General Policy
Web and Intranet Co-Ordinator
Communications Manager
Head of Corporate Services
15 May 2013
14 May 2014
15 May 2017

General Note

NHS Fife acknowledges and agrees with the importance of regular and timely review of policy/procedure statements and aims to review policies within the timescales set out.

New policies/procedures will be subject to a review date of no more than 1 year from the date of first issue.

Reviewed policies/procedures will have a review date set that is relevant to the content (advised by the author) but will be no longer than 3 years.

If a policy/procedure is past its review date then the content will remain extant until such time as the policy/procedure review is complete and the new version published, or there are national policy or legislative changes.


This policy details the framework within which NHS Fife supports the use of Online Communications and to ensure it is used effectively across the organisation.

Online Communications includes use of electronic communication systems. This includes but is not limited to the Staff Intranet, Public Website, All-Staff Email and Social Media.

1.1 Definitions

Staff Intranet – Website available only to staff using the NHS Fife network.

Public Website – NHS Fife’s website available to the general public.

All-Staff Email – Email messages sent either to the entire organization, or to centrally managed distribution lists.

Social Media – Social Media is a term applied to online tools which allow users to interact with other users on the internet. This can include the sharing of information, opinions and content. The tools can include message boards, blogs, social networking sites (such as Facebook or Twitter), content sharing sites (such as Flickr, YouTube) as well as other similar online channels.


This policy is applicable to all staff, contractors and volunteers working within NHS Fife


3.1 Web and Intranet Co-ordinator Responsibilities

  • NHS Fife’s Web and Intranet Co-ordinator is a point of contact for all activities relating to the development of the NHS Fife Online Communications systems.
  • Reporting to NHS Fife’s Strategic Management Team, the Web and Intranet Co-ordinator is responsible for planning, coordinating, and overseeing the transition of new web services within NHS Fife.

3.2 Responsibilities of the Communications Department

The Communications Department reserves the right to withdraw or modify any material published.

Communications will work with users and departments to ensure messages are circulated using the most appropriate online service.

Communications will create and maintain NHS Fife’s presence on social network sites.

3.3 Responsibilities of the User

Staff wishing to publish information on the NHS Fife internet, website or other online channel must be authorised by the Head of Service in consultation with the Communications Department so that work required and feasible timescales can be indicated.

Users must ensure that all information published is accurate, relevant and written appropriately for its intended audience. Content must always be current and reliable.

Users should identify the intended audience and target communications using appropriate channels.

3.4 Responsibilities of the Head of Service

The Head of Service is responsible for authorising staff requests to publish information on NHS Fife’s online systems such as the website or staff intranet.

It is the responsibility of the Head of Service to ensure that all content placed on online systems is appropriate and approved. Obsolete and inaccurate information damages the reputation of NHS Fife. Each Head of Service has a responsibility to ensure that their information is accurate and timely, or to remove it from relevant systems if it becomes out of date or misleading.


4.1 Use Restrictions and Limitations

Content published on NHS Fife’s online systems must not:

  • contain or link to offensive, obscene, defamatory or threatening material;
  • contain material or link to material which endorses or promotes discrimination;
  • contain any patient identifiable information (including any combination of data which could identify an individual patient);
  • breach confidentiality or privacy legislation;
  • contain information of an essentially personal, political or commercial nature unrelated to the work of NHS Fife;
  • contain obsolete or inaccurate information.

Content published on NHS Fife’s online systems should:

  • be part of approved NHS Fife Business
  • accurate, relevant and written appropriately for its intended audience

Users of online systems should:

  • Ensure they conduct themselves in an honest and professional manner
  • Only write or present views on behalf of NHS Fife if they are authorised to do so by the nature of their job
  • Ensure any content posted complies with any relevant copyright legislation and the publishers’ permission statement.
  • Ensure any use of online systems, including those not run by NHS Fife meet business requirements.
  • Ensure any content posted complies with local governance processes.

Users of online systems should not

  • join a discussion group, social network or online forum under the name of NHS Fife, or design a web site and publish it under the name of NHS Fife, without the authority of the NHS Fife Chief Executive.

4.2 Standards

All Online Communications systems should comply with relevant technical and accessibility standards.

Published content should be easily accessible.

Staff are advised to follow Website Style Guide in providing and writing content for the intranet or internet. (see Appendix 1)

4.3 Access to Online Communication Systems

All staff have access to the Staff Intranet on any networked computer within NHS Fife.

The public website is available on any device connected to the internet.

Access to Social Media sites is restricted to those users who have a clearly defined business case signed off by their Head of Service, and authorised by the Communications and eHealth Departments.


Publishing rights for various online communications systems will be restricted to approved users. Approval will be given either by the Communications or eHealth Departments. Publishing rights will be regularly reviewed and revoked when no longer required.

This policy must be reviewed regularly under the authority of the Web and Intranet Co-ordinator. All associated procedures and processes linked to this policy will be subject to an ongoing development and review programme.

Failure to abide by this policy could lead to breach of the Data Protection Act, Freedom of Information Act and Caldicott recommendations.

It is the responsibility of the line manager to ensure this policy is deployed within their area of responsibility.

Failure to comply with this policy may result in disciplinary action being taken.


GP/A4 – Acceptable Use Policy – ISO 27001:2005 ISMS
CP/C9 – Confidentiality
GP/D3 – Data Protection Policy
GP/I3 – Internet Policy – ISO 27001:2005 ISMS
GP/I5 – Information Security
GP/I7 – Service User Information
GP/O2 - Online Communications
HR3 – Management of Employee Conduct
GP/O2-1 Online Enquires Procedure
GP/O2-2 Web Services Provision Procedure
GP/O2-3 All Staff Email Procedure
GP/O2-4 Social Media Procedure

Social Media Guidance

Code of Corporate Governance – Section G – Standards of Business Conduct for NHS Staff


Data Protection Act 1998
Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Related Policies