Despite risks to privacy and data security, the use of WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and other unauthorised instant messaging (IM) apps has become “routine” for NHS staff. In fact, it’s through consumer IM that 43 percent of staff equating to around 500,000 NHS employees across England communicate with colleagues and even patients, a new report has revealed. Titled “Instant Messaging in the NHS”, the report published by mobile technology company CommonTime found that more than one in 50 personnel had faced disciplinary action for using consumer IM the equivalent of some 29,000 NHS employees in England. For staff aged 18-24, where usage was found to be greatest, an even higher 9.4 percent had faced action.

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