Seven staff at a hospital in Swindon have been suspended after they participated in the latest internet craze – the lying down game.
Doctors and nurses from the hospital's accident and emergency department and acute assessment unit photographed each other lying face down on resuscitation trolleys, ward floors and even on the Wiltshire Air Ambulance heli-pad.
The pictures were posted on the social networking site Facebook, but were seen by the trust's management, who were not amused. The images have since been taken down.
The game has become an internet sensation since two friends, Scott Wood and Wayne Pyle, invented it while on a trip to Majorca after becoming bored with the usual holiday photographs. "I thought lying on the floor would be a funnier way to pose for my holiday snaps," said Mr Wood, 34, from Newcastle.
The rules of the game require participants to choose public places and involve as many people as possible. They must lie with the palms of their hands flat against their sides and their toes pointing at the ground "just as if standing but vertically challenged".
Pictures of people lying face down in odd places – on roofs, telephone boxes, and even in the engine of a jumbo jet – have since proliferated on Facebook.
But managers at the Great Western Hospital NHS trust took a dim view when they spotted the images of doctors and nurses joining in. Seven staff remain suspended on full pay following the alleged incident, which is said to have taken place during a night shift on 14 and 15 August.
In a statement, Dr Alf Troughton, medical director of the trust, said disciplinary hearings would be held following the allegations of unprofessional misconduct. "This did not involve patients and we are satisfied that at no time was patient care compromised. It is important to reassure patients and our workforce that this was an isolated incident and staff cover was maintained at all times."Reuse content