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Mid Staffs nurses face fresh criticism after Facebook food fight


Two nurses from Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust posted photos of themselves on Facebook having a food fight in a clinical area around a month after the trust received scathing criticism over standards from the Healthcare Commission.

Pictures of the incident, thought to have taken place last May, were posted on Facebook in December but removed soon after, when the trust found out.

Trust chief executive Antony Sumara said: “We will not tolerate unprofessional behaviour by any of our staff.

“As soon as we were made aware of the photos in December 2009 we launched an investigation and appropriate action was taken.

“The Facebook content was removed immediately and we issued a reminder to all our staff about the appropriate use of social networking sites.”


Readers' comments (41)

  • Maybe nurses should realise that evidence on facebook will be used against them - and therefore - dont go on it.

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  • Surely the issue is about professionalism, not about Facebook? When at school we were told that, while in uniform we were ambassadors for our school. The same applies to nurses in uniform, especially those who are their employer's premises.
    As to whether patients might find this funny -well, I certainly wouldn't and I'm not sure that many other patients older than about 12 would. And yes, I do have a sense of humour - just don't find slapstick particularly amusing.
    We all like to let our hair down but we should choose an appropriate time and place (out of work, out of uniform).
    As to not posting on Facebook in case you get caught - why post it on Facebook at all?

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  • Everybody is entitled to enjoy their life no matter what their porfession. Its funny only the nurses seem to ever get slated for it. I know for a fact the same goodbye stunts are pulled by the police and fire service but that never makes the news. Having a food fight was not affecting patient care as unless they worked with it all over their uniforms they must of been at the end of shift. If that is all the new allegations the Cure the NHS group has to throw at the hospital surly that is a sign things are getting better?!?!

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  • Looking on the original news stories this was due to one of the nurses leaving, a fact not mentioned in this article.

    if images were removed in December after an incident nearly a year ago why has this taken so long to come out? Electioneering by cure the NHS?

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  • Hi Sandra,
    I am an untrained nurse according to you.
    Thank God for that, with my untrained credentials I can work in the NHS, USA, CANADA, AUSTRALIA and many many other places in the world.
    The good old days are gone and buried deep where it belong.
    If you and anyone else who are so reminiscent of the good old days, I am sure the new Dr who will take you back there in his new TARDIS.
    No offense meant but changes are going to be part of the NHS and we have to move forward with it.

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  • In response to Sandra I am a student nurse at present and am deeply offended by your comments, you seem to think that all nurses being trained through university act like this! this is not the case myself and many of my peers would never think about behaving like that let alone post pictures on facebook! Yes we have a laugh and play jokes whilst in placement but not at the expensive of patient care, many of the nurses i have worked with trained many years ago (without going to university) and are equally happy to join in these jokes. Don't tar us all with the same brush, there are equally as many bad nurses out there who trained out of university (the good old days)

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  • This is one time I will take the side of hospital managers.

    Nurses have always played pranks on each other on the ward and hopefully they always will, any form of lighthearted stress relief is a godsend. Remembering of course that these pranks are in good taste, appropriate, safe and the horseplay stays on the ward not broadcast over the internet.

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  • Sandra Oddell again I find myself completely disagreeing with your comments. Was the HCA in the photo university trained do you think? No I doubt it too. So I don't think university trained Nurses are all at fault!

    And as one of those University trained Nurses, yes there are Nurses now who are uncaring, but believe me I have come across more than my fair share of bitter, twisted, uncaring harridans who were trained in 'the good old days', and I would rather work with any of my university trained peers any day.

    Now as for the story itself I think it has been reported on appalingly, and too many people are too quick to start wagging fingers and tut tutting.

    First of all we have no idea about the context of the 'food fight' other than a simple sentence stating it was from a leaving party. We do not know where it took place, in a bay or a staff room. We do not know if patients were present (which I doubt). We do not know wether the Nurses were on duty or a break. WE SIMPLY DO NOT KNOW!

    So with that in mind, I am prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt. We all do a hard days work, do we all not deserve a break? Do we all not deserve a bit of a laugh or to let off steam from time to time? Can any of you honestly say you haven't had a laugh with each other, told an inappropriate joke or had a bitchy moan in the relative privacy of the staff room?

    Get over yourselves.

    It is this type of nasty back stabbing that ruins this profession and I am sick of it!

    Now posting it on facebook is another issue. If you are stupid enough to post ANYTHING on facebook as a Nurse with the witch hunting communists known as the NMC watching over you, then this is what happens!

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  • I feel that the problem here is the ease in which we can all post items to the internet.
    The pranks are the same as years ago, but now someone or many are recording them and posting them. And yes the incidents could be taken out of context.

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  • debra fretwell

    in reply to sandra who states that university educated nurses are a bad thing...i am a 1st year paeds nursing student and have seen more examples of bad practice in my first two placements by 'good old days' educated nurses than good.

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