Abstract Title | Snippets: Paediatric Blogging as an educational tool


  1. Dr Eleanor Glenday


9II Virtual Patients/Social networking


Worthing Hospital, Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust (Paediatrics department)

  • The European Working Time Directive (EWTD) and resultant shift-based patterns have led to the erosion of team-based structures within the NHS.


  • This has had a demonstrable impact on trainee's access to educational meetings including journal clubs and has reduced the opportunities for professional dialogue between clinicians. 

  • It is imperative that trainee Paediatricians have access to educational resources and can draw experience and knowledge from them.

  • Knowledge can be gained from access to educational resources alongside face-to-face contact.

  • The internet is an obvious avenue to exploit in today's technology-driven world.
Summary of Work


  • We established 'Paediatric Snippets', a paediatric blog in February 2012 to respond to this educational gap using open-access software at

  • The blog is managed by library services in Western Sussex NHS Hospitals trust enabling direct links to ascribed journal articles. 

  • The blog has tags linking similar postings, highlighting those of particular relevance to individual clinicians. It provides links to journal articles, external websites, guidelines and presentations. 
Summary of Results


  • The blog has had 84 postings in 31-months i.e. an average of 3 posts per month (Figure 1).


Figure 1

  • Monthly viewing of the blog rose between 2012 and 2013 (Figure 2). This may be skewed downwards as some people receive a link to blog-postings in their email and do not directly visit their website. 

Figure 2

  • 22 different contributors have posted on 'Snippets', the majority being Consultants (Figure 3)


  • Posting comments on the blog has proven difficult as Trust I.T. systems have blocked such activity. Trust librarian's have circumvented this problem by directly receiving comments by email for later posting on the blog.​

Figure 4

  • However, this conduit has discouraged users from making comments. In the 31 months of the blog, there have only been 27 comments posted by 8 commentators. 

  • This blog demonstrates how the Internet can be used to enable a network of multi-disciplinary professionals to participate in collaborative learning. 

  • The virtual learning club we have developed has bridged the gap of distance and restricted working hours, benefitting a community of practitioners.

  • By improving communication & education, blogging can lead to better services and improved patient outcomes. 


1. Batts, SA., Anthis, NJ. & Smith, TC. (2008) Advancing science through conversations: Bridging the gap between blogs and the academy. PLoS Biology 6(9): 1837

2. Brown, H. (2005) Review: Netlines. BMJ. 331: 1090

3. Firth-Cozens. J & Cornwell. J. (2009) The Point of Care. Enabling Compassionate Care in Acute Hospital Settings. King's Fund. 

4. Kouper. I. (2010) Science blogs and public engagement with science: practices, challenges and opportunities. Journal of Science Communication. 9(1):1-10


Why use a blog?

  • A blog is a frequently updated webpage, enabling informal communication between its' author & its' audience (2)

  • Blogs are powerful tools for disseminating scientific information & facilitating conversations about science. (1)

  • Blogging creates easy links to articles, internet resources and other downloadable media files such as audio. (4)

  • Blogging promotes cohesiveness, belonging, good communication and participation in decision-making in the NHS. (3)
Summary of Work
Summary of Results





Collaborative working - Paediatricians, allied health professionals & librarians.

Multidisciplinary education - Contributions welcomed from trainees, consultants & allied health professionals alike.

Stimulating professional dialogues - Wide variety of interesting articles, guidelines, presentations & research. 

Providing education - enabling idea and knowledge-sharing between geographically-separated clinicians. 

Empowers trainees - able to submit snippets or read & evaluate them in their own time. 

Take-home Messages

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