Coronavirus in Portsmouth: Police probe after false claim Covid woman takes photos at Queen Alexandra Hospital

POLICE have launched an investigation after a woman took photos inside Queen Alexandra Hospital and falsely said it was not busy with Covid-19 patients.

Tuesday, 5th January 2021, 1:49 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th January 2021, 4:12 pm

It comes after images were posted under a Facebook profile of Hannah Dean claiming that the Cosham site was the ‘quietest’ she had seen it.

Mark Cubbon, chief executive at Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust, previously branded the posts as disrespectful to hard-working staff looking after 342 Covid patients.

But today the same Hannah Dean Facebook profile page posted images inside St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester and Southampton General Hospital, claiming they date from January 4.

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False claims by Hannah Dean on Facebook claim Southampton General Hospital and St Richards' in Chichester are 'not under pressure'. Picture: Facebook

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Her latest claims include that ‘these hospitals are not under pressure,’ and she is now purporting to be a freelance journalist.

NHS England figures, due to be updated on Thursday, showed Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust had 96 Covid patients as of 8am on December 29. The trust running Southampton’s hospital had 110.

Western Sussex said the images were ‘misleading’ and ‘inaccurate’ and added they are ‘highly disrespectful’.

False claims by Hannah Dean on Facebook claim Southampton General Hospital and St Richards' in Chichester are 'not under pressure'. Picture: Facebook

A Hampshire police spokeswoman said the incident relating to QA Hospital had been reported to officers.

Initially police said there had been no Covid-19 breach under there Health Protection Regulations.

But now the force has said it has received new information and will send officers to the hospital for reassurance.

Ambulances parked up outside the Accident and Emergency department at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, Portsmouth on December 29, 2020. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

The spokeswoman said: ‘New information in relation to this incident has been brought to our attention, and we will be looking into what, if any, offences have been committed. Officers will also be attending the hospital to provide reassurance.’

It comes after a woman from Stroud was arrested after filming at Gloucester Royal Hospital and said it was ‘completely dead’.

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt has said society must be ‘on our guard’ against those not following advice and who have ‘their own agenda'.

She told The News: ‘Be in no doubt we are in an extremely serious situation. Healthcare is under unprecedented strain.

Penny Mordaunt. Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘I think the vast majority know that and are making huge sacrifices to reduce that strain until we can vaccinate the most vulnerable.

‘There are people with their own agenda who want us to believe otherwise and not follow the public health advice. We should be on our guard against that.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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