Frontline19 campaign shows NHS workers are sicker than their patients


‘Sicker than the Patients’ is a new integrated campaign created by adamandeveDDB’s Richard Gayton & Darren Beresford for the charity Frontline19, highlighting the extent of the mental health crisis gripping the NHS.

With research showing that over half of NHS workers suffering from poor mental health and with one in four NHS staff having considered suicide, the new campaign underlines how, in many cases, NHS staff are sicker than the patients they are treating.

Frontline19 campaign

As recent statistics reveal the staggering rise in mental health problems among healthcare workers, ‘Sicker Than The Patients’ aims to drive donations for Frontline19’s counselling services, so the charity can continue to extend emotional support to as many affected NHS workers as possible – whilst also moving NHS welfare up the public agenda at the next general election.

It follows the D&AD Black Pencil-winning campaign Hopeline19, which saw adam&eveDDB launch a free phone line dedicated to thanking NHS and frontline staff for their strength and support during the pandemic.

A two-minute spot shows CCTV footage of different NHS workers breaking down in moments when they believe they are alone and nobody can witness their true emotional state.

We see workers putting on a brave face and getting back to work as if nothing is wrong – an upsetting reality which emphasises how the need for support is more urgent than ever. The film ends with an appeal to donate to Frontline19 so that they can provide the support NHS workers desperately need.

Supporting press and outdoor draws attention to the severity of the symptoms that NHS workers are experiencing in comparison to some of the patients that they’re treating.

The multi-channel campaign runs on TV, cinema, social, press and OOH from 9th April. An activation featuring real NHS employees will follow.

Claire Goodwin-Fee, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Frontline19, said: “The facts speak for themselves – last year 6.2 million sick days were taken by NHS workers citing poor mental health.

“There is an urgent need for NHS staff to access our counselling, support and training to help them better deal with the trauma they face every day on the frontline.”

Ant Nelson, Executive Creative Director at adam&eveDDB, said: “It’s all too easy to forget that those looking after us need looking after too and NHS employees’ mental health is at breaking point.

“Our campaign highlights the vital support provided by Frontline19 and the need for this to be available to those NHS workers who need it the most.”