Tweet-tweet! There's an ambulance in your street

Public follow NEAS crew on a typical shift

An estimated 46,000 people logged on to follow the activity of a NEAS ambulance crew on a typical day in December.

Tweets were generated live from the Hawkey's Lane ambulance by the NEAS comms team, as the crew worked through their shift.

The NHS's national day of tweeting was used to raise awareness of the pressures staff face during winter months - and promote the NHS "Choose Well" campaign.

Choose Well encourages the public to seek help from GPs, pharmacists etc. before calling 999.

More than 500 health organisations from across the UK took part on December 12th - with NEAS ranked 11th for reaching the biggest audience.

Tweets from NEAS made 46,314 impressions on Twitter.

Impressions represent an estimate of the total number of times someone could have viewed a tweet.

The figure is calculated by taking the follower count of a user and adds the followers of any retweeters to generate the total number of potential impressions.

The NEAS Twitter account currently has more than 2,500 followers.

Many of the tweets on December 12th described what type of incident the crew were about to attend, the nature of the injury or illness, and whether or not a 999 call really had been appropriate.

Naturally, no information which could have breached patient confidentiality was used in any of the tweets.

Mark Cotton, Assistant Director of Communications and Engagement, said: "

"Social media has changed the way news is gathered and reported. By using the support of a Department of Health backed campaign, we highlighted examples of both appropriate and inappropriate use of emergency services, and making people aware of the alternatives.

"We hope that our involvement in the tweet-a-thon helped manage people's expectations of the services they chose when they felt unwell."

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Copyright 2011 North East Ambulance Service Trust

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