They’ll sack our doctors because they have a sense of humour?

Hospital staff at the A&E of Swindon’s Great Western Hospital face being fired for playing the ‘Lying Down Game’ on Facebook during a night shift. They added pictures of themselves lying down on the ward floor, resuscitation trollies and the helicopter pad which were then found by the hospital bosses. They have all been suspended and are awaiting disciplinary proceedings. Apparently they broke Health and Safety rules, the NHS Rules of Conduct and
it was deemed by the hospital bosses as totally unprofessional but at no time was patient care compromised.

The ‘Lying Down Game’ is where you get a picture taken of you lying face down in an unusual location with your arms by your side, palms facing inwards, toes pointing down as if you were standing – but horizontally. The game was started in the earliest days of Facebook and although of no use or sense to anybody has sparked the imagination and humour of around 56,000 people from all over the world.

Now what follows is my humble opinion on this.

In my efforts to build up Beyond One World to something meaningful I am often looking around to see where our highest ideals are defined and of course places where it just seems so have been obliterated from existence.

What on earth are we doing turning against the very people who spend their lives in the service of others. These health workers, some of them doctors are having to face on a daily basis the less glamorous side of our existence, when people are rushed in sometimes in a terrible condition and requiring immediately the care of someone who can help them. They face issues of death, issues of sometimes gross stupidity of the public and mostly those things that many of us cannot face. Must we forget that they are human? Do we want them to be robots devoid of feelings – even of care? These are people who are not paid excesses of money – unlike those higher up who we seem to want to bail out in times of trouble.

The management has suspended them?!! The ones who face the cutting edge day by day because they did something silly – something they and many others found humorous. Remember they were on a night shift – I am sure they weren’t doing this at a time when patients were needing their assistance.

To be suspended for taking harmless pictures??? OK, some rules were broken and they need to be dealt with in the usual way – Imagine we suspended every health worker every time they made some health and safety mistake.

It is a ridiculous situation brought about in an overly forceful way that need not ever to have happened. They had a sense of humour – something very human – I am personally glad they found some way of dealing with the stresses of their job in a harmless way.

I don’t know what my ramblings here can do to help them but say they should have public support – many others out there feel the same. In fact if anyone knows of any petition or other idea to help then please let me know – I will sign up to it.

Maybe those responsible should be forced to play the ‘lying down game’ in the disciplinary meeting and published on Facebook – OK, a bit extreme but I found it quite funny 🙂


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