Postprint of: Hutchinson, M & Jackson, D 2014, 'Troubling fragments and small stories: an analysis of public commentary on nursing through a web blog', Collegian, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 81-88.
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In recent years the media in the United Kingdom has engaged in intense debate on standards of nursing care in the National Health Service (NHS). Much of the public engagement with this debate has been carried out through social media, including blogs and micro blogs. In this manuscript we analyse a single episode of public commentary appearing on a web blog about standards of nursing in the NHS. The blog entries featured brief stories and fragments of stories about care experiences, and perceptions of nursing care. Content analysis of the published narratives identified a troubling undercurrent of indifference experienced by patients, clients and their families. These stories represent a counter narrative to contemporary grand narratives of nursing, and as such, they sit on the outer edges of contemporary professional discourse. Increasing use of social media such as web blogs provides patients and carers with a public forum for comment that makes failures (or perceived failures) more visible to more people. Web blogs provide an important new mechanism through which patients and carers can have a voice about their own experiences of nursing care, and wider health care.