Adding Twitter Widgets to Surgery Pages using Twitter Widget ID

Over the last couple of months regular surgery managers may have see a few tweaks to their dashboards on SMS+ as we’ve been working to iron out some of the kinks in the system. One of them being the way we display tweets.

Twitter regularly updates its API to allow or disallow various software from using it. Unfortunately the way we had been pulling in twitter searches has now been stopped so we’ve had to implement an alternative using twitters native search widgets. This means that it will no longer be as easy as just entering the hashtag you want to use, but hopefully the steps below will  guide you through adding a twitter widget to your surgery page.

New Surgery managers you can just follow these instructions to add the widget during set up.

Existing Surgery Managers, Log in to the SMS+ website and view your dashboard.

Social Media Surgery Plus Dashboard SMS+


Find the surgery you want to add the twitter search to and click Edit Surgery.

Scroll down to the bottom of the form and find the section that says “Twitter setup” and open the link to the Twitter Widgets Page in a new tab.

add twitter widget

If you need to log into your twitter account do so and then click the button to “Create New”Create New Twitter Widget

Here you want to select the Search tab, to create a search widget.Editing Widget Settings

Add the surgery hashtag; the convention being #placenameSMS (or place name abbreviation) – so for Wolverhampton we’ll use #WolvesSMS, and click Create Widget. You don’t need to worry about changing any of the other settings.

Your widget will now be created and a preview will be visible showing any tweets that already contain you hashtag.

If you are not seeing the preview if you are running an overzealous adblock extension, switch it off. You will not see the preview here, or the widget installed on SMS+ if adblock is enabled.

Now you need to copy your Widget ID. Your Widget ID is the long number that forms part of the URL on the widget page.

Twitter Widget ID number.


Once you have this number return to your SMS+ Dashboard and complete the Twitter Set up.

Put your hashtag in minus the hash so in this instance WolvesSMS, not #WolvesSMS , and paste your Widget ID into their respective fields.

Create Twitter Widgets SMS+Once complete scroll down and click “Update Surgery”.

Your twitter search widget will now appear on your surgery page.

Twitter on Surgery Page.


Bonus tip – If you are adding Twitter Widgets to wordpress blogs and other services requiring a Twitter Widget ID. Bookmark the Twitter Widgets page and then it’s the same process as above to create and identify your Twitter Widget ID. It doesn’t matter what type of stream you want, individual tweets, searches, favourites etc. Just make sure you select the correct tab from the Create Widget page to begin and your ID number will be in the URL.

Twitter Widget Types


What is an Open Data Surgery?


Open Data Surgery

Some of the more eagle eyed among you may have noticed a logo appearing next to some of our surgery dates denoting them as an “Open Data Surgery”:

Where you see this logo it means that as well as being able to attend a surgery to find support on social media there will also be someone there willing and able to discuss Open Data with you.

But what does this mean?

Open data is essentially all the facts, figures and statistics government and other public sector organisations release that we as citizens have the right to see and use. This can include things such and local authority spending. census information, road accident data, demographic information etc.

With this data you can do many things such as evidence eligibility for funding bids , campaign for change or show your groups value to an area. You just need to know what it is you’d like to achieve and then start looking for the data to use or support it.

Will this be available at every surgery?

Surgery Managers have the option on whether to offer open data support on a event by event basis, depending on the availability and skills of the volunteer surgeons.  So, Surgeons if you have the skills to be able to offer this type of support, be sure to let your surgery manger know when you sign up so they can toggle this option on to the sessions you will be able to attend.

Then  all you patients need to do it keep your eye out for the logo and introduce yourself to your surgery manager when you arrive to make sure you are paired up with the right person that’s signed up to offer open data support.