Hashtag campaign is a hit for local health services

A Twitter campaign to share information about how to stay well during winter and where to go for health and care support was a huge success just before Christmas with results showing messages reached almost 250,000 Twitter accounts.

The #StayWellSwessex tweetathon, which took place on Tuesday 22 December 2015, was organised to support the national NHS winter health campaign ‘Stay Well This Winter’ which encourages people, particularly those in ‘at risk’ groups to have the flu jab and to take steps to keep well during the colder weather.


The tweetathon saw active participation from NHS organisations including Basildon and Brentwood Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Thurrock CCG, Basildon Hospital, NELFT as well as Essex, Brentwood and Thurrock councils, health and care partners and providers, fire and police services, voluntary organisations, local newspapers and residents.

Throughout the day, more than 420 tweets were sent and retweeted using the #StayWellSwessex hashtag. With some participants’ Twitter accounts having more than 100,000 followers, results show that the ‘Stay Well’ messages and the #StayWellSwessex hashtag potentially reached more than a million Twitter accounts.

Tweets included:

Basildon Hospital @BasildonHosp So far today 120 patients have been seen in our A&E, most need urgent care but 15 could have seen their GP

BB CCG @BB_CCG Help your nan and elderly folk prepare for winter. Gr8 Stay Well This Winter msg from Joey Essex

Another Twitter user tweeted: I went to orsett minor injuries unit last week and waited just 5 minutes. Great service.

John Leslie, Interim Chief Officer, NHS Basildon and Brentwood CCG, said: “The #StayWellSwessex tweetathon was a great opportunity to share with the public a day in the life of health services and our winter health advice. As one of the tweetathon partners we would like to thank all our Twitter followers for retweeting messages which gave a real insight into the pressures faced locally, particularly in urgent and emergency care services.

“We urge people to think very carefully before attending A&E. You may receive the care you need more appropriately and in a more timely fashion if you access other health services. If you are not sure where to go, simply dial NHS 111.”

Mandy Ansell, (Acting) Interim Accountable Officer, NHS Thurrock CCG, said: “A big thank you to everyone who took part in the #StayWellSwessex tweetathon. We recognised the impact that social media can have, but these results exceeded our expectations. The participation from so many of our partners, providers and members of the public in one campaign was a first for us across the south west Essex area. We are thrilled with the level of support and commitment on the day from everyone who was involved.”

Find out more information on the Stay Well This Winter campaign

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