Trying to prevent nurses and other staff from using Twitter and Facebook in NHS settings is “unworkable” according to the health management organisation NHS Employers.
It said many trusts had previously imposed blanket bans on staff from accessing social media platforms via their IT networks. But this was now changing because smartphones allowed access to social media whenever and wherever staff wanted.
NHS Employers also noted that social media should be viewed in a positive light and not just as a potential threat to patient confidentiality, for example. It cautioned that not allowing staff to use social media could actually be bad for a trust.
“A policy of ‘no social media use at work’ could affect an individual’s level of engagement with the organisation if it separates them from professional contacts,” the guidelines stated. “Similarly, a policy of open access to social media could increase their feeling of membership of an organisation by allowing them a space in which to ask questions and discuss issues.”
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