Social media guidelines

NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board (ICB) uses social media as one tool in its efforts to communicate clearly, quickly and in an engaging manner to people interested in our work.

You can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn. You do not need a Twitter, Facebook or Instagram account to view these pages however you will need a LinkedIn account to view our LinkedIn page.

Our social media accounts are managed by the communications team.


Social media content delivered by Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire ICB includes (but is not limited to):

  1. links to news releases, blog posts, videos, guidance and other approved, publicly available NHS material
  2. links to relevant information produced and published elsewhere (work of other NHS organisations, patient organisations, researchers, news organisations and others)
  3. this can include videos, blog posts, and retweets (RTs) from other social media users. (See below for our policy on RTs)
  4. interesting facts, quotes or observations related to our work
  5. topical questions related to our work intended to provoke discussion.


Tweets that we retweet on Twitter do not imply endorsement on the part of the ICB. We may retweet news, links and personal observations we believe are relevant to the work we do.

Social media as a source of official policy
Our social media posts should not be considered as the authoritative source of new policy or guidance from Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire ICB. Any change or evolution in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire ICB’s official position on legislation, guidance, investigations and audits will be communicated through more traditional channels such as official publications and statements on our website, speeches, and media releases.

Importantly, our decision to RT or share posts from other social media users should not be taken as explicit endorsement of any position or argument that may vary from Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire ICB’s current official position, nor should it be taken as an indication of a possible shift in the current official position.


Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire ICB’s decision to follow particular social media users does not imply endorsement of any kind. We follow accounts on social media we believe are relevant to our work.

This extends to following the social media accounts of companies and other commercial enterprises (and/or their employees) who comment on Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire ICB related issues.


We commit to updating and monitoring our social media accounts during regular office hours: 9am – 5pm GMT. However, like many social media users, we may monitor and respond at other times of the day. We accept no responsibility for lack of service due to downtime.

Replies and Direct Messages

We will read all @Replies and Direct Messages sent to us and, where possible and appropriate, will aim to respond to them.

Freedom of information requests, complaints, media requests and personal issues

We encourage you to follow traditional channels to make a complaint, media request or freedom of information request (FOI). Please note that we are unable to give individual medical advice via social media. Where possible, we will suggest where queries can be redirected or where further information is available e.g. the NHS website.

Contact us

Dealing with prolific and/or consistently negative users

We reserve the right to not respond should a user be overly prolific, consistently negative, or use abusive or offensive language. Where necessary we will take further action. If concerns are raised about the work of the ICB, we will provide a link to any statements we have produced in the discussion topic. Wherever possible, we will also incorporate social media into our communications plans to ensure we are proactively using this tool.

Staff using social media

Some staff use social media accounts under their own names or pseudonyms. Despite their professional affiliation with the organisation, their posts do not represent the official position of the Governing Body. For more information on staff using social media, read our Social Media Policy.

For further information about anything discussed on this page, please contact the communications team on 0117 900 2549 or