The shortlist for the 2014 IPA Effectiveness Awards have been announced, and we at RWL are delighted to see that PHE, and their campaign partners M&C Saatchi, have been nominated for their Be Clear on Cancer campaign. The campaign has brought real change, in both awareness and behaviour; at a time when the NHS and all its constituent organisations are under almost daily fire in the media, that can only be good news, for the NHS and for all of us who care about public health and the health of the world’s leading healthcare organisation.

You can see what all the fuss is about here (though shame on you if you haven’t already had a look). A quick look at the stats shows that GP visits related to the campaign’s main targets, lung and bowel cancer, increased at a rate far higher than any other category of GP visit. Public health education really can have an impact on people’s lives, and if it’s designed and run as well as BCOC, that impact can be life-saving.

So the next time (likely some time today) that you see another piece of NHS-bashing in your preferred media outlet, remember Be Clear on Cancer and, if you don’t see a news item about it, ask yourself, or better still the media source, why that is.

Public health education is vital, and it works.