Hmm. Highly intellectual. But made me laugh I have to say. The lying down game strikes in Swindon and seven doctors are suspended. This story is from the Times.
Seven doctors and nurses have been suspended from duty at a hospital accident and emergency department after taking part in the latest internet craze: the Lying Down Game.
Participants are required to post photographs of themselves lying face down, arms neatly by their sides, in various unlikely situations on Facebook, the social networking website.
The medical staff, who were working an overnight shift at the hospital in Swindon on August 14 and August 15, took it in turns to be photographed on resuscitation trolleys, ward floors and the building’s helipad. More than 18 staff were pictured on a Facebook page set up by the Secret Swindon Emergency Department Group. The seven staff members are considered to have breached health and safety and infection control regulations and face disciplinary proceedings. They were suspended on full pay after managers at the Great Western Hospital were alerted to the prank.
The Lying Down Game is described on Facebook as “parkour [free-running] for those who can’t be arsed”. It became popular worldwide this summer when pictures were published of participants lying on ironing boards, cars, inside a jet engine and even on top of a life-size sculpture of a bear.
The latest photograph posted on the lyingdowngame.net website is of a youth lying on a rock beside a Norwegian fjord. Closer to home, more than 100 people took part in a mass pose in Stoke-on-Trent on Saturday.
The Lying Down Game Facebook group has more than 54,000 members from around the world.
The prank at the accident and emergency unit at the Great Western Hospital has turned into a “nightmare” for those involved, according to an employee of the Swindon NHS Trust. He said: “The person who started it is really worried. It reflects badly on the department and some people may lose their jobs. It was just some nurses and doctors on nights having fun, but photos got on to Facebook and management found out.”
The Secret Swindon Emergency Department Group has since been removed by Facebook.
A spokesman for the hospital confirmed that health and safety and infection control regulations had been broken as well as NHS codes of conduct. He refused to rule out sackings and said: “The disciplinary hearings are yet to take place and we cannot predict the outcome.”
Alf Troughton, medical director for Great Western Hospital NHS Trust, said that patient care had not been affected. “This did not involve patients and we are satisfied that at no time was patient care compromised.”
He added: “The Great Western Hospital takes any such breaches extremely seriously. The allegations have been thoroughly investigated and seven members of staff remain suspended pending formal disciplinary hearings.”
Simon Newell, a spokesman for Unison, which represents nearly 250,000 nurses, has urged the Swindon health trust to “consider past service” before dismissing any of the staff involved.
He said: “We would urge the trust, when deciding upon the future of these highly skilled staff, to consider recent events within the context of the good services these staff have provided in the past.”
The Facebook page for the Lying Down Game claims that the idea was devised by Gary Clarkson and Christian Langdon, from Somerset. It describes itself as a “group for all those who enjoy the sport of lying down in random public places to confuse people”.
The rules of the game are simple. The website states: “There are two aims: 1) The more public the better 2) The more people involved the better. Please be aware that the palms of your hands must be flat against your side and the tips of your toes pointing at the ground. Just as if you were standing, but vertically challenged.”
The website adds: “The originators of the Lying Down Game cannot be held liable for any accidents, injuries or criminal proceedings resulting from participating in the Game.”