Social Media at NELFT
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. It also supports stronger engagement between staff, employers and the public, which patients say improves the quality of care.
NELFT use a range of social media platforms. We do this to engage with different audiences, share the Trust's latest news stories and events and to keep involved with the communities in which we serve.
Our social media channels are managed by our Communications Team. You can send any questions or comments about our use of social media to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note: we don’t provide medical support or advice through these channels. For urgent mental health help and advice, call Mental Health Direct on 0800 995 1000.
We monitor our social media accounts from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. While we may monitor our accounts and post outside of these hours when required, we may not be able to respond to posts or queries.
Social Media Acceptable Use Guidance
The Trust uses social media platforms, such as X, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram to provide information to people that use our services, their carers and the wider public.
Our social media channels are public platforms where we welcome views and comments. Crucially we want them to be safe places for our followers to comment, discuss and engage in conversation. As such, all published comments and the names they are submitted under will be visible for anyone to read.
We moderate all our channels to encourage constructive debate, manage abusive comments and remove misinformation shared on posts. When posting comments, please observe our community guidelines set out below.
The Trust Communications team manage the social media platforms. They are not medical professionals or clinicians. If you need help from a specific Trust service you should get in touch directly using the contact details you have been given.
We know and respect that people may have different views and experiences they want to share on social media, but the Trust will not tolerate or accept any form of cyber-bullying on our platforms.
We reserve the right to determine, at our discretion, whether contributions to our social media channels breach our community guidelines. We will take action to hide or delete comments made on our channels, as well as block users who continuously breach our guidelines.
We have a zero-tolerance policy for posts that are deemed as threatening, harrassing or discriminatory. We will remove your post and you will be blocked from our social media channels. We may screenshot posts and forward them to colleagues within our Trust, the police and partner organisations.
By engaging on our social media channels, you agree to follow our community guidelines and:
- be respectful of others who comment on our posts - you do not have to agree with what other people say or share, but please treat everybody with dignity, courtesy and respect
- stay on topic - spam, unintelligible comments as well as comments from fake accounts or bots that seek to hijack comments on posts will be removed
Action will be taken on comments that:
- promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age - we will not tolerate racism, sexism, homophobia, ageism or other forms of hate speech or content that could be interpreted as such
- are defamatory or abusive of any person, deceive others, threaten or promote sexually explicit material or violence
- use language that is offensive, hateful, harassing, inflammatory or provocative (this includes, but is not limited to, swearing, profanity and obscene or vulgar comments)
- breach any of the terms of any of the social media platforms themselves
- make any commercial endorsement or promotion of any product, service or publication not relevant to the discussion
- are critical of the department’s internal processes or colleagues, including naming colleagues
- break the law (this includes libel, condoning illegal activity and contempt of court)
- contain personal information in comments such as addresses, phone numbers, email addresses or other online contact details, which may relate to you or other individuals
- impersonate or falsely claim to represent a person or an organisation
- share disinformation, misinformation and conspiracy theories including links to content that purposefully spread misinformation
- mislead others and have the potential to cause harm to our users
We will also take action on:
- repetitive, persistent comments from the same user across several posts which aim to provoke a response
- repetitive use of links, memes or gifs that aim to contravene any of the above guidance
On Facebook we use filters to automatically hide obscenities and will use our own discretion to hide comments that go against these guidelines. Your comment may still be visible to you but will not be visible to others using the site.
In some cases, we may take action to screenshot a post/s and save them offline. We will store these in line with GDPR guidelines and in some cases, we may alert or forward posts to service managers, the police or partner organisations, if there is a need to raise awareness of the content or if it is to be used to support action that will be taken including an investigation.
Our social channels are moderated Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. While we monitor our social media channels, we cannot always read all individual comments due to the volume we receive.
The Trust will not discuss information relating to an individual on a social media platform – even if the case relates to you or someone known to you. In these circumstances we want people to talk to us directly, the Trust take your concerns seriously and we would encourage you in the first instance to talk directly to the service. If you wish to discuss your care or treatment, submit a compliment or complaint, you can do this by contacting our PALS team. For independent support, you can contact local Healthwatch organisations.
Hate crime is defined as any incident that is seen by the victim (or any other person) as being motivated by prejudice or hate towards their actual or perceived social identity. The law recognises five types of hate crime based on:
- Sexual orientation
- Transgender identity
In these instances where the law recognises any hate and harassment as a crime then action will be taken in line with criminal or non-criminal behaviour is described as actions such as offensive comments or images on social media or text messages.
The Trust has a duty of care to protect vulnerable adults and children that we meet or encounter from abuse and harm. The Trust have safeguarding policies in place which will be referred to if a safeguarding issue has been identified. Action on any content that can be deemed a safeguarding issue will mean that the posts/posts will be saved offline and passed on to the relevant organisation to ensure we retain our duty of care.