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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)

  • Get over it, first and foremost we are people and therefore fallible. No harm was done, no danger to patients ensued. Are we now to be deemed sterile? No personality, no humour, no fun? If so..., perhaps it is time that l left a profession that only berates it's staff for being Human.

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  • Trish, I certainly endorsed your comments! It seems that many comments ignored the fact that it was placed on a site for the whole world to see! What message are we sending to other countries with regards to our profession? I recall saying on many occasions whilst working abroad that professionally there are certain behaviors that are not tolerated in our profession in the UK! Since my return, I can see very little difference between other so called emerging countries and the UK. The educational context had improved, but self-respect, respect for other i and common sense is similar to those of other less fortunate countries.

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  • do you not think that if you have a problem with 'university training' you should attempt to instill in student how you think they should work etc. As signing onto the NMC register you are responsible for being a mentor to students. I am university trained, and I believe that no matter how i was trained I would still act the same way I do. I brought up to respect people, and act professionally at work. So please dont judge. There were just as many issues with training in the not so good old days. If you dont want university training then dont accept the pay rise we will hopefully get when we become in line with teachers etc!

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  • Lets stop this all consuming conversation about hospital v university, it will only make a rift in our working relationships. Lets get on with our job, which is caring for patients and relatives.
    we should have fun as well, we do not know the situation of this "food fight' so none of use can comment.

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  • It would seem, like most people replying, that Sandra has got my back up with that comment. I'm in my final year now, and I know I am damn good at what I do. I act professionally, give evidence based quality care, and always keep my patients at the centre of everything I do. So your blanket criticism of University trained nurses is something I find ludicrous. Especially considering I have seen, and worked with, some absolutely shocking "nurses" trained old style. I do hope you don't take your narrow-minded views to work with you!

    As for the actual incident at hand, it was stupid - especially posting the pictures. However, as long as it was kept away from patients and not affecting their care, it was harmless.

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  • And in response to Alicia, the conversation itself isn't what causes a rift, it's the narrow-minded prejudice of certain people which does that sufficiently. This is a forum for airing views, so kindly let people do that.
    I thought inteprofessional/team working was about good communication, so don't let it simmer.

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  • I don't agree with Sandra, a university education does not neccesarily produce unprofessional nurses although I would say that standards in nursing have fallen dramatically over the last few years and I believe that moving to university education has contributed to this. Please a 'wash your hands campaign' by the department of health. We are teaching nurses how to wash their hands, I have been instructed to observe my nurses wash their hands to ensure they do it competantly, what? should this not be a basic skill?

    I tell you where I think the problem lies and I don't want you to think I am simply saying "the old ways were the best" there was some awful practices in the old days but we had a management structure that dealt with it. The old fashioned Matron was a bit of a fearful figure but when the DoH recognised that standards were slipping (backed up by a huge public launch) they re-introduced 'Modern' Matrons to "enforce standards".

    Sadly all thats happended now is that these clinical champions (another word I loath) have become simply a new layer of management, far too many meetings to spend anytime in clinical areas effecting standards of clinical practice and behaviour. So we try to address this and introduce Nurse Consultants, and in time they have become another layer of management.

    The NHS has got to make severe finacial savings in the next few years, lets hope the new government see sense and commission a major reveiw of management structures, streamlining the top heavy managment structure, we'll save billions

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  • You'd think that the nurses at Mid Staffs would be doing everything they could to restore public faith in their Hospital not trying to destroy it Further! Messing about and having a laugh is one thing (and we've all done it) but deliberately making it public gives the impression that these nurses have no respect for their workplace or for themselves, what on earth posessed them?!

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  • As a senior nurse with more than 13 years experience, I find it upsetting that two nurses have choosen to put the pictures on Facebook. Many times i have been involved in practical jokes and have no issue with my team setting up practical jokes, however patients are involved, jokes are played at a time when the ward is safe and what happens on the ward stays on the ward and is not put on the internet for all to see. I have developed a hatred for Facebook, choosing to ban it on my ward as staff started to spend more time updating their facebook page rather than caring for patients. Nurse training has little to do with this. Its common sense. Its about thinking about the reproccussions of your actions and how it looks to visitors and patients and in this case, the general public. Nurse are already fighting to improve their status. Publising what is a simple practical joke (and happens in many work places) has done little to improve the publics perception of us. I for one work incredibly hard, but also want my patients to see the human side of me and you can do this but still maintain a professional standard.

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  • This has nothing to do with where you are trained it is very unprofessional behaviour. I was educated to degree level and would NEVER do such a thing it is a disgrace.

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