Social Media Policy for Patients

There are many social media platforms that are widely used by both staff and patients; these include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google, YouTube, WhatsApp and LinkedIn.

Coleridge Medical Centre has a Facebook page and a website, which provide a range of useful information for our patient population.

Coleridge Medical Centre has a duty to maintain patient confidentiality and to safeguard vulnerable patients.  You can help us achieve this by adhering to the code of conduct outlined in this policy.

Patients at Coleridge Medical Centre are expected to adhere to the following code of conduct at all times:

1. Patients are not permitted to take photographs or any media recordings in the waiting room or areas where other patients are present, nor are photographs or media recordings of any staff permitted without their explicit consent.

2. The practice requires all users of portable devices to use them in a courteous and considerate manner, respecting their fellow patients. Portable devices are not to be used during consultations unless agreed by clinicians.

3. Patients are not permitted to disclose any patient-identifiable information about other patients, unless they have the express consent of that patient.

4. Patients should not use any social media platform or messaging service to communicate medical information with the practice as this is not secure.   Any such communications will be deleted.   Patients must not email medical matters and associated information to the practice.  For data security and confidentiality, patients must contact the practice electronically using the ‘contact us online’ service that can be found on the front page of our web site.   

5. Patients must not post any material that is inaccurate, fraudulent, harassing, embarrassing, obscene, defamatory or unlawful. Any such posts on the practice social media outlets like a Facebook page, Twitter account etc will be deleted by the practice and the post reported.

6. Patients must not post comments on social media that identify staff who work at the practice.

7. Patients can use NHS Choices should they wish to leave a review about Coleridge Medical Centre; this will enable us to respond appropriately. Please see below regarding patient complaints.  Feedback and comments can be sent directly to the practice using the ‘I have an admin query’ and then  ‘I need help with something else’ section of our online services portal.  This can be found on our website.  

8. Defamatory comments about any member of our  team must not be shared on any social media platform.    Legal advice will be sought and the appropriate action taken against any patient who posts defamatory comments.

Patient complaints on social media

We have a separate complaints policy which patients must follow should they wish to make a complaint. We will only respond to complaints made to the practice in accordance with the practice policy. If a complaint is made on any social media platform, at the discretion of the practice,  it may be deleted.  In all instances where the platform allows,  a generic message will posted suggesting that you follow the complaints procedure  so that the practice has fair opportunity to investigate and respond to your concerns.