Blackpool hospital's Twitter appeal could have 'alarmed' patients

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Hospital chiefs have come under fire for using Twitter to send out an urgent appeal for staff.

Blackpool Victoria Hospital made the plea on social media on December 29 saying staff were needed "for shifts this evening, tonight or tomorrow. Enhanced rates available. Bleep 930 for more details. Thank you."

Blackpool Victoria Hospital

Blackpool Victoria Hospital

Coun Michele Scott has criticised the move saying using such a public platform could have alarmed people.

Coun Scott, vice-chairman of Blackpool Council's Adult Social Care and Scrutiny Committee, said: "I was a little bit disturbed to see a request for staff go out on Twitter.

"I don't think that was the right place and I felt it was a little bit disturbing and alarming."

Hospital chiefs who attended a meeting of the committee on Tuesday, said Twitter was one of a number of ways which were used to alert staff to the need to cover shifts.

Councillors were told there was a significant increase in demand for services between Christmas and New Year meaning additional patient accommodation was opened up which required extra staff.

Agency staff, who are usually used to fill the gaps, "don't want these shifts" and so the hospital put out a request to its own staff to come in.

The committee heard the plea did succeed in helping to meet staffing levels.