Staff Use of Social Media Policy

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1 Staff Use of Social Media Policy Printed copies must not be considered the definitive version DOCUMENT POLICY NO. 11 CONTROL Policy Group Information Governance and Security Author John Version No. 3.0 Glendinning, Jim Beattie, Rachel Hinchliffe, Andrew Turner Reviewer Medical Director Implementation May 2013 Date Scope (Applicability) Board wide Next review date Mar 2015 Status Approved Last review date Aug 2010 Approved By APF April 2013

2 Page 2 of 7 Pages TABLE OF CONTENTS Contents 1. INTRODUCTION 3 2. SOCIAL MEDIA AND NETWORKING 3 a. Content 3 b. Disclaimer 4 3. Professional Regulations Error! Bookmark not defined. 4. Breach of policy 4 5. Conflict of Interest 4 6. Media contacts 5 7. Review period 5 Appendix 1 Guidance on personal use 6 Appendix 2 Guidance on corporate use 7

3 Page 3 of 7 Pages 1. INTRODUCTION a. NHS Dumfries & Galloway recognises that the use of social media is an increasingly common and acceptable means of communication. It will be used as an information conduit for staff, patients and the public. b. This policy has been developed to provide clarification and to remind all employees of NHS Dumfries & Galloway of their responsibilities and accountability with regard to their use of social media. c. NHS Dumfries & Galloway recognises that staff may wish to contribute to conversations and blogs using this media. It has a right, however, to expect that staff will respect the organisation when using social media sites. If a member of staff wishes to express adverse comments about the organisation or other members of staff then the existing procedures (Whistle Blowing and Grievance) should be used. 2. SOCIAL MEDIA AND NETWORKING a. Content i. This part of the policy and procedures in it apply to content that you publish on the internet (e.g. your contributions to blogs, message boards and social networking or content-sharing sites) even if created, updated, modified or contributed to outside of working hours or when using personal IT systems (computers, laptops, tablets and mobile and smart phones). ii. NHS Dumfries & Galloway recognises that in you may wish to publish personal content on the internet. For the avoidance of doubt, such activities are expressly prohibited during work time or using NHS Dumfries & Galloway s systems. iii. If you post any content to the internet, written, vocal or visual, which identifies, or could identify, you as a member of NHS Dumfries & Galloway staff and/or you discuss your work or anything related to NHS Dumfries & Galloway or its business, service users or staff, NHS Dumfries & Galloway expects you, at all times, to conduct yourself appropriately and in a manner which is consistent with your contract of employment and with NHS Dumfries & Galloway s policies and procedures. It should be noted that simply revealing your name or a visual image of yourself could be sufficient to identify you as an individual who works for NHS Dumfries & Galloway. iv. Staff should always remember that posting messages in social media is similar to posting a message on a notice board. Social media sites are intended to be accessed by everyone not just an invited few. v. NHS Dumfries & Galloway staff are specifically prohibited from opening a web or social media site which may be construed as being on behalf of the organisation unless express permission has been obtained from the Board s Communications Team. vi. The official Dumfries & Galloway Health Board Facebook and Twitter content is managed solely by the NHS Dumfries & Galloway Communications team.

