The NHS partners with Twitter to help shed light on what it means to work or be a patient in the NHS

A pioneering new initiative to lift the lid on the NHS through the voices of the people on its frontline goes live today with the launch of the @NHS Twitter account.

A UK first, @NHS will see a different NHS patient or member of its 1.3 million staff become curator each week over a three month pilot and report first hand their experiences of the health service.

Watch Dan Smith, consultant paramedic at North West Ambulance Service launch the account.

@NHS follows in the footsteps of @sweden and @ireland, which hand over the reins to their government accounts to a different citizen each week.

The NHS is rich with experience, with over 1.9 million A&E attendances last month and an estimated 300 million GP visits each year.

To help ensure these fascinating NHS stories are shared far and wide, the NHS has teamed up with Twitter who will promote the account to its 15 million users across the UK.

@NHS curators will have sole control of the account and will be able to share their thoughts and opinions and engage in conversations with anyone on Twitter.

Richard Orchard, @NHS’s first curator and current non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer patient at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust said: “It’s been an eventful time in my life being diagnosed with non-hodgkin’s lymphoma and I’m looking forward to sharing my journey with others for the week – with all its highs and lows! I hope some of my experiences with strike a chord with fellow cancer patients, to let them know they’re not alone in this.”

Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer for England, said: “The NHS is a complex institution that touches all our lives but often we only read about it in headlines on the front page of a newspaper.  This is a fantastic opportunity for our much valued patients and NHS staff to hold a magnifying glass up to the system, so we can learn from their experiences, as we continue with our ambition to improve the way that care is delivered.”

Rob Owers, Head of News & Government Partnerships at Twitter UK, said: “This is such a great initiative from the NHS. From patients to paramedics, the people taking control of the account will be sharing powerful stories and experiences that others will be able to relate to and empathise with.”

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