WhatsApp - a tool for CPD

Nathan Brookes shares his team’s experience of using the social media to enhance communication and development

Nathan Brookes WhatsApp - a tool for CPD

Working in musculoskeletal physiotherapy is a challenge. 

In such a busy environment, the opportunities to communicate with colleagues and reflect on practise can be limited. 

Recent cost saving and waiting list pressures have forced many departments to reduce the time spent on meetings and journal clubs. 

I noticed this change in my own department and in September 2016 set up an MSK WhatsApp* group. The aim of the group was to improve communication and to create a central place for team continuing professional development and service development. 

Initial concerns related to confidentiality, appropriate use of the group and how the content would be stored and managed.

Taking this into consideration, I shared the trust’s social media policy and invited the physiotherapy manager to be an active member of the group.

Since September 2016, we have sent more than 3,000 messages and shared more than 300 links to research, blogs and podcasts. 

These links are collated in the ‘links’ section of the app and can be accessed at any time- creating our own CPD library. 

In addition, messages/links can be ‘starred’ which enables the sender to collate their personal contributions- perfect for the daunting challenge of the HCPC audit.

Feedback from the team has been consistently positive and the group is used regularly. 

Moving forwards, increased pressures and reduced budgets are inevitable. 

My hope is that by utilising technology, we can work smarter and continue to support quality patient care. 

*WhatsApp is an end to end encrypted messaging tool which allows users to message and share photos, videos and links.

  • Nathan Brookes, is a CFS/MSK physiotherapist and CSP representative at Salford Royal NHS Trust

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