Richard Gurney - Locality Team Manager, Leeds & York Partnership Foundation Trust

Hi everyone, I’m Richard from LYPFT.  An OT by profession and locality clinical team manager.  This is my blog about the learning I’ve undertaken for the Digital Practitioner program.

I decided to look at the Social media learning package. I consider myself to be fairly tech savvy but I’m a little one dimensional when it comes to social media. In my personal life I use Facebook and Instagram to keep in touch with people and I have twitter and Linkedin accounts which I hardly ever look at. Professionally we don’t use any as a team although as an organisation we do have accounts on most platforms. When I reflected on my social media usage at work I realised the only time I really talk about social media is when I do staff inductions and talk through the social media policy. Conversely the people who access my service use social media more and more. I definitely need to learn more!

I started by reading through the learning materials online. There were some very interesting and useful bits of information about do’s and don’ts of using social media at work both for personal and professional use. I particularly like basic rule that if you wouldn’t say it in the canteen, don’t say it on social media, (not that we have a canteen lol). The other bit of advice that resonated with me was that it’s ok not to respond to every comment or request made on your social media site and it’s ok to direct people to normal communication channels. The civil service guidelines stated that you must identify the source of any comment before you respond to ensure it isn’t a journalist or blogger attempting to get information. I’d never really thought of that.

I went on to look at how you can use twitter to enhance your professional interface with staff, service users and the public. Like I said above, I’ve had a twitter account for ages but never really used it much. I read through the guides on how to use it and took to the web! I’m a little ahead of the game because I have an account, some flowers and some people I follow. So I started by making a twitter list to separate my personal (mainly sports related) posts and my professional interests posts. It was a bit like a revelation, it’s so much easier to know where to look for information rather than scrolling through a massive wall of posts.  I’ve done a little bit of re tweeting and commented on a few things now. It’s exciting stuff!

Having a greater understanding of how the different social media platforms work and what they are used for will defo be useful. I need to play with them all further and get a better working knowledge. As for the impact on service users, well I’m not sure. I’m leading on a project to create a locality Facebook page and now I’m wondering if we need to think about Twitter too. I think it’ll be great for sharing information but we need to make sure that people use the traditional communication methods to get help in a crisis. 

Find Richard on twitter @rhgurney