A week curating @NHS

Posted by: NHS Horizons - Posted on:

Originally published by Bev Matthews – 22nd March 2019

recently had the real pleasure of curating @NHS Twitter account. The main reason I jumped at the chance of curating @NHS is because I think social media is a great way for nurses to influence and having impact. So often we hear nurses and midwives saying that they don’t think they do anything interesting or that people would want to hear about – well WE DO!!  

This post is an overview of curating @NHS for a week, and reflecting on the content that received the most engagement. 

I work in a small team called NHS Horizons, which is part of NHS England and is lead by the inspirational Helen Bevan. Members of this awesome team work from many parts of England so every Monday at 11am we come together using a virtual platform called Zoom. We particularly like Zoom as it is user-friendly and feels as if you are close together. I loved watching the reactions to this tweet with people tagging in their own organisation asking whether this could be a good options for them too: 

We also host our Ambassadors’ Virtual Forum on Zoom, so that nurses and midwives can join from wherever they are to network, connect and prepare for each 30 Day Challenge. This is such a great way for Ambassadors to reach out and support each other; some have taken the Nursing Now England programme on across their organisation, others are still building momentum and working in smaller groups or alone. Zoom helps them to maintain their energy and ambition. During this virtual forum session we talked about the March 30 Day Challenge: to run a Randomised Coffee Trial. We are attempting to run the biggest global health and care RCT and we were supporting Ambassadors to gather sign ups: you can sign up here. 

As well as meeting some truly inspiring nurses, I also know first hand the power of Allied Health Professionals. Jane is a Speech and Language therapist and works with me to find exercises that can help with manage my chronic cough: 

NHS Horizons is a small, diverse team of people that supports change agents and builds change agency.  Leigh Kendall and I had the pleasure of working with amazing TB Nurses during this week – most did not use Twitter at the start of our session but were avid tweeters by the end! 

It was lovely to see them starting to think about how they could use Twitter as a way of working for the forthcoming World TB Day on 24th March: 

This was a great week for me to reflect back on my extraordinary career. I first started in health and care as a voluntary worker at the age of 16, and registered in 1986. This thread follows my career so far and is an approach I will be encourage Ambassadors to do from their Twitter accounts too: 

This post in particular stimulated engagement and interaction, with a 5.1% engagement rate (1% is generally considered to be ‘very high’, so I was delighted with that rate!). I love that people are interested in what we do in NHS Horizons and I am particularly proud as a nurse to be working on a programme that builds positive perceptions of our profession. If you didn’t read this post first time round then I hope you will here: 

During the week I celebrated my one year anniversary of reactivating my PIN with the Nursing and Midwifery Council. I let my registration lapse over 10 years ago now as, whilst continuing to work in commissioning, strategy and improvement roles, I wasn’t a practising nurse. I would encourage anyone with a lapsed PIN or who has not been practising for some time to consider this course – it was a proud moment to be back on the Register: 

Joanne Mohammed was one nurse who thought no one would be interested in her story, yet her blog is one of the most downloaded since we started the Nursing Now England programme. This post below had a 9% engagement rate when I posted it from @NHS – this is significant as it means it struck a cord with people enough to like, retweet with a comment or reply. It passed the “so what, who cares” test  

Finding your voice and then using it effectively are key cornerstones for the Nursing Now England and Transforming Perceptions of Midwifery campaigns. We are encouraging Ambassadors to sign up for this years School for Change Agents to further develop their leadership skill and agency for making a difference: 

Supporting and keeping staff within health and care is essential if we are to meet the current problems around recruitment, retention and development of current staff. There is some great work going on across London to support staff to develop and move across health and care but not leave the profession.Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent (who has since been appointed Chief Midwifery Officer for England) joined colleagues to launch Capital Midwife

Some of the myths and misunderstandings about who can be a nurse are built into us during our early years. Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England launched the gender neutral mini uniforms last week at her first CNO Summit. Our team in Horizons took these mini uniforms home and the children were delighted to wear them, regardless of gender or heritage: 

A group of us met with a children’s author Kerrine Bryan of Butterfly Books to start shaping a children’s story book “My Daddy is a Nurse” 

My last day on the account was International Woman’s day, a day where we celebrate and support women we know and women we admire. Whilst i didn’t post this tweet on this particular day, I can do that here. This lady is amazing and I ask every nurse and midwife to read Leigh’s blog and take just one thing back into your clinical practice and interactions with patients, their family and their friends: 

My final activity on the account was to retweet the Horizons team’s Tweets of the Week – it captures the activity of the team in one place and I love sharing it with Ambassadors on a Friday evening: 

I hope that you will continue to join me in building positive perceptions of nursing and midwifery by following me on Twitter and signing up to be an ambassador: 

So that’s a wrap – would I do it again? Absolutely! Yes please! Would I recommend that you give it a go? 100% yes – it’s a great experience.