Using Social Media Safely

The LMC would like to remind all staff working in General Practice of their professional responsibility and accountability when using social media.

Social media is the term commonly given to websites and online tools which allow users to interact with each other in some way – by sharing information, opinions, knowledge and interests.

For example; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp and such like.

Individuals are personally responsible for the content they publish on any form of social media – if the content you are posting would not be suitable for an email or formal open letter, it should not be made through social media. Please ensure any content posted or linked to your personal profile is consistent with how you wish to present yourself as a responsible health care professional.

Organisations use social networking sites to communicate with a variety of stakeholders in a professional capacity, however, please be careful that the content you are sharing is entirely appropriate to the audience in which you are sharing it with, and that this audience may share it further.

The sharing of any patient information over social media platforms without the patient’s informed and specific consent, even if perceived as anonymous, should be avoided.

If you have any concerns with anything you have seen you should first raise it with your employer through their Whistleblowing Policy which is a requirement for all GP Practices.

If you do not think this is appropriate or this does not resolve matters please contact your Freedom to Speak Up Guardians.