Chapter 6


Image: Case Studies.

So now you’ve planned how you want to use social media in your organisation, take a look at some of the stories, successes and challenges faced by other healthcare organisations. And perhaps you can get in touch to share your case study with other users of this toolkit.

Here you’ll find many examples, including how Twitter turned one doctor’s ‘tiny idea’ into a national campaign for compassionate care which is now being backed by nearly 30 NHS trusts, and how the NHS Blood and Transplant service got people talking about blood donation.

1. It started with a tweet: how social media sparked a campaign for change

In short: The #HelloMyNameIs campaign was created as a concept and driver to promote person-centred compassionate care. Started by a doctor, who herself was a terminally ill cancer patient, the campaign was created to encourage and remind healthcare staff about the importance of introductions in healthcare. It has received the backing of over 30 NHS trusts and the hashtag had over 1.3 million Twitter impressions a day at the heart of the campaign!

2. Melanoma likes me

In short: Melanoma likes me is a digital advertising campaign that involved the creation of an online persona for Melanoma. Accounts were made for Instagram and Twitter, which made it possible for Melanoma to like, follow and comment on the social media activity of young Australians spending time in the sun. The campaign was created to raise awareness of skin cancer and how to prevent it.

3. National Blood Week ‘Missing Type’ campaign

In short: During National Blood Week 2015, NHS Blood and Transplant launched a campaign to encourage those who have never donated blood before to sign up as donors. To raise awareness of the demand for blood, they asked brands, organisations and influencers to remove A, O and B (the letters that make up the blood groups) from their websites, Twitter names and signage without explaining why. As well as generating a lot of conversation around the stunt, NHS Blood and Transplant successfully encouraged over 30,000 people to register to vote.

4. #OurHealthHeroes

In short: In February 2016, Skills for Health launched a social media campaign to raise awareness of the vital role the support workforce play in the healthcare sector. The campaign kick-started with a video that detailed the significance of the support roles in providing patient care, along with a campaign hashtag to encourage the public to thank the staff for the work they do. Skills for Health achieved over 100,000 views of the video and received the support of over 30 trusts and healthcare organisations across the UK. This has led to the creation of the inaugural Our Health Heroes Awards.

5. NHS Change Day

In short: NHS Change Day started with a single tweet in 2013 and has grown into the biggest day of collective action for improvement in NHS history. The idea is simple: think of a positive change you could make to the NHS and its patients, make your pledge on social media, then do it. Pledges have included a GP spending a day in a wheelchair to understand how disabled patients felt, and patients pledging to tell their doctor if they could not keep their appointment. In 2014 over 700,000 online pledges were made, with 86 million Twitter impressions and a reach of 95,000 on Facebook.

6. Nurses’ Day

In short: Nurses’ Day takes place around the world on 12 May each year to celebrate nursing staff for the work they do. Patients, friends, family and colleagues are encouraged to thank nursing staff for the care and support they, or a loved one, have received using #thankanurse. In 2016, the Royal College of Nursing also used #whyInurse for staff to share the reasons they do their jobs and what they enjoy most, as well as creating a twibbon and web page for thank you messages.

7. NHS Choir Christmas number one

In short: NHS staff beat Justin Bieber to the 2015 Christmas number one thanks to a groundswell of social media support – including from Bieber himself. ‘A Bridge Over You’ by the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir took the lead after Bieber urged his 72million Twitter followers to buy their single, not his. The choir recorded the song to celebrate “everything good about the NHS”, splitting proceeds between several charities. While it had already attracted thousands of positive comments on Facebook, Bieber’s tweets gave it an undeniable boost, finishing more than 30,000 sales ahead.



There is so much more to discover; to find further reading, and delve into other issues you may need to consider (such as talking to non-English speaking communities, social media monitoring tools and wider digital transformation) take a look at our further reading page.

Image: Resources.

Further reading



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