Hospital boss voices anger as conspiracy theorists film in corridors

Nick Hulme, chief executive of the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Ips

East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust boss Nick Hulme said coronavirus deniers have been filming in Colchester hospital - Credit: Rachel Edge

The boss of Colchester Hospital has voiced his anger after conspiracy theorists filmed inside the site to highlight what they believe to be a "Covid hoax".

A video of the hospital surfaced on social media on New Year's Eve, claiming the hospital is not in crisis because of empty corridors, while a number of others are said to have entered the hospital over the weekend.

The video, taken from the car park, shows a small number of people waiting at the hospital's Urgent Treatment Centre, while pictures were posted of the end of a corridor, another corridor and a food trolley.

Speaking on BBC Radio Suffolk about the incident, East Suffolk and NHS Foundation Trust boss Nick Hulme said the incidents were "shocking" and "awful".

"It is a really, really serious health situation," Mr Hulme said.

"I know there are people denying it is out there – we had to get security in over the weekend to remove people taking photographs of empty corridors and posting them on social media saying 'the hospital is not in crisis because of empty corridors'.

"Well of course there are empty corridors at the weekend in outpatients, because it is the right thing to do."

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According to the latest government statistics, there were 114 people being treated for coronavirus at Colchester Hospital on December 30.

The hospital is currently split between "green" and "red" zones to keep coronavirus patients away from those who are not infected, with patients triaged and directed to the relevant area by a team at the Urgent Treatment Centre.

Current advice from the hospital is to only attend if absolutely necessary, so as to reduce pressure on staff while cutting any potential risks of coronavirus transmission.

Mr Hulme added he is concerned by the number of people who believe the pandemic to be a hoax.

He said: "When you have that sort of social media pressure and people denying the reality of Covid, it really concerns me.

"When you see that sort of behaviour from the public, it just beggars belief. Why on earth when people do that?"

The incidents follow a similar video posted recently from Gloucestershire Hospital, which saw the poster arrested by police.

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