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My amazing Twitter year – by Matt Hancock

 

Blog headlines

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  • My amazing Twitter year – by Matt Hancock
    20 December 2019

    It's been a fantastic year on social media for the secretary of state for health and the other thing. Here it is in very nearly his own words

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    5 September 2019

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Friday, 20 December 2019

My amazing Twitter year – by Matt Hancock

It's been a fantastic year on social media for the secretary of state for health and the other thing. Here it is in very nearly his own words

I launch my five year plan to tackle antimicrobial resistance. People are wrong to resist antibiotics, which make you better when you’re ill. I won’t rest until everyone who wants antibiotics can get them from our wonderful NHS whenever they need them. I say as much to Dame Sally Davies who just shakes her head sadly and walks away.

Meet Bill Gates at very important global event about AMR. He agrees to a selfie with me, then asks who I am. Bill has a great sense of humour.

Tell GPs that they are the bedrock of the NHS when I launch a report into GP partnerships. Let my followers know that I’m very comfortable with the idea of same-profession relationships. This is 2019 for goodness sake!

Another selfie with a fellow achiever, this time it’s Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the worldwide web. I suggest a coffee so I can tell him about my ideas for apps but he mutters something about a prior engagement. Missed opportunity for Berners-Lee.

Driving the digital agenda

Far from convinced that NHS Digital is driving digital transformation across the NHS, so I announce a tech unit of my own called NHSX. Outraged to learn that the NHS spends £8m on paper – that’s 0.006% of the entire NHS budget. One on the first jobs for NHSX is to use IT to wipe out this unacceptable waste.

I celebrate incredible mental health nurses and incredible people in general. “People are incredible,” I tweet.

Write a piece in The Times about genome sequencing. Not exactly sure how it works, but it involves tech innovation and it’s brilliant. Tweet about it along with a pic of me looking like the actor Nick Cage to drive home the point about the power of great genomes.

I tweet about another of the economic miracles this Conservative government has brought about – borrowing at its lowest level for 17 years. It’s a fantastic achievement that people from the humblest foodbank to the grandest home abroad can be proud of.

Taking a stand against things

We have to do more about breast cancer. I do my bit by posting about it every month. You don’t need to have breasts to join the campaign. I’m totally against cancer and always will be.

Go to a Croydon college to be photographed with some young people and learn about knife crime. Hear some terrible stories. When I was at school there were rumours about fifth-formers with penknives but I never actually saw one and as far as I know they were never used in anger. Times have changed!

Jeremy Corbyn is banging on about how the Conservatives are against the NHS. This is despite the quite literally record spending we’ve made in the past nine years. Next he’ll be telling us a Labour government came up with the idea!

It can’t be right that women in the NHS don’t earn as much as men, I write in The Guardian. “Inequality between the sexes is one of the things I care passionately about,” I tell Lucinda when she brings me a cup of tea and my mid-afternoon Twix.

Tweet about a great new app that directs patients to the emergency departments with the shortest queues. Hopefully this will encourage even more people to use the brilliant services on offer at A&E up and down the country.

Get behind a campaign to end period poverty in schools. It’s shocking to think that the least well off in society can’t afford periods – and the problem is apparently worst for girls.

Cutting-edge tech

Bit of a drama on my visit to a care home as elderly woman gets her cardigan stuck in the lift doors and has to be cut free with a pair of garden shears. As ever, Damian from comms helps me strike the right note on social media: “Terrific visit to Healthlands Village care home in Bury today - using cutting edge tech to enhance the quality of life for all residents.”

I give the keynote at an NHSX away day – not in person, of course, but via Skype. First of many such events I hope. Away days and virtual appearances by me are a big part of my strategy to transform the NHS.

Incredibly moving and dignified speech by the prime minister as she steps down. Who will volunteer to fill the void she leaves behind, I wonder.

I enter the race for prime minister. Touched that I am warmly encouraged by my team, even if it means I can no longer be their boss. They look very disappointed when I bow out graciously to leave the field clear for Boris. Try to console them by pointing out that the country’s loss is their gain.

Inspiring stories

I open a new emergency department. Another great opportunity for photos of me with my sleeves rolled up chatting to hard-working frontline staff. I thank them for sharing their inspiring stories. Lucinda writes them down so we can tweet about it later.

What a fantastic general election. I campaign tirelessly, getting up before dawn to hug people and make videos. Thanks to me we’ll soon have 40 new hospitals, 50,000 more nurses and 6000 extra GPs. Can’t wait to get cracking, so I ask Boris when the building programme is due to start. He laughs and gives me one of his friendly punches.

Speculation about my role in the new government. Promotion would be a nice reward for my hard work on the stump. I drop broad hints about a move to the Home Office, Foreign Office or the Treasury. Overhear cabinet secretary saying “For God’s sake keep him at Health”. A victim of my own success!

Keeping it real

Quick meeting to plan the video of my triumphant return to the Department. Tell everyone to get there by 9.30. Stevens mumbles something about another meeting. “This is more important, Simon,” I tell him gravely when he offers his apologies.

Everything runs like clockwork. I arrive, hug colleagues and make a short speech saying I’ll “drive the health agenda forward” (came up with this myself). Even Stevens looks impressed, though he’s disappeared by the time I’ve finished speaking – probably off to do a bit of last-minute Christmas shopping.

Everyone agrees that the video captures another great spontaneous moment in what has been a fabulous year.

Brilliant!

Social media editor: Julian Patterson

julian.patterson@networks.nhs.uk
@NHSnetworks

 

 
Anonymous says:
Dec 22, 2019 12:34 PM

Not as good as previous two weeks

Julie Upton
Julie Upton says:
Dec 23, 2019 09:11 AM

I'm sorry,Anonymous, but really, that's your comment? Are you related to Ebenezer Scrooge?
Your comment may or may not be accurate in your opinion, but personally I want to thank Julian for his weekly blog. Always funny, always topical, always a bit near the knuckle, often so near the truth it's scary and sometimes so hilarious the people in the next door office come in to see what I'm laughing at.
Thank you Julian for another year of great blogs. Merry Christmas to one and all.

Lynne Chellingworth
Lynne Chellingworth says:
Dec 25, 2019 09:25 AM

Hear, hear Julie. I saved this one for my Christmas morning treat and was not disappointed. Thanks Julian - always a delicious skewer to savour.

Julian Patterson
Julian Patterson says:
Dec 27, 2019 10:05 AM

Thanks for your comments, folks - even Ebenezer. I wish you all a very happy 2020.