Case Study: NHS Skills Surgery

NHS Skills Surgery

The Client:

'Workforce and Organisational Development' is a department within Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, NHS Wales. Partnering with the Welsh Language Unit, their aim with this project was to create educational videos aimed at school pupils.

We got involved because:

Over the last 5 years we've produced a wide range of bilingual (Cymraeg/English) animations for various departments within NHS Wales (plus additional print work). Importantly this included 10 animations that we were commissioned to produce during the COVID pandemic on all aspects relevant to the outbreak (Keep Your Distance, Wash Your Hands, No Taste or Smell - You May Be Unwell etc) for which we developed a health professional character 'Aneura' who featured in all the animations and on banners/signage across all hospitals in NHS Wales.

So, with many animations for NHS Wales already completed (for various departments), we were referred to the Workforce and Organisational Development department when they were looking for a studio to complete their animations. After showing them a range of the previous animations we were quickly commissioned.

"The quality of the work produced by Webber Design for the 'Syrjeri Sgiliau – Skills Surgery’ has been great.

The staff have been very accommodating and have really taken the time to fully understand our needs. This has meant that what has been generated has exceeded our expectations. As a bilingual company with contacts in the local community the team at Webber Design was able to provide the same high quality products in both languages. They were also able to provide an accessible version using BSL. The creation of the brand as well as the design of the materials has been simple and straightforward and from viewing what was generated it is easy to see why Webber Design is the go to company for this work.
Webber Design will be our first call with any future projects."

Geraint Scott, Head of Welsh Language Unit, Workforce and Occupational Development, ABUHB, NHS Wales

What We Did:

  • Bilingual project branding for Skills Surgery / Syrgeri Sciliau
  • Design and production of 3 animations with voiceovers and music beds.
  • Animations were delivered in Cymraeg, English and BSL versions
  • We sourced and recorded all narrators and characters in the animations - with Webber Design's Rhys voicing the narration and a couple of the characters
  • Design and procurement of a range of merchandise items including drawstring bags, water bottles, badges and notebooks to give away to pupils
  • Activity book to accompany the animations, tied to the school's syllabus with quizzes, puzzles etc targeted at a range of KeySkills levels
  • Photoshoots with NHS staff at a range of local hospitals
  • Video talking heads clips with NHS staff at a range of local hospitals

Branding Skills Surgery

The project started with the naming and branding of the project — 'Skills Surgery / Syrjeri Sciliau'. The project is delivered in primary schools across Wales with pupils from 8-11, so all our design work was targeted at that age group. Several ideas were designed but it was agreed that a stylised Stethoscope was the best solution for this target audience. 

We delivered several versions of the logo - this one below in full colour, plus a mono white and mono grey version, plus single language versions. There's also an animated version for each video/animation.


Animation 1: Roles in NHS Wales

* We will be showing examples of the animation soon, after the official launch *

Storyboard: The NHS provided us with draft scripts for each of the 3 animations, and then we set about the process of storyboarding. Our first storyboards were presented for feedback, with only minor revisions required by the client. This allowed us to quickly move to the next stage.

Character Design: The main aim of the project is to promote the wide range of roles available (healthcare and otherwise) in NHS Wales, showing young students that NHS Wales is a great potential future employer for them. This first video features a tour of an NHS Wales hospital, meeting various characters along the way who all explain their roles. Our first job then was to create illustrated characters for all roles, with each character needing to be 'riggable' meaning creating a base skeleton with moving joints in order for us to be able to animate each one. We also created a dozen visemes (mouth shapes) in order to get the characters to lip-synch the voiceovers.

The characters include:

  • Receptionist
  • Security Staff
  • Radiographer
  • Anaesthetist
  • Pharmacist
  • Healthcare Support Worker
  • Physiotherapist
  • Laundry Worker
  • Chef
  • Counselor
  • Drama Therapist
  • CEO

Cast of characters for animation 1:


We then had to create the backgrounds, props, furniture etc for each job role prior to beginning the animation. Here are some examples:



Animation 2: Primary Health Care Roles

This animation focused on specific primary health care roles within the NHS. These include Doctors, Nurse Practitioners, Dentists, Orthodontists, Optometrists, Care Navigators, Pharmacists, GPs.


Here are some stills from the animation:


Animation 3: Nye's Story

Nye's story takes us on the journey of Nye, a young boy from Newport who has a scooter accident in the part. The animation follows his journey with the NHS, from the ambulance ride to hospital with the paramedics, to the radiographer x-raying his leg, the pharmacist who prescribes his medicine and the physiotherapist that helps Nye get back to full strength.

Here are a selection of stills from this animation.




BSL (British Sign Language) Version

NHS Wales takes inclusion very seriously, and from the outset required that we produced a BSL - British Sign Language version. We sourced a local BSL Interpreter - Fiona from who not only offer BSL translation services, but also train BSL translators. The process is a relatively simple one - Fiona is filmed on a greenscreen background, then we key out the green and incorporate Fiona into the animations in post production.



Activity Book

To accompany the animations we've designed a workbook full of activities, puzzles, mazes and quizzes which are all carefully tied in to the school curriculum - and designed to allow different age students to all have a challenge at their level. Here's a selection of the activities in the book.






A team from NHS Wales is traveling around to schools in Wales to show the videos and encourage young students to consider a career in the NHS. The team wanted some gifts to remind the students of the animations, so asked for us to source some merchandise. We settled on Drawstring bags, Notepads, Water Bottles and Badges, all branded with the Skills Surgery logo.




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