June 17, 2024

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Coronavirus: Health worker investigated by employer after posting conspiracy video

Screengrab from a video posted to Facebook by Louise HamptonImage copyright
FACEBOOK/LOUISEHAMPTON83

Image caption

Ms Hampton said in the video her service “was dead” during the pandemic

A worker at a major NHS provider is under investigation by her employer for posting a video on social media in which she claimed that Covid-19 does not exist.

Louise Hampton, who works for Care UK, posted a video to Facebook on Wednesday in which she claimed her service had been “dead” throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and she had done nothing at all.

Brandishing her NHS badge and a certificate signed by a Care UK manager that thanked her for making a difference to patients, Ms Hampton said: “Apparently, I worked really hard during Covid.”

She then went on a rant peppered with profanity and claimed that she had done no work “because our service was dead. We weren’t getting the calls. It was dead. Covid is a load of …

“And I didn’t clap for the NHS. I didn’t clap for myself.”

In a statement, Care UK, which provides call centres and a range of other services to the NHS, said it was investigating.

“We are aware of this video, which we consider to be materially inaccurate in a number of ways, and can confirm that a member of staff is subject to investigation,” a spokesperson said.

“We expect all our colleagues and services to support the work of the NHS in giving the public the right information and support during the pandemic. Our call centres were, in fact, exceptionally busy, handling a peak of 400% more calls than usual. Our teams showed huge commitment and dedication in delivering the service, and we have rightly thanked them for the efforts they have made.”

The video quickly racked up nearly half a million views across Facebook and Twitter.

In a later post, Ms Hampton claimed she had received “messages of support from people including NHS workers who are speaking out”.

Image copyright
FACEBOOK

Image caption

Ms Hampton used several hashtags referencing popular online conspiracy theories

Her Facebook account, which included a number of coronavirus conspiracy theories and references to the QAnon conspiracy theory, was later deleted.

However, copies of the video had already proliferated across social media sites. It was particularly popular in groups and communities promoting Covid-19 misinformation.

QAnon supporters – who believe Donald Trump is secretly saving the world from a cabal of paedophiles – have also spread unfounded theories about coronavirus, calling it a “deep state” hoax and promoting misinformation about face masks and vaccines.

She also made references to Plandemic, a coronavirus conspiracy theory video that went viral in May and was subsequently taken down by major social media networks.

BBC News has contacted Ms Hampton for comment.

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