Nurses and Midwives have been told not to put information or photographs relating to their jobs on social networking sites, or mix professional and personal relationships online, otherwise they face being struck off.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council has issued advice on using websites such as Facebook and Twitter after receiving an increasing number of enquiries relating to the online conduct of staff.

Professor Dick Weir-Hughes, chief executive of the NMC, said: "The NMC is committed to public protection and ensuring nurses and midwives make the welfare of those in their care their first priority at all times.

"I would advise nurses and midwives to exercise caution when using social networking sites. They could risk their registration if they share sensitive information, make inappropriate comments, or befriend patients online."

The NMC has urged staff to decline friend requests from patients on Facebook, and should avoid discussing work or colleagues on line as well.

The NMC estimates that 355,000 registered nurses and midwives use Facebook.

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Posted by Robert Mair on 12.7.11 Comment on this article by sending it to: penny.hosie@pavpub.com