I have been delighted at the success of Big Up the NHS on Twitter and Facebook. In just over 6 months it has a Twitter following of over 10,000 and a Facebook group has over 1500 members. I am convinced it can make a difference but to have a significant effect it needs to grow. It strikes me that we need more people to get involved. To date I have done it all myself. This is fine but there is a risk it will be seen as a personal crusade where it really needs to be a national movement with a broad local base of support.
I heard on TV today this morning that the Mid Staffordshire hospital is struggling to recruit managers and nurses. Hardly surprising considering the press mauling that they have been through. If there was ever a case for focussed ‘bigging up’ it is there.
Big Up the NHS seems to be quite a strong ‘brand’. One way to build it would be to develop local groups dedicated to ‘bigging up’ smaller chunks of the NHS with a much more local feel.
I feel any such enterprises should be locally organised but their strength will be enhanced if they are coordinated and aligned with each other and the national campaign. They should share a common identity so some simple guidance is probably appropriate. I would suggest the following:
- Use the logo but modify it to reflect the local cause. “Big Up Mid Staffs” for example. I would keep the same format with the little blue smiley face available from Google images.
- If possible use a twitter name starting with @but for example @butMidStaffs.
- Try to keep to positive messages. It is easy to drift into negative stuff as I have found to my cost.
- I suggest you should not be strongly party political but you may of course need to make some political comment.
- It is probably better if groups are set up by individuals or informal groups rather than organisations. It would not have the same credibility if it was set up by the organisation it is promoting.
- We can set up a Twitter list of groups so we can all follow each other and share good news.
I am happy to maintain the list of any local groups if you let me know and perhaps organise a loose collaboration if things take off. I can also give advice on establishing a following and promote local groups through the national campaign.
Let’s go for it and Big Up the NHS locally as well as nationally.