Mixed messages : an evaluation of NHS trust social media policies in the north west of England

Scragg, B, Shaikh, S, Robinson, L and Mercer, CE ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7848-3036 2017, 'Mixed messages : an evaluation of NHS trust social media policies in the north west of England' , Radiography, 23 (3) , pp. 235-241.

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Introduction: Despite National Health Service (NHS) information strategy promoting the use of Social Media (SoMe) to encourage greater engagement between service users and providers, a team investigating online SoMe interaction between breast screening practitioners and clients found that practitioners alleged discouragement from employers' policies. This study aimed to investigate whether this barrier was genuine, and illuminate whether local policy differed from national strategy. Method: The study used a qualitative grounded theory approach to generate a theory. Nine policies from the North West of England were analysed. A framework was derived from the data, and an analysis of policy tone followed by a detailed coding of policy content was undertaken. Comparative analysis continued by reviewing the literature, and a condensed framework revealed five broad categories that policies addressed. Results: The analysis revealed the policies varied in content, but not in tone, which was mostly discouraging. Coding the content revealed that the most frequently addressed point was that of protecting the employers’ reputation, and after further analysis, the resultant condensed framework showed that policies were imbalanced and heavily skewed towards Security, Conduct & Behaviour and Reputation. Conclusion: Practitioners within breast screening services are discouraged by overly prohibitive and prescriptive SoMe policies; with these varying tremendously in comprehensiveness, but with a narrow focus on security and employers reputation; in contrast with national strategy. Recommendations are that policy revision is undertaken with consultation by more than one stakeholder, and SoMe training is offered for all members of NHS staff.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Health Sciences Research
Journal or Publication Title: Radiography
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1078-8174
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Dr Leslie Robinson
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2017 08:20
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 20:07
URI: https://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/37632

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