HR and social media in the NHS


16 / 01 / 2013

An essential guide for HR directors and managers

The NHS Employers organisation has published guidance to help the NHS realise the benefits of social media and implement a more permissive approach to its use.

'HR and social media in the NHS' explains that social media is increasingly becoming central to the ongoing effectiveness of the NHS. It argues that there is a need for a more open approach alongside greater clarity on professional behaviour and the importance of confidentiality.

The guidance provides examples to help human resources managers, leaders and communications staff use social media more effectively within their organisations.

It highlights three key reasons why social media supports high quality patient care:

  • Social media is used increasingly by patients to help them understand the growing number of healthcare choices and the quality of services available to them. The NHS should be helping patients find the right information online.
  • It allows the NHS to understand emerging developments among staff or patients more quickly and in more detail, including any concerns about the quality of care, so that services can be improved.
  • It supports stronger engagement between staff, employers and the public, which patients say improves the quality of care.

The guidance recommends some initial steps for staff and managers who want to start using or managing social media.

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