I'm referring to this article, where a