They’re called health and wellbeing boards and while they meet at Town Halls they cover the intersection between GPs, local authorities and patients groups.
They also have a say on spending worth £3.8 billion – an eye watering sum in anyone’s book.
The LGA themselves say:
“Health and wellbeing boards (HWBs) are crucial part of the new health landscape, the drivers of local system leadership and will provide an unprecedented opportunity to bring together local government and health services together to improve health and wellbeing outcomes. Local system leadership is required to ensure that the totality of public resources are brought together to address shared priorities for health improvement.”
Okay, so what?
Well, many of them do great work but there’s a growing feeling that they could do better to use social media to really engage with the communities they serve. So we’re helping see how some social media guidelines can help.
Drawing up social media guidelines
We’re a bit excited that the LGA through their health and wellbeing board integrated care and system leadership have asked comms2point0 to take a look at how this could be improved. That’s a real chance to help connect those who are making the decisions with those who are being affected.
So, as part of this review it would be great to crowdsource some ideas and insight from the online community to help shape the guidelines to be the best that they could be.
What questions should we ask?
I’d be keen to understand – particularly from people working with Health and Wellbeing Boards – if social media could play a role?
If it is playing a role already, what that role is and also what success may look like?
Who should we be talking to?
Should we respond?
What could the benefits be?
What are the barriers?
So, how can you help?
If you work in local government, the NHS or have an interest in the NHS I’d welcome your thoughts.
- There is a #nhssm discussion on Wednesday February 12 from 8pm. Thanks to the brilliant Gemma Finnegan and her colleagues they’re hosting a discussion. Use the hashtag #nhssm to contribute. It would be great if you did.
- Feel free to comment on this blog post.
- Ask your council how they are using social media for their health and wellbeing boards.
Just lately I came across a rather magnificent link to the MOD’s digital guidelines.
As a starting point for beginners or for the more advanced they’re pretty handy. The US Army Social Media handbook has been around for a while and it’s good to get a British perspective too.
What do they offer?
Well, it’s basically a pretty robust framework that strikes the balance between common sense security and telling stories. Frontline staff are encouraged to go via the chain of command to tell their stories.
As the introduction says:
UK Service and Ministry of Defence personnel are permitted to make full use of social media (such as social networking sites, blogs and other internet self-publishing), but must:
- Follow the same high standards of conduct and behaviour online as would be expected elsewhere;
- Always maintain personal, information and operational security, and be careful about the information you share online;
- Get authorisation from your chain of command when appropriate, and seek advice from your chain of command if unsure.
There’s some interesting social media presences that have grown over the past few years.
The UK Forces Afghanistan Facebook page has more than 12,000 likes and has a social approach with shots of servicemen and women. There’s a big input from families which is interesting to see. The feel is upbeat and focussed on the safety of the soldiers, sailors and airmen. The cover shot of a soldier waving to the Afghan passing by is unmistakably hearts and minds territory.
A rather good Flickr page Defence Images gives a feed for shots with creative commons licences for re-use.
The Ministry of Defence blog is a useful round-up of links as well as news updates. It also covers the deaths of service personnel.
There are two voices that come through the MOD social media pages. First is servicemen and women themselves. Second are their families. This is less of a forum to debate and question the rough edges and controversy of war and it feels like a deliberate decision for this. But as a means for the MOD to talk to people direct this is an interesting resource that will only grow.
Of course, the great thing for those in the public sector is that the fact that they are doing it at all is a battering ram to break down barriers. After all, if the Army are doing it sensibly and with rewards where’s the risk?