NHS Highland pop-up consultation

NHS Highland pop-up consultation

As part of its 12-week consultation for the redesign of adult health and social care services in Caithness, NHS Highland held pop-up sessions in libraries and village halls throughout Caithness, and in vacant shops in Wick and Thurso.

The pop-up sessions were part of a programme of engagement activity that allowed local people access to information about the proposals, which included the development of a care hub in Thurso and Wick and a refurbished Caithness General Hospital.

What we did

The pop-up sessions were designed to be very informal. Members of the public could just walk in and chat to senior members of staff about the proposals, on an individual or group basis. There were posters and information on display and the consultation materials, including postal surveys and flyers, were available in paper copies for people to take away with them. People could also get back in touch with questions at a later date if they wanted.

If people asked technical questions that we couldn't answer there and then, we took their details and got back to them at a later date. We also added the enquiries to a bank of FAQs.

In Wick and Thurso the shops were located in central locations on the main street and were open to the public for a 2-week period on weekdays between 10am and 4pm and on Saturdays between 11am and 3pm.

The sessions were advertised on the NHS Highland website, social media, local websites and on posters in local villages.

What worked well

Feedback from participants was positive. The sessions went well and provided an opportunity for people who might not have felt comfortable speaking up at a large public meeting to speak directly to staff and ask questions.

During the 12-week consultation, a member of the community identified a potential new site for the Wick care hub. Additional pop-up sessions were held in Wick to provide information to the public about the new site, allow people to ask questions and to gather more feedback ahead of a final decision.

Key learning

The approach made the consultation visible at street level within local communities.

The informal nature of the sessions meant that people could pop in and speak directly to a member of staff about the proposals at time and day that suited them.

Information was provided in a range of ways to support people's understanding and ability to give their views.


Christian Nicolson, District Manager (Caithness), NHS Highland


Last Updated: 10 May 2021