News

How we use social media
Advice for staff, the public and the media

These guidelines have been produced to help you understand how we use social media. Social media includes various online and mobile technology tools that enable people to communicate easily online to share information and resources. Social media can include text, audio, video, images, podcasts, and other multimedia communications.

All our social media content is managed by the Communications Team at the Trust and you can email them specific questions or comments about our use of social media.

Below is some advice to our staff and also for the press and media.

We share lots of different information on our social media sites, including:

Availability

We monitor social media activity during office hours and will always to our best to get back to anyone who contacts us as quickly as possible.

We don't monitor social media out of office hours or on the rare occasions our internet service is unavailable. Core office hours are weekdays, 9am-5pm.

Our Communications Team sometimes attend events that take place out of these core hours and may tweet from these events to inform you about the activities taking place.

Queries which relate to items other than the events will be responded to as appropriate.

Replies and direct messages

We are not able respond to clinical or medical questions via our social media sites, but we will signpost people to where to get information, advice or support.

Our Patient Advice and Liaison Service can be contacted here PALS@colchesterhospital.nhs.uk.

Twitter guidelines

We follow users who are relevant to our organisation, for example health and social care agencies and voluntary sector organisations. We do not automatically follow people or organisations that follow us.

Following other people or organisations does not imply endorsement of any kind on the part of our Trust.

We use a number of #hashtags for topics that we tweet about.

Facebook guidelines

We would like to encourage people who 'like' or 'follow' our Facebook page to get involved in discussion on the page. We will always remove any unsuitable content as soon as we become aware of it. We are only responsible for content uploaded by our Communications Team.

Other social media platforms

We have a number of other social media sites including YouTube and Flickr. Both YouTube and Flickr are set up to host our multimedia content such as pictures and videos. These sites are linked in directly to our Facebook and Twitter to help provide a more interactive online presence. Content is managed by the Trust's Communications Team and we will remove any unsuitable or offensive comments about our content as soon as we become aware of it.

How to find us online

You can find our Trust on each of the social media sites mentioned by searching for the usernames below. Each of the usernames has been hyperlinked to allow those viewing this document online to find us more easily.

Press and media

We are happy for news stories to be taken from our feeds and encourage the media to contact our Press Office (above) if they need more information regarding a post.

Advice to our staff when using social media

Think before you type or upload a photo.

More people than ever now have access to the internet and choose to use blogs and social networking sites to socialise and express their views.

Whilst the Trust recognises the right of its staff to use such sites, all staff should be mindful of the impact that this could have on the Trust, its staff or patients if used in a manner that breaches confidentiality or brings the Trust into disrepute.

When you post information on social networking sites, think about whether it is appropriate to share that information. If the information is confidential and is about your service user, patient, client or colleague, you should not put it on a site. This could include information about their personal life, health or circumstances.

When a staff member clearly identifies their association with the Trust and/or discusses their work, they are expected to behave appropriately, and in ways that are consistent with the Trust's values and policies, the relevant legislation, and with the relevant professional codes of conduct for healthcare professionals.

Here are some links on NHS Employers website to various regulators and professional bodies' social media guidelines.