What does a Social Media Surgery look like

What a Social Media Surgery looks like

Social Media Surgeries are very flexible formats. It can be as simple or as complex as you want!


All you need is:

  1. a free room where there is wifi and you can buy or borrow a drink (cafe is perfect)
  2. a surgery manager – the person who’s happy to choose a time and date and check with the people at the venue that it’s ok with them. On the day they welcome people, introduce them and just make sure people are ok.
  3. at least one surgeon (can overlap with manager in the weeny ones) and hopefully at least one person from a local community and voluntary group who wants some help
  4. zero expectations – high hopes can kill enthusiasm. Expect nothing and be delighted by what does happen. (The Zen of Social Media Surgery)

More involved

Want to make things a bit more polished? We’re got support for that too.

  1. Ask your patients to RSVP and identify their needs (see survey example – a google form that you can duplicate and edit)
  2. Recruit Surgeons to meet those needs
  3. Record your patient/surgeon interactions on the Social Media Surgery website
  4. Create short testimonial videos where your patients and surgeons share their story (guide coming this fall)

Thoughts from Steven Flower

1 – Spotting the opportunity

Our partner was new in town. I’d seen some details of their outreach programme, and so just approached them about surgeries. Things proceeded quite quickly from there – a set of things coming together at breakneck speed. No funding bids, no committee meetings. A sense of jfdi

2 – Getting to know each other

For the first couple of surgeries, our partner tried to pre-match patients to the staff surgeons. It kind of worked, but also didn’t. People show up, people don’t! But, it was important that we worked within their framework and expectations, rather than try and impose a strict format. In the 3rd surgery, we reverted to the norm – but we also took on some feedback from the partner about holding a ten minute intro session. So, the third session worked the best, as a result of both partners learning and listening – a sign of a good project perhaps

3 – The voluntary/volunteers thing

It’s no lie that I receive no funding/pay to organise these things. Most of the other helpers are also there outside of their work – or are fortunate to have employers support them. We didn’t actively play on this, but it was certainly a useful context in setting up relationships