Our social media principles – comment moderation policy

We want our social media platforms to be a welcoming space where people feel comfortable to talk to us and each other. Therefore, we ask that anyone engaging with our social media channels does so with courtesy, kindness, and respect.

The following moderation guidelines relate to our social media channels. This includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

These guidelines are in place to help create a safe place where you can engage with us, make comments, suggestions and ask questions.

  • We read all mentions, @ replies, comments, and messages sent to us. We can’t always reply to every message we receive but we will get back to you, or pass your message on, where appropriate.
  • We aim to reply to messages that require a response on the same or next working day, but we cannot always guarantee this.
  • We may ask you to send an email to us with your contact details, or direct you to contact a particular team, especially when it’s not appropriate for us to respond via social media. We do this so the right person can follow up with you directly about your question or concern.
  • We have guidance for our staff about personal use of social media and how we will support them with this.
  • We can’t discuss or comment on any individual’s care or treatment through social media, because this is confidential information and social media is a public space.
  • We won’t deal with complaints through social media. There’s a process to follow for making a formal complaint, which you can find on our Contact us page.
  • We can’t answer clinical or medical questions, but we’ll do our best to signpost where to get information, advice or support as appropriate.

We believe people are entitled to share their views, and we won’t remove a post or block someone just because they say something negative.

However, we will not tolerate posts, messages or comments which:

  • Contain hateful or discriminatory comments about things such as disability, race, religion, culture, sexual orientation, gender or identity
  • Contain swearing or other profane, defamatory, offensive or violent language
  • Are abusive towards members of staff or the public
  • Target a member of staff (we do take complaints about our employees very seriously; if you have an issue or concern about an individual please follow our Complaints process.)
  • Contain links to inappropriate material
  • Discuss illegal activity
  • Share someone’s confidential or personal information
  • Contain irrelevant advertising
  • Are mean-spirited or intended to cause offence or hurt

If we believe a post, comment or message directed at us goes against these standards, we may hide or delete the comment and in extreme circumstances block the account that posted it, and/or report it to the social media platform where appropriate. In certain cases, we may send comments to the police or take legal action in the case of threatening, libellous or defamatory posts.

Mental health crisis support

If you need help and support to access mental health services, please call 0303 123 4000. If you need urgent support or advice you can also call one of our free 24hr helplines:

  • Adults – 0800 001 4331
  • Children and young people – 0800 234 6342

If life threatening emergency please call 999.

Complaints, media requests, and freedom of information requests

We encourage you to follow traditional channels to make a media request, freedom of information (FOI) request or complaint. See details of other ways to contact us.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with us by emailing licb.marketing@nhs.net.