Lancashire hospitals warn staff over Facebook use

Hospital chiefs have sent a warning to employees over their Facebook use after staff said they had seen inappropriate material on the site.

An e-mail was sent on Lancashire Hospital NHS Trust's internal computer system stressing that staff should not "name patients" or make "disparaging remarks" on social networking sites.

It also instructed staff to avoid naming their employer on their profile.

A Trust spokeswoman said it was a precautionary measure.

No disciplinary action has been taken against any individuals, she added.

The e-mail to staff also stressed they should never take private photos or films of patients on their camera phones.

'Privacy and fraud'

It also warned that employees should never post discriminatory remarks on their network site or make any remarks that may embarrass their employing organisation.

The trust spokeswoman added: "Lancashire Teaching Hospitals takes its duty of care towards its staff very seriously and, as such, issued guidance to staff on the use of social networking sites such as Facebook and Myspace.

"We fully respect the rights of our staff to use these sites in a personal capacity, but are keen for them to be aware of the risks of communicating in this manner.

"Social networking sites often make personal information publicly accessible, which can raise concerns regarding privacy and fraud."

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