Our work for the Health Service Executive

The West North-West Hospital Group (WNWHG) is one of six hospital groups established by the Government in 2012. Each group comprises of six to eleven hospitals, with at least one major teaching hospital and academic partner. Each group of hospitals works together as a single entity, managed as one, to provide acute care for patients in their area, integrating with community and primary care. In the future these groups will operate as not-for-profit trusts.


This group of seven hospitals serving the west and north west of Ireland required an appropriate brand strategy, brand name and brand identity to speak to the Group’s diverse stakeholders.

  • For patients: it should communicate excellence in the quality of professional care.
  • For patients: it should communicate safety and confidence in the competence of all staff.
  • For the public: it should encourage ownership and affinity by the local community in the West North-West region.
  • For staff: it should communicate pride, affiliation and happiness at being part of the new organisation.

Brand Strategy

Working from the group’s business plan we developed and presented initial brand strategy recommendations for consideration, evaluation and decision by the group board. These included brand communications strategy, the types of name that we considered appropriate, and the general direction for brand mark design and brand identity. It was important that we would arrive at a solution that respected the names, cultures, and histories of each of the group’s constituent hospitals, each of which had an established culture and local identity.

We worked-through various possible brand structures with senior management and a steering group empowered the Board. Eventually it was decided that the Group would adopt a master-branded architecture that accommodates the names of all seven constituent hospitals.


Applying our naming process, we developed a detailed naming plan, which the steering group approved. We facilitated a naming brainstorm in Sligo, attended by a representative selection of Group staff. Having put the outcome of the workshop through our naming process we then presented a small selection of name recommendations for joint evaluation and selection.

We created a brand name composed of two elements. The primary element is the concise, emotive, positive-sounding name Saolta, derived from saol – the Irish word for life. The name Saolta represents the provision of excellent quality of professional health care at every stage throughout the cycle of life.

We helped clarify the descriptive part of the name as Grúpa Ollscoile Cúram Sláinte, University Health Care Group. The Official Languages Act imposes legally binding regulations on the use of bilingual and monolingual brand marks by public bodies. Accordingly this descriptor is bilingual, with the Irish text always appearing on the first line.

Saolta west north-west hospital group brand name brand identity brand consultant Martin Crotty BFK Brand

Brand mark design

Our creative team explored a range of viable brand identity concepts. We presented four concepts for evaluation by the steering group, who chose one brand treatment for presentation to the board. This was approved for design development and finalisation.

The resulting Saolta brand mark is the visual expression of the name. The three abstract dynamic figures in the symbol represent the fact that patients are at the heart of everything that the Group does. This contemporary brand mark presents the Group as an efficient, active, and innovative organisation.

Brand identity Saolta west north-west hospital group brand consultant Martin Crotty BFK brand