'OAA Covid’ WhatsApp group Governance

During the first Covid surge the OAA set up a Whatsapp messaging group to provide support during
COVID, but it has since transformed into a general support /information exchange group for lead
obstetric anaesthetists. As such, it seems timely to address the governance around this group so that it is
in line with recommendations from NHS digital about social media messaging groups:

1. The use of social messaging forums which can restrict access and have end-to-end encryption are to be
preferred.
2. The forum should have oversight and speciality membership organisations which will have their own
governance standards and may be best placed to provide oversight and administrative responsibilities for
the forum OAA moderators and secretariat have admin rights.
3. There should be moderation of the forum to ensure that posted information which is misleading,
defamatory, or discourteous, or breaches patient confidentiality is challenged or removed.
4. Participation in the forum should be by invitation with the criteria for invitation clear so that participants
have confidence and feel safe in their participation - in ground rules
5. The purpose of the forum should be stated, and its continued usefulness regularly reviewed - we
propose to do this annually.
6. Membership of the group should be reviewed regularly – we propose to do this annually.

Proposed ground rules:
The purpose of the group is to be a general support /information exchange group for lead obstetric
anaesthetists.

The OAA will
• Co-ordinate the membership of the groups and review annually
• Moderate the content of the group to ensure that posted information that is misleading,
defamatory, or discourteous, or breaches patient confidentiality is challenged or removed
• Not act as an instant repository of information

The group member will
• Be the current lead obstetric anaesthetist or an approved OAA moderator only*.
• Will ensure that posted information is not misleading, defamatory, or discourteous, or breaches
patient confidentiality; otherwise, it will be challenged or removed.
• All posts and comments within the group will remain confidential.
• Feel free to mute the group at any time.
• Mimic face to face behaviour and remain courteous to other group members at all times.
• Seek to collaborate and share best practice.
• Try not to have long one-on-one conversations in the group. Switch to private messages.
• If you are not sure, ask yourself these three questions before you post:

1. Is this relevant?
2. Is this necessary?
3. Is this a good time to post?

We would particularly urge caution about discussing specific details about a clinical case which could
compromise patient confidentiality.

If you wish to remain in the group please would you contact the Secretariat (secretariat@oaa-anaes.ac.uk)
to confirm your name, place of work, role, contact number and that you still wish to be a member. If we
have not heard from current members by September 1st we will take this as an indication that you do not
wish to be in the group and your access will be removed.

*We know that not everyone in the group is a lead anaesthetist but having joined originally you are
welcome to stay

OAA, July 2021
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WhatsApp obstetric anaesthetists leads group governance