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Hospital staff reinstated after 'lying down game' suspensions


Staff suspended from a Swindon hospital for playing internet game the ‘lying down game’ while on duty have been reinstated.

The staff, who were working in the A&E department at Great Western Hospital in Swindon, posed lying down on resuscitation trolleys, ward floors and a helipad, and posted pictures of the pranks on social networking site Facebook. Seven doctors and nurses were suspended for unprofessional conduct, and the pictures were quickly removed.

A hospital spokeswoman told the BBC that the staff were “back to doing what they do best”.

“They need to understand unprofessional behaviour is unacceptable”, she added.

The lying down game, which requires participants to lie face-down with their toes pointing towards the floor, rewards extra points for posing in unusal settings. The game’s Facebook group has over 70,000 members.

Great Western Hospitals Trust said patient care had not been compromised by the incident.

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Was the trust right to suspend staff for playing the lying down game?

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Readers' comments (14)

  • Well doesn't that just epitomise where it's all going wrong with the NHS. Staff are not allowed to have 'fun' to relieve the stress of work, and get suspensed for the most ridiculous reasons.
    I would presume that these staff undertook this heinous crime during a quiet period or break (if they were lucky enough to get one) and not while trying to resuscitate someone.
    IT WAS A BIT OF FUN for goodness sake! I'm just glad I trained and worked in the NHS when I did and not now. Having a good sense of hunour and supporting each other was a necessity. It's all about image now.

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  • Couldn't agree more, far too many managers and bureaucrats employed by the NHS who haven't got a clue what it's like working on the front line and the pressures we are under.

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  • Although I very rarely agree with management and have no time for most managers, justifiably so based on my many years experience of inept management, I find myself agreeing with the management line on this matter, a rare event. I have noticed over recent years a decline in standards of behaviour exhibited by staff, and this incident is typical of the type of behaviour I have witnessed. This kind of behaviour in the workplace realy does have a negative impact on how our patients perceive us and it needs to be stopped. Have fun in your own time, do what you are paid to when at work and behave in a respectful manner.

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  • I would have to agree that although we all need to find ways to alleviate the stress associated with busy workloads and lack of breaks, I think that as professionals the things that we do to de-stress should be done in our own time and not made public on sites such as facebook.

    If some people put as much effort into patient care as they do into social networking sites, the NHS would be far more productive and standards of care improved.

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  • Oh for gods' sake the two people who posted above here, if patient care was affected it would be a problem. But it wasnt. They had fun and I do hope they carry on having fun and bringing a bit of laughter to a stressful job and a stressful department. I hope they enjoyed a bit of time off away from being treated like a sheep or robot - a - nurse and carry on the laughter the 7 of you!! Some of us are proud to be in the same profession as you

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  • To the two negatives. I would say get a life. as should the whistle blower, who reported these 'terrible' crimes, I never saw anywhere that the patients or public in the department witnessed this going on, and it states care was not affected. It could have been done in their break, time and God knows breaks are a few and far between in a busy A&E department. I totally agree with staff being professional when treating patients, but this was innocent fun it hurt no one and offended only those without a sense of humour.
    I have been qualified in excess of 30 years and believe me there are a lot of things I would change regarding professionalism and care in hospitals now. Having a laugh and destressing definately isnt one of them. Senior managment should get their priorities right and concentrate on what really matters the health and wellbeing of both patients and staff. So as above you are not a robot, carry on laughing its the best medicine.

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  • I am one of the 'negatives' refered to above. In fact I have a very good life, without having to bring the nursing profession into disrepute. I have to disagree that patients did not witness this behaviour, IT IS PUBLISHED ON FACEBOOK for the whole world to see, how can it not be witnessed? The perpetrators were in uniform, on hospital property and it is likely that they were not on break time. The fact that the great majority of opinion expressed here is in support of the perpetrators, is a very sad reflection of the low standard of behaviour that has become the accepted 'norm'. How can we command respect when we set ourselves such low standards.

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  • To the above, nobody COMMANDS respect. You earn it, and generally those who are human but with talent and skill are respected. People who walk round with sour faces,stabbing colleagues in the back who think they are COMMANDING respect from the top of their noses get the opposite (is your standard of behaviour always really high, always? all the time??), trust me.

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  • Perhaps those managers who are quite plainly exceptionally professional at their job would like to swap skills for a few shifts with the wicked and obviously childish nurses and doctors who's professionalism leaves so much to be desired?

    Life in a warm, cossetted office with regular breaks and hours of work they would discover is a very different beast to life on a busy Ward or A&E Dept. Who knows they might even enjoy the experience.......

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  • i am a student nurse and the more and more i work within the nhs i feel like i'm losing me and becoming a robot that functions, every nurse needs to be able to bring their personality to work and have a laugh and fun at work. the nhs is going to be a very miserable place to work if nurses and doctors have to work like robots. patients were not miss treated no patient lost their privacy or dignity, no patient care was compromised. i think its any excuse to punish and repriman nurse!!!!

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