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Social media and email

The right for colleagues to be treated with respect and to be free from bullying, undermining and rudeness, extends across all forms of communication.

The temptation when using ‘depersonalised’ forms of communication is that courtesy and respect can easily be forgotten. In some ways communicating sensitively by email is even more challenging. 

The GMC has guidance on the use of social media which is useful for all healthcare professionals.

Top tips

  • Hold difficult conversations in person
  • Pay particular attention to kindness and appreciation in email correspondence
  • Avoid responding to a difficult situation or provocative email by ‘firing off a quick email’.  Instead consider delaying your reply so you can gain perspective and remove the emotion from your response.


Infographic: Getting your message across: email or phone?

Civility Saves Lives infographic: "Getting your message across: Email or phone?"

See this and more infographics by Civility Saves Lives at