Everyone loves to get into the festive spirit at Christmas, and a GP practice can do a great deal to help patients feel the cheer at this time of year, such as putting up decorations around the surgery and getting involved in local community events.
But why let it stop there? Your GP practice website also offers the ideal opportunity to share a splash of merriment with your patients. It's also the perfect place to publish notifications about your opening hours and other vital information over the Christmas and New Year season. Here's how to extend the festive spirit online...
Add a Christmas Theme
Tree View Designs has created a jolly festive theme that you can add to your GP website in just a few clicks. Here's how:
- Login to your control panel
- Hover over Administration
- Select Change Website Theme
- Click Customise
- Make a note of your current theme settings to revert back after Christmas
- From the Standard section on the left, select Christmas then click Save
That's it â" your GP website is now helping you spread the Christmas cheer to your patients! For full instructions on adding your Christmas theme, including useful screen shots, jump to Enable Your Christmas Theme.
Enable the Christmas Slideshow
What could be more festive and uplifting than a slideshow of fun Christmas themed pictures? Santa on his sleigh; winter wonderland scenes; chirpy snowmen and ice-skating polar bears can only make things cheerier for patients visiting your GP practice website this December.
We've created a seasonal slideshow ready for you to enable on your website and, even better, it's fully customisable. So if you have some festive images of your own that you'd like to add, just go ahead! The slideshow replaces your current homepage slideshow temporarily, and it's easily switched back once the festivities are over.
Here's how to enable the Christmas slideshow:
- Login to your control panel
- Hover over Image & Document Manager
- Select Slideshow
- Next to the category Christmas, click the photograph image. You'll see all the images currently in the slideshow.
- Delete any you don't want to include, and then add your own by clicking the orange Select Image button.
All done? Now all you need to do is switch your homepage slideshow to the Christmas category:
- Hover over Home Page
- Select Edit Home Page
- Select Layout from the left hand side
- Select Christmas then click Save
That's it! Just remember that once the festive season is over and you've gone back to your regular GP website theme, you'll also need to change your slideshow category back to default.
For full instructions on switching to your Christmas slideshow, including helpful screen shots, see Enable Your Christmas Slideshow.
Keeping Patients Updated
Patients will truly appreciate being kept in the know over the coming holiday season. There is a range of GP practice website features you can use to keep everyone up to date with everything from Christmas and New Year opening hours to weather warnings and local goings-on such as bazaars, family activities and charity events.
There are three key ways to keep your patients up to date this Christmas:
(1) Practice Alerts
A practice alert is displayed across the front page of your GP website as soon as a visitor lands on it. Alerts are perfect for delivering important information that patients really need to know about. At this time of year it's useful to be aware of special Christmas opening hours, so why not let patients know using a practice alert?
Alerts are simple to add; just follow the step-by-step instructions we've put together for you in our Adding a Practice Alert guide.
(2) Practice News
Practice news features on your website's dedicated News page plus there's a news teaser ticker-tape on your homepage to highlight the important stories you want to share with your patients.
Festive news as we've said could be anything from local events to weather warnings, but you may also want to invite local charities or organisations to use your website to help them recruit festive volunteers: after all, Christmas is all about community spirit.
To add a news article, simply follow the instructions in our Adding a News Article guide.
(3) Christmas Newsletter
Patients will greatly appreciate an email newsletter summarising everything they need to know as the holiday season approaches. You could include things like:
- Special opening hours over Christmas and New Year
- Repeat prescription ordering guidelines - including a reminder to order any medication required in advance of the bank holidays
- News about any Christmas fundraising your GP practice has been involved in
- Community events over the festive season - things to do throughout Christmas and New Year
- Emergency contact information during surgery closure times
- Hints and tips on how to stay warm and healthy over Christmas
- Volunteer opportunities for local Christmas events
And of course anything else you feel your patients would be interested in.
Share Some Good Cheer this Christmas!
As we've said, Christmas really is a time for sharing good cheer. A GP practice website is the ideal vehicle for showing your patients how much you value them, so why not get into the festive mood and incorporate some of these ideas ahead of the big day?