The task of communicating the nation’s healthcare fell to a Jewish surgeon from London this week, after rotating control of the NHS Twitter passed to a new master.
Transplant and Vascular Surgeon Jeremy Crane, who works for Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and spends most of his time at Hammersmith Hospital, took time out from Twitter stardom to speak to Jewish News on Tuesday – his second day on the new job.
“It’s exhausting,” said the senior consultant. “I didn’t realise Twitter could be so tiring. But it’s tiring in a lovely way. I didn’t really grasp how powerful it is. You say something and you can really get people going, even the mildest thing.”
The father-of-three was able to use the medium to showcase his team, his hospital, and even his youngest child, six-month old Eddie, but had to call on his collective cultural experience to manage an online broigus or two, when complaints came in that his team was too male.
“Some people took umbrage, there’s a bit of virtue-signalling going on, but in general it’s incredibly positive,” he said. “We’re showcasing the work we do and using it to talk about organ donation, prompting people to have that kind of discussion with loved ones.”
Crane said the power of the NHS’s combined social media interest meant, for instance, that he could get better data. “I put a poll out yesterday and got 4,000 responses,” he said. “If I’d done that using my own Twitter account, I may have got 50 responses, at most. So it’s an immensely powerful thing.”
— @NHS / Alice (@NHS) August 22, 2017
While the tweeting may feel like a full-time job in itself, his NHS bosses haven’t given Crane time off from his day job, which mainly involves surgery and teaching. “I’m in the theatre this week,” he says. “But thankfully it’s quite a quiet week. I may even be able to take the camera in and broadcast to the UK. Let’s see.”
— @NHS / Alice (@NHS) August 21, 2017