We use social media to share important information and respond to local people and we welcome comment and suggestions from other social media users.

However, we have a duty of care towards our staff and this includes their interactions with people on our social media channels. We will not tolerate abusive or unacceptable posts on our social media channels and we will block or mute accounts which interact with us in an unreasonable way.

Unacceptable behaviour includes, but is not limited to:

  • Swearing and offensive language
  • Sexism
  • Misogyny
  • Racism
  • Homophobia
  • Transphobia
  • Ageism
  • Ableism (especially prejudice against people with disabilities)
  • Intolerance of religion or religious belief
  • Inciting hate or harm (for example, discrimination based on protected characteristics)
  • Harrassment
  • Threats
  • Personal or defamatory comment about individuals, including our staff
  • Spamming with content unrelated to NHS or local health and social care

Threats, harassment and abuse will be reported to the Police.

Sharing malicious or offensive posts on social media may also be found to be an offence under the Malicious Communications Act.

We will not notify people directly when they are blocked and we will not discuss on social media the reasons for this action being taken. If you are blocked from interacting with us online and believe the action taken to be in error, please contact us by email with details and we will look into what has happened. Please note, accounts that have been blocked for the above behaviours will not be interacted with by email. This does not affect your right to make a complaint.

If you are blocked from interacting with us online and believe the action taken to be unfair, you can make a complaint.

We also have a responsibility to local people to make sure that the information we share on social media is accurate, inclusive and informative, which includes the comments and information shared on our posts.

We will actively remove and/or challenge, where possible, false information. Accounts that spread misinformation on our channels will be denied access to our social media channels.

Healthy debate is welcomed and we always welcome discussion and feedback on local services. However, false and dangerous claims can cost lives and we cannot allow them to be spread using our channels, which is why we are committed to making sure they are a source of information you can trust.