You may have seen recently that NHS England launched a new Twitter account to showcase patient and staff stories. It’s particularly compelling as it is planned that a new individual will take over the account every week.
This pioneering new initiative aims to lift the lid on the NHS through the voices of the people on its frontline. The NHS is rich with experience, with over 1.9 million A&E attendances last month and an estimated 300 million GP visits each year, so there’s plenty of content to discuss and share.
How the new NHS Twitter storytelling campaign is working
1. Project – the three-month pilot project was launched on 17 October in a video posted on Twitter featuring Dan Smith, a consultant paramedic at North West Ambulance Service.
2. Curators in control – various ‘curators’ will spend a week in control of the Twitter account, “holding a magnifying glass up to the system” in an effort to improve the way care is delivered by the NHS.
3. Campaign reach – to ensure maximum reach for the campaign, Twitter is promoting the NHS account to its 18 million UK users giving first hand experiences of Britain’s health service.
4. Patients – Richard Orchard was the first patient to take over this voluntary scheme, in future weeks patients will be sharing their journey with others for the week – with all its highs and lows of their condition and treatments.
5. Empathy – from patients to paramedics, the people taking control of the account will be sharing powerful stories and experiences that others will be able to relate to and empathise with, it can be lonely for some patients so this type of digital engagement can offer some meaningful relief.
6. Consistent introductions – tweeting will be done via the handle @NHS, and using the hashtag #NHScurator each person will be known by their own unique hashtag and start the conversation by simply using #HelloMyNameIs
7. Video features – the video featuring paramedic Dan Smith was its first tweet, his profile is also cohesively integrated and visible on the NHS website.
8. Educating experiences – patients share the details of what can be life threatening conditions, this engagement is further deepened by callouts to encourage people to tweet questions in advance in the case of Dan it was using #Team999 and he answered them the following day via video.
9. National projects – the NHS storytelling account is similar to national projects that are already run in Sweden and Ireland, so far it’s been well received in England, even heart-warming.
10. Healthcare insights – in Dan’s story he tweeted about his clinical role and the types of advice and support he provides, this really does help the wider community to fully appreciate the healthcare professionals daily working lives.
There’s no doubt it is captivating following someone’s story as they live-tweet their healthcare experience of the NHS particularly when they can equally engage with anyone on Twitter. You can follow Follow @NHS and give your support.
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