How blogging helped to tell our local NHS story

BeFunky-collage (2)

Blogs are pretty simple and have been around for ages, so while ours is nothing shiny or especially new it has helped us talk about everything from dementia and falls, to sign making and nutrition.

Last year we launched a new blog space for sharing stories about the NHS in Gateshead and so far an incredible 28,000 people have taken the time to read them.

The NHS can be a big and confusing place – even in our small corner of the world – employing a vast range of disparate and different people who tackle all sorts of problems.

Aside from the obvious doctors and nurses there are more than 300 different roles in the NHS and as a major local hospital we wanted to introduce people to as many of our employees as possible.

QE Stories is our blog space for news, views and information about healthcare in our area. It was designed to be a less formal place where staff could share their collective stories about the NHS in Gateshead, by hearing from everyone who works in the system, providing different services and caring for patients every day.

So far we’ve posted more than 40 blogs from people working right across the trust from the chief executive to frontline staff, offering a fantastic insight into the lives of the people who work around the clock to help you when you’re ill and highlighting some of the less well known roles in the NHS.

While some of the posts have literally been about life or death issues such as spotting the signs of sepsis or delirium, others have been more personal reflections about caring for patients or explaining lesser known jobs.

They’ve become a very useful tool in our communications mix by providing a touch of personality and a direct link to real people, doing real jobs across the hospital. These blogs are an excellent way of sharing information, exchanging views and providing a different type of content for our social media channels.

As I’ve helped collate and support people to write their blog posts I’ve found the process interesting, inspirational and at times challenging. So much so that I was even persuaded to offer my own post on a typical day working in NHS comms.

Looking back over the figures and also the feedback I get from across the organisation it has reminded me that the most effective channel isn’t always the newest one.

Here are some of the most read blogs from QE Stories

Find out about Sepsis from specialist nurse Jane Flinn
A day in the life of a modern matron
Some advice for nurses on their first day
Behind the scenes of our surgery centre
Do you know about delirium?
Providing end of life care

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