4 Page 4 of 7 Pages b. Disclaimer i. If comments on a social networking site or a blog posting clearly identifies that you work for NHS Dumfries & Galloway and you express any idea or opinion then you should add a disclaimer such as "these are my own personal views and not those of NHS Dumfries & Galloway". ii. 3. PROFESSIONAL REGULATIONS a. Employees who are regulated by a professional regulatory body, e.g. Doctors, Nurses, Midwives and Allied Health Professionals are subject to professional rules and standards of conduct. They must therefore be mindful of their personal accountabilities when exchanging information, including audio-visual information, on social networking sites. Further information is available on the BMA and NMC websites for staff within these professions. b. Employers have a duty to consider informing regulators if they believe that an employee s actions may have implications for the continuation of their professional practice. Similarly, employers will become aware of any proceedings by regulators against members of their profession. Therefore misconduct at work may lead to the professional regulatory bodies being informed. The body will then decide on a course of action. If that action includes a restriction on the professional practice of the individual then that person s employment may be placed at risk. c. 4. BREACH OF POLICY a. The following matters may be treated as gross misconduct capable of resulting in summary dismissal (this list is not exhaustive): i. Revealing confidential information about NHS Dumfries & Galloway in a personal online posting. This might include revealing information relating to NHS Dumfries & Galloway s patients, clients, business plans, policies, staff, financial information or internal discussions. Consult your manager if you are unclear about what might be confidential. ii. Criticising or embarrassing NHS Dumfries & Galloway, its clients or its staff in a public forum (including any website). You should respect the [corporate] reputation of NHS Dumfries & Galloway and the privacy and feelings of others at all times. If a member of staff wish to express adverse comments about the organisation or other members of staff then the existing procedures (Whistle Blowing and Grievance) should be used. These are available on the Intranet. iii. Accessing or updating a personal blog or website from NHS Dumfries & Galloway s computers or during work time. 5. CONFLICT OF INTEREST a. If you think that something on a blog or a website could give rise to a conflict of interest and in particular concerns issues of impartiality or

5 Page 5 of 7 Pages confidentiality required by your role then this must be discussed with your line manager/departmental head in the first instance. 6. MEDIA CONTACTS a. If someone from the media or press contacts you about your online publications that relate to NHS Dumfries & Galloway you should talk to your line manager/departmental head before responding and NHS Dumfries & Galloway s Communications Team must be consulted. b. 7. REVIEW PERIOD a. This policy will be reviewed every two years.

6 Page 6 of 7 Pages Appendix 1 Guidance on personal use These notes are intended to provide a quick reference guide to acceptable behaviours by staff when using Social Media and Networking. Guidance for staff on use of Social Media and Netowrking

7 Page 7 of 7 Pages Appendix 2 Guidance on corporate use These notes are intended to provide a quick reference for staff needing to use Social Media and Networking as part of their business communications strategy. Guidance for staff requiring to use as part of their business comms strate

8 DON T Post anything you would not be happy showing to your manager or saying to your manager s face as this could be used as evidence for disciplinary or dismissal. M a k e d i s p a r a g i n g remarks about patients, s e r v i c e u s e r s o r colleagues even if privacy settings are set to friends only. Tag your name on inappropriate photos on Facebook as this has resulted in professionals being dismissed on the basis of their personal opinions and conduct. A s s u m e h i d i n g a comment behind a privacy setting or deleting a comment means it will never be seen. It s easy for people to copy and paste or take screenshots as evidence. Some search engines retain records of blogs etc Blur the lines between p r o f e s s i o n a l a n d personal. Maintain boundaries about who you Friend. BE CAREFUL As employers the Board is well aware of the growing use of social media amongst employees and have developed this leaflet to raise awareness of the benefits and pitfalls of using social media as a communications tool. A further leaflet has been developed for services setting up Social Media accounts. GUIDE TO PERSONAL USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA For NHS Staff in Dumfries and Galloway FOR FURTHER INFORMATION Contact Communications Telephone: (Ext 32752) Date: March 2013 WHY SHOULD YOU READ IT? These guidelines are to help you get the best out of social media whilst preserving a secure and professional environment and protecting you and your employer.

9 WHAT IS SOCIAL MEDIA? Social media is the term commonly given to webbased tools which allow users to communicate with one a n o t h e r - s h a r i n g i n f o rmation, o p inions, knowledge and interests online. This might be through online gaming, online forums s u c h a s m u m s n e t, newspaper website forums or sites such as Facebook. The growth of social media has given the NHS a new way of communicating with the public, patients and staff on key social and public health issues. With more and more people signing up to social networking sites such as Twitter, Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn and content sharing websites, such as Flickr and YouTube, the public now expect to be able to be contacted in the medium they prefer. There is great scope to use social networking as a way to reach audiences that are some time s missed by traditional channels. The practical application of such technologies by the Health Board is not without risk and there are many things to consider. To help staff avoid making potential mistakes and turning well-meaning social media experiments into concerns for the Board s reputation it is important that we take a common-sense and strategic approach. WHAT IS IN HERE? This document contains some guidelines to consider using any social media forums. PERSONAL USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA - DOs AND DON Ts If you can be easily identified on social media as having links to the NHS, by identifying your workplace as NHS Dumfries and Galloway then your behaviour there will reflect on the NHS, whether you want it to or not. You have no control over people s perceptions of you and you have a responsibility to ensure problems and issues at work are not expressed in your use of social media. DO Put a disclaimer on any account where you speak about your NHS role or the NHS in general stating that the opinions are you own and not those of your employer. This includes Facebook if you identify on there that you work here. F r i e n d o t h e r p r o f e s s i o n a l s / Councillors who you meet at conferences and events, if you are comfortable doing so. Understand that this disclaimer will not protect you from your p u b l ic c o mme n ts being taken out of context as the Press C o m p l a i n t s Commission recently ruled. Understand that as soon as you post in work related material on your personal account, you have crossed the line into t h e p r o f e s s i o n a l guidelines described above.

10 DON T U p l o a d c o n f i d e n t i a l information of any kind to any social network. Bring the Health Board into disrepute. Get into public arguments Bury your head in the sand if you re struggling to keep up. Ask for help. Take things personally. Allow your comments to be taken out of context. Think that deleting something makes it go away. Search Engines retain old content for a period of time and a screenshot will turn your page entry into an image file which can be shared. Set up a social media presence without giving c o n s i d e r a t i o n t o evaluation, capacity, safety, safe-guarding or reputation. Give an official opinion on behalf of your organisation unless you have been authorised to do so. Forget to check which account you are posting from if you have work and personal accounts. As employers the Board acknowledges the growing use of social media in promoting services and departments and this leaflet has been developed to provide guidelines to using social media as a communications tool. A further leaflet has been developed for personal use of social media. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION Contact Communications Telephone: (Ext 32752) Produced: March 2013 For NHS Departments in Dumfries and Galloway WHAT IS IN HERE? This contains some guidelines for services considering social media forums. GUIDE TO SERVICES USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

11 DEVELOPING YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY Regardless of the number of people using social media, they will not access your sites unless they have a reason to do so. To help you develop your social media strategy there are 10 action points which, should ensure you maximise the impact of your social media account.. Set Out Your Aims What do you want to achieve? Identify Your Audience Who are they? Logistics Who is going to manage your sites? Identify someone who is willing to take this on. Find Out Where Your Audience Is Where do they talk to each other and who do they listen to Complete a Channel Audit Find out what people are saying about your service on social media and where they are talking about you. Keep to a Plan Make sure you focus on the most important discussions and platforms. Develop Your Messages and Stick to Them What is your organisation s o b j e c t i v e s a n d w h a t m e s s a g e s h a v e y o u d e v e l o p e d t o h e l p communicate this? When you have your messages agreed make sure you use them on your social media platforms. Thought needs to be given to tone is it informal, chatty, formal etc? Integration Make sure your social media platforms operate as hubs each one linking with the other and ultimately driving traffic to your sites. Manage Performance How will you measure the success? Set clear and realistic targets. Don t Give Up A developed social media profile will not happen overnight. It can take months/years to grow and develop. Do not let this deter you. PROFESSIONAL USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA DO Always consider the H e a l t h B o a r d s reputation in anything you may say online. Use social media as a resource to keep up to date with current thinking and best practice or for engaging with local people. Adapt the tone you use to the social media channel you are using. Know when to get involved and when to back away. Avoid disputes. Feel comfortable in using social media to find out answers to problems and challenges but beware of how much information you reveal u s e g e n e r i c circumstances. Ensure you are fully aware of information governance restrictions and advice in this area. Ensure you have clear objectives you want to achieve before deciding the channels to use. Consider whether social media is appropriate or useful in assisting you to carry out your day to day service to the public. Market the fact you are there. People rarely stumble upon Facebook or Twitter feeds tell the public you are using them. N o ti fy a nd a llow administration privilege to the Communications Team when setting up a n y s o c i a l me d i a account for additional capacity and to oversee content.

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