Practical Guide to Social Media for Doctors Launched

Our parent organisation has helped launch the first practical guide to help GPs navigate their way around the ethical dilemmas of using social media.

The new Social Media Highway Code was launched in the middle of March and has been described as "a practical and encouraging guide for doctors and other healthcare professionals who use social media".

Published by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) - in collaboration with and LimeGreen Media - it has been drawn up to ensure doctors make the most of their online communications whilst meeting their professional obligations and protecting their patients' confidentiality at the same time.

The document is a collection of practical and supportive advice based around a 10-point plan created by a range of people with an interest in social media including doctors, nurses, journalists, lawyers, students and patients.

It is intended to help and encourage healthcare professionals to communicate effectively using various social media channels whilst adhering to the conventions that their patients, their colleagues and the public might reasonably expect.

Since its launch healthcare professionals from all over the world have been providing feedback through Twitter, Facebook and the online forums on

This feedback has now been incorporated into the Code and there has been interest in adapting the content for education and other professionals.

For further information please visit the Doctors in the fast lane on social media guidance page on the RCGP website or download a copy of the Social Media Highway Code from the following Social Media page on the same website.