In 2016 St John Ambulance decided to provide a sustainable source of income for the organisation through the purchase of a for-profit primary health business as the basis of their new Urgent Care Centre strategy.   


The announcement was highly sensitive and required detailed strategic stakeholder engagement planning to successfully communicate how the acquisition would work and why it would benefit SJA, its staff and most important the wider WA community. 


Hunter developed a strategy that mapped out every stakeholder across WA, detailing exactly how and when they would be communicated with to ensure they didn’t inform the media or union prior to the official SJA announcement via the media.  


Tactics included confidential briefings to key opinion leaders in the health sector, CEO video messages, social media strategies, FAQs, open letters, Ministerial and Opposition briefings, information packs, a video message from the CEO and multiple staff briefings to accommodate the 24/7 ambulance and call centre rosters. 


The strategy achieved every objective. 


Staff understood and supported the announcement as one that would ultimately benefit the patient. 


State Government supported the move as they saw it as a solution to ambulance ramping and have subsequently provided funding to SJA for the service and the union acknowledge the open and transparent communications and the support mechanisms that had been put in place to support paramedics during the transition.