Seven doctors and nurses have been suspended after they were caught allegedly playing the internet craze ‘The Lying Down Game’, in uniform and while on duty.
The workers at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon, Wiltshire, allegedly participated in the game by lying down on resuscitation trollies, ward floors and a heli-pad. Fifteen other workers were involved in the game during a night shift on 14-15 August.
A source told the Swindon Advertiser that doctors and nurses from the hospital’s Accident and Emergency department and Acute Assessment Unit photographed each other lying face down and then posted them on social networking site Facebook.
Hospital management later spotted them and demanded Facebook removed the ‘Secret Swindon Emergency Department Group’ where the offending images were on show, the insider added.
The source said: “It’s a right mess. It’s been a nightmare week for them. The person who started it is really worried. It reflects badly on the department. It’s all very hushed up at the hospital and some may lose their jobs.”
To play the game, contestants must lie face down with the palms of their hands flat against their sides and the tips of their toes pointing at the ground.
The random act of lying down in busy places is designed to confuse people, and contestants are awarded extra kudos for the more people involved and the more unusual and public the location.
Great Western Hospital has confirmed that health and safety and infection control regulations had been broken as a result of the prank, as well as the NHS professional code of conduct and the trust’s code of conduct.
A spokesman has refused to rule out potential sackings, telling the paper: “The disciplinary hearings are yet to take place and we cannot predict the outcome.”