Following a tweet from NHA’s Dr Alex Ashman, the #PublicDuty hashtag has really taken off as NHS staff, teachers, emergency services and many others whistleblow on cuts to public services. NHSpace looks at the story behind the tag.
In the run-up to the 2015 elections, NHA’s then-leader Dr Clive Peedell tweeted about his public duty to tell the public what was happening to the NHS. Within just hours the message had been re-tweeted thousands of times.
As a cancer specialist with 20yrs NHS experience, it’s my public duty to inform the public that Tories are dismantling & privatising the NHS
— Clive Peedell (@cpeedell) January 18, 2015
The NHA party quickly responded with an organised Twitterstorm which resulted in around 30,000 tweets, and drew the attention of Online Journalism blog, who sensibly asked “#PublicDuty – mass whistleblowing or political campaign?”
More recently, in March 2016, the party repeated the feat in support of the junior doctors’ strikes. So seeing #PublicDuty trending isn’t a new phenomenon.
What’s different this time is that nobody organised a Twitterstorm. Instead, NHA’s Dr Alex Ashman tweeted a new #publicduty message along with the #voteNHS tag, which was retweeted around 3,000 times, and the idea just took off.
— Alex Ashman (@AlexAshman) April 20, 2017
As of the evening of 25th April, the hashtag is now peaking at 400 tweets per hour:
Perhaps thanks to its spontaneous origin, this new Twitterstorm has caught the attention of bloggers:
- NHS staff do #PublicDuty to expose Tory Damage – please help raise awareness – Skwawkbox
- NHS workers have spoken. The general election is our only chance of saving the health service – Canary
- NHS Crisis: Medical Staff Share Fears of Conservative 2017 General Election Victory – HuffPost
- People are rallying against the Tories with the hashtag #PublicDuty – Indy100
- NHS staff share fears of Conservative general election victory using #PublicDuty hashtag – Independent
Some familiar faces have joined in:
It’s my #publicduty to tell you that this Government have created a gap in whistleblowing law & funding that could swallow up the entire NHS
— Chris Day (@drcmday) April 25, 2017
— Dr Helen Salisbury (@HelenS_NHA) April 25, 2017
— Carl Walker (@carl1545) April 21, 2017
As a nurse it is my duty to inform the public that after 7 Tory years the NHS has been decimated. You and your children’s health is at risk https://t.co/knvS436i2g
— Barbara Campbell (@militantbarb) April 20, 2017
As the founding father of the NHS it’s my #publicduty to warn you that Tories are selling off your NHS. AND LYING THROUGH THEIR TEETH TO YOU
— Aneurin Bevan (@BevanInHeaven) April 27, 2016
As a junior doc who endured govt bullying & smearing, it’s my #publicduty to inform the public that the Tories are driving away NHS staff.
— Rachel Clarke (@doctor_oxford) April 23, 2017
If you’re on Twitter, why not tweet the hashtag and then head to the #publicduty thread and get retweeting?