GREAT Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has reached 1,000 followers on Twitter this week.
It joined the popular social networking site in March 2011, and has been regularly using the site to communicate with the public.
The trust has a diverse range of followers including former patients or their relatives, student nurses, local community groups, GPs, health organisations, charities and local MPs.
Rachael Lee, Communications Officer at the trust said: “More and more people are using Twitter to get in touch with us and keep updated about our latest news and developments, not just at Great Western Hospital but also our community services across Wiltshire.
“We regularly get patient feedback which we can swiftly respond to whether this is a patient thanking staff on the Children’s Unit, or a patient flagging up areas of care where improvements may be needed.
“It is becoming a great way to engage with new audiences and spread our messages wider, such as encouraging people to Choose Well and think of alternative services before attending the Emergency Department, letting people know about fundraising events, and providing Norovirus information to patients and visitors.”
The trust found Twitter particularly useful during the recent bad winter weather. They were able to quickly share information with the public about appointments and services affected.
Rachael said: “One thousand followers may not be a large number compared to other organisations, but we are pleased to have reached this many and hope to continue to attract more followers in the future.
“Following the successful ‘Tweetathon’ from our Birth Centre last year where we tweeted live as babies were being born, we will be doing further Tweetathons this year, including tweeting live from our Emergency Department at the end of the month.
We are also planning to host a range of Q&A sessions via Twitter with lead Consultants and Doctors about topics such as Sexual Health and Breast Cancer awareness.”
To follow the Trust visit www.twitter.com/GWH_NHS