An NHS chief nurse has issued an apology after it was discovered that A&E staff created a game of “Halloween bingo” with points for spotting victims who had been spiked.
An anonymous whistleblower, who branded the game as ‘disgusting’, saw workers collecting points for ticking of different categories that included ‘Spiked’, ‘Fisherprice my first MDMA’ and ‘NFA not actual costume’ – believed to be referring to homeless patients.
Data published by the National Police Chiefs Council for late October shows that 56 people had been spiked by injection in the UK, with a further 198 drugged with substances put in their drinks over the eight weeks prior.
The unnamed whistleblower who saw staff playing the sick game said they needed to be “held to account for this disgusting and unprofessional behaviour”.
The bingo card was spotted by a friend of an A&E patient, who made a formal complaint to Leeds General Infirmary.
Chief nurse Lisa Grant apologised for the offence caused and said “appropriate action” will now be taken against those involved in playing the game.
The whistleblower told of how they had unfortunately ended up in A&E at the Leeds General Infirmary over Halloween weekend and had been disturbed upon noticing the game going on around them.
Staff seemed to be scoring points for spotting patients wearing certain Halloween costumes,” they said.
“This would be bad enough by itself, but the bingo sheet awarded points for things like seeing ‘sexy’ patients, and made light of homeless people and patients who may have been spiked.
“I have complained to the hospital directly about this, but am waiting to hear back for a response.”
The whistleblower said the hospital needed to be “held to account” for the disgusting, unprofessional behaviour.
The bingo sheet had been visible to anybody entering the A & E department, they added, featuring the categories: Squid Game: Bonus Point Sexy Squid Game, Sexy Profession, Spiked, You’re a wizard, Harry!, Fisherprice my first MDMA, Real Blood/Fake Blood, NFA Not actual costume, Neon, Sexy Animal, The Exorcist projectile vomming, Harleyquinn, Superhero, Halloween Otley Run, Pumpkin, Angel or Devil, Stabby mcstabberson.
“[The game] was just lying on a desk where anyone could see it,” the whistleblower said.
“I guess it just felt really wrong and I was shocked that the staff would be making a joke out of things as serious as being shot or being spiked, especially since this has been a big problem recently.
“I was also pretty disgusted that they made a joke about homeless people looking like they’re in Halloween costumes, as Leeds has a pretty big homeless problem.
“These are the people we turn to when we’re in need, and they were openly mocking the people they’re supposed to be helping.”
Chief Nurse Lisa Grant said the behaviour was unacceptable.
“I apologise for the offence caused by this behaviour in our emergency department at Leeds General Infirmary,” she said.
“We are extremely disappointed and dismayed that this has happened in one of our hospitals. This is clearly unacceptable, and we are taking the appropriate action with those involved.”
She went on to remind all colleagues that “such behaviours and activities have absolutely no place in our Trust.”