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Social media set to transform how we engage with the NHS

NHS England is aiming to improve its services via social media, bringing London tech start-up HealthBerry onboard to design a new app.

The firm has developed a mobile and web application that is claimed to enable the NHS, third sector and private sector healthcare organisations to measure patient feedback.

The aim is to use this feedback to inform improvements to services, promote self-care and listen and engage with patients to improve their experiences – all via social media.

HealthBerry has now launched its beta phase and eighteen hospitals and three GP surgeries have signed up.

“Social media platforms are critical to giving patients a say in how services are designed and reformed, as well as providing NHS organisations the chance to celebrate their successes and the great work of their staff, which will help build staff engagement,” claimed Dawson King, the company’s founder.

Social media plays big part in healthcare conversation

NHS England recently released “Putting Patients First,” its 2014/15 business plan, which focuses largely on patient, their families and staff feedback.

The health organisation hopes that its new social media guidance will improve transparency, health service delivery and patient experience.

Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Trust is one body to sign up for the HealthBerry app, claiming the app helps it to manage its presence on social networks.

“We’re aware of the role that social networking can play in challenging stigma, influencing how people view their health and care condition, how they relate to organisations and the choices they make about how to address their concerns,” the Trust claimed.

“We also recognise the importance of our employees joining in and helping shape those conversations,” it said, adding that HealthBerry provides a single channel to where staff can respond.