Early in 2017 we changed our name to SarcoidosisUK. The resulting name change campaign hugely increased the visibility of SarcoidosisUK to those in need of our support and the public’s awareness of sarcoidosis in general.
Online presence: A growing and trusted online presence provides a platform for information and campaigns which raise sarcoidosis awareness. The new SarcoidosisUK website has attracted an increase of 270% unique visitors in June-September 2017 compared to the same period in 2016. This was helped by running an advertising campaign using Google AdWords (using a Google Grant, at no cost to the charity). Since the campaign started in June 2017 we have more than doubled the reach of our adverts; over 160,000 people have seen our adverts on Google in this time!
Social media presence: Social media enables people to connect, share knowledge and spread the word about sarcoidosis. The SarcoidosisUK Facebook group has grown in membership by 150% since last year. We also have a steadily growing Twitter page and online forum.
Other engagement: There are a growing number of SarcoidosisUK members, fundraisers and support groups attendees, all raising the profile and public awareness of sarcoidosis. Up to September 2017: a record 27 individuals have been fundraising for SarcoidosisUK research and more than 300 people have attended our SarcoidosisUK Support Groups across the UK.
SarcoidosisUK has more than 10 information leaflets. These leaflets provide medical information on different types of sarcoidosis as well as other important topics such as fatigue and information for employers. More than 5,000 have been distributed across the UK and are available in selected clinics and hospitals. The leaflets are a fantastic way to increase public awareness of sarcoidosis in these medical centres. In addition, GPs and non-sarcoidosis specialists can use the leaflets to educate and inform themselves on the basics of sarcoidosis.
All of our leaflets are available as printed copies and to read and download online as pdfs. New leaflets currently being produced include Sarcoidosis and the Liver/Endocrine system and Sarcoidosis Nutrition.
SarcoidosisUK is the #1 sarcoidosis patient representative in the UK. We engage with healthcare professionals and the healthcare system at a number of levels to improve the state of sarcoidosis care. This advocacy work raises the profile of the condition - policy and decision makers are increasingly unable to ignore the fact that sarcoidosis deserves a much higher level of recognition and support.
For example SarcoidosisUK is currently sitting on two patient advisory groups, informing the development of important sarcoidosis policies. We are representing patients at a European level, informing the creation of new sarcoidosis treatment guidelines being written by the European Respiratory Society. We are also the patient representative on a policy working group deciding the commissioning strategy for Infliximab as a medication available to certain sarcoidosis patients on the NHS.
Healthwatch Plymouth recently published a report on the state of care of sarcoidosis in the south west of England. SarcoidosisUK is planning to replicate this project with our other support groups and their local Healthwatch bodies across the UK.
SarcoidosisUK are developing a project mapping sarcoidosis care across the UK. This will be used to inform changes to be made to improve the standard and consistency of care. It will raise the profile of sarcoidosis
Engagement with Healthcare Professionals
SarcoidosisUK has contact with sarcoidosis healthcare professionals across the UK. This crucially raises awareness of sarcoidosis in this sector. We are continually adding to our website information for healthcare professionals such as our patient information leaflets, Consultant Directory and FAQ page. These materials have meant SarcoidosisUK is a trusted source of sarcoidosis-related information for GPs, specialists and other healthcare professionals in the UK.
SarcoidosisUK have a close working partnership with the sarcoidosis multi-disciplinary team at Kings College Hospital in South London. This mutually beneficial relationship helps inform our informational materials, support services and understand how best to improve awareness of sarcoidosis.
Sarcoidosis in the News
SarcoidosisUK publish and circulate sarcoidosis-related news stories from across the web. We can track and contribute to an increasing awareness amongst the general public through local, national and international media.