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Health trust defends Facebook pictures

Kent and Sussex Hospital, Tunbridge Wells
Kent and Sussex Hospital, Tunbridge Wells

Hospital bosses have apologised after pictures of its staff making rude gestures in operating theatres surfaced on the internet.

The pictures, posted on a Facebook group, date back to 2006 when hospitals run by the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust were facing high levels of the C-diff infection, believed to have contributed to 90 deaths over two years.

They were taken at the Kent and Sussex hospital, Tunbridge Wells.

One picture shows a nurse in an operating theatre flicking a V sign at the camera, with a patient nearby. Others show staff eating pizza and cleaning corridors.

They have since been removed from the internet.

Trust spokesman Paul Bryden said the member of staff who posted the pictures left two years ago, while the nurse pictured making the V sign had also left.

He added: "The pictures on Facebook posted by an ex-member of MTW staff were not authorised by Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust and we were not aware of them until recently.

"They date back to 2006, and were mainly harmless pictures of staff in various non-clinical settings.

"However, a few appeared to have been taken in an operating theatre, and though no patient was identifiable, they show a member of staff behaving unprofessionally.

"We take conduct like that seriously particularly if it undermines our patients’ confidence in our services and we are sorry that this has happened.

"The member of staff who posted these photographs left two years ago and we have contacted that person, who has immediately removed these photographs from the site. The nurse pictured has also since left us.

"The former member of staff has apologised for behaving in this manner."

Click here to see the pictures.

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