NHS staff told they’re not allowed to tweet about ‘political issues’ – including not having PPE

An NHS trust has been accused of "gagging" its staff by asking them not to tweet about "political issues" such as "PPE, testing and exit strategies".

Workers at the Norfolk and Suffolk mental health trust were issued guidance on "Covid-19 suggested subjects for tweets" as part of a staff newsletter.

Acceptable tweets included praising staff for their hard work, volunteering to move departments, working over the weekend and keeping people safe.

The Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust faced backlash over their definition of a "political issue" after an extract from the newsletter was posted to Twitter by the Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk.

The trust was accused of attempting to "gag" its staff.

A spokesperson for The Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust told us:

In response to requests for guidance from our staff who are new to social media we produced guidelines to help support them. Our staff are keen to reassure the public and celebrate the work of their colleagues during the Covid-19 pandemic and these suggestions were intended to support them to do that.

We actively encourage our staff to use social media within the remit of our social media policy. It was never the intention to deter staff from giving their own views on these issues.

According to government figures, 27 NHS staff members have died nationwide while fighting Covid-19.

Why some NHS workers have not had proper access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing have been some of the key questions levelled at the government over its handling of the coronavirus crisis.

The least we can expect NHS frontline staff to do is talk about it.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)