Social Media and how we use it

These guidelines have been produced to help you understand how NHS Lothian uses social media.

This guidance covers various online tools which enable two-way communications. Social media can include text, audio, video, images, podcasts, and other types of multimedia communications.

Our two official social media accounts are:

These accounts are managed by the NHS Lothian Communications Department. If you have any questions or comments about our social media platforms please email:

We are unable to respond to medical questions through our social media platforms.

Posts deemed to be inappropriate on our social sites, including those using insulting or abusive language, or which contain staff or patient details without their consent will be deleted.


If you follow NHS Lothian we will not automatically follow you back. This is to discourage the use of direct messaging and to avoid spam.

Where we do follow individuals or organisations this does not mean that we endorse the content they produce.


We would like to encourage people who ‘like' or ‘follow' our Facebook page to get involved in conversations with us.

We will always remove any unsuitable content as soon as we become aware of it. We are only responsible for content uploaded by our Communications Team.

The conversation

We want to be part of the conversations that our patients, service-users, staff and the wider public are having through social media. By listening, and taking part in these conversations we can improve our services and gain more of an understanding of what matters to you.

Our social media channels provide, amongst other things;

  • General news relevant to our people and services
  • Media releases
  • Information about our health events, services and programmes
  • Engaging images and photos from NHS Lothian
  • Important health information
  • Sharing information from other health and social care agencies, voluntary sector organisations and our partners
  • Two-way communications with our patients, staff and the wider public.

We monitor our social media activity during normal office hours (9am to 5pm from Monday to Friday), and we will do our utmost to respond to anyone who contacts us during these times.

We do not routinely respond to social media messages out with these times.

We read all @replies and direct messages and ensure that any emerging themes or helpful suggestions are passed to relevant people within NHS Lothian.

Freedom of Information requests

We do accept Freedom of Information requests through our social media channels. However we will need you to provide an email address or postal address in order for NHS Lothian to return your request.  

Social media for NHS Lothian staff

A vast number of NHS Lothian staff are active on social media however we are not responsible for any of the content they post.

Our Social Media policy for staff is available on the NHS Lothian intranet site.

Last Reviewed: 19/11/2015