Seven staff at Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have been suspended after allegedly taking part in a ‘lying down game’ during a nightshift and posting photographs on Facebook.

The Accident and Emergency staff are said to have taken pictures of themselves lying on resuscitation trolleys, ward floors and the trust’s helipad during August.

The game involves lying-face down in unusual locations, with participants trying to outdo each by finding the most unusual place to be pictured.

The images, which have now been removed from the social networking site, were posted under the title Secret Swindon Emergency Department Group. It is believed that as many as 18 people were involved in the stunt.

Dr Alf Troughton, medical director at Great Western Hospitals said in a statement: “A number of staff were suspended following allegations of unprofessional conduct while on night shift duty in the hospital during a weekend in August.

“This did not involve patients and we are satisfied that at no time was patient care compromised. The Great Western Hospital sets high standards for staff behaviour at all times and therefore takes any such breaches extremely seriously.

“It is important to reassure patients and our workforce that this was an isolated incident and staff cover was maintained at all times. The allegations have been thoroughly investigated and seven members of staff remain suspended pending formal disciplinary hearings.”

The incident has started a public debate on Facebook about whether the staff should face dismissal.

Several commenters have labelled the hospitals bosses “kill joys” while others have raised concerns that germs would have been spread from “rolling around on the floor in staff uniforms.”

Link: Official lying down game site on Facebook