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Blog: Taking over the NHS…Twitter account

Date 3.11.2017

Each week, a different person gets the opportunity to ‘curate’ the main Twitter account for the NHS. This week, University of Northampton Childhood & Youth (Ba) student Katy Baker stepped up to showcase her social media skills. She blogs about what she did and why.

This week I had the opportunity to take over the NHS twitter page @NHS as a curator. Each week, some different ‘curates’ the account and shares their experiences with the NHS, their story and other topics that matter to them.

They can be a patient, medical professional or carer wanting to tell others about their job and other bits they encounter throughout their lives as a result.

I had seen other people being curators while I was campaigning and raising awareness about rare disease and thought that I would like to have a go. So a while ago, I found the contact information on the twitter page and emailed them.  After a few emails, I got to plan my week, send in a photo and have a chat about online safety. I really do recommend it!

So this week, I have taken over the page as a patient. I have a condition called Scimitar Syndrome which is a very rare congenital heart defect which also causes only one of my lungs to function. As my condition is so rare, I wanted to raise awareness of it and also other aspects of illness that people might not realise e.g invisible illness, mental health and support out there.

During my week I spoke about what my condition is, the film I made with the charity Fixers and the opportunities which have arisen from it, invisible illness and some support out there and I also got the opportunity to go to Northampton General Hospital’s heart centre where I attend appointments. I had a tour round and asked some questions. It was very interesting to go from a visitor’s perspective.

The week has flown by and I will be sad to leave the page because there is so much around chronic illness to talk about and to raise awareness. However, I have got some great opportunities from it including writing this blog for the University and going on BBC Northampton’s breakfast show on Monday morning. I will be talking about my week on the NHS page and my condition.

It was an amazing week which really gave me an insight on others people’s stories and that a lot of people feel the same way as me in terms of support but also what else needs to be done in order to make these people’s lives that little bit easier.

I also feel that medical professionals following the page really do value the honesty of patient’s thoughts because they always want to know what they can do better in practice.

Thank you to the NHS for making this week possible!

See our website for more about the Childhood and Youth course at University of Northampton.