who bring a wealth of knowledge in public relations, communications and digital media which helped us to maintain a strong and consistent brand across the SYNLAB service areas. With our experts overseeing communications, we ensured that all SYNLAB messaging was clear, cohesive and aligned with the business’s strategic goals. This not only improved internal and external communications practices, but also minimised the risk of inconsistent or contradictory messages being conveyed to different stakeholders. 

MIH always approaches its work with the end user in mind, which is crucial for building and maintaining relationships with stakeholders, employees and partners. Through our in-depth understanding of SYNLAB and its services, we have been able to tailor messages to specific audiences and respond promptly to their needs and concerns. This has led to higher levels of  satisfaction reflected in the annual survey, Dialogue and through feedback from our external stakeholders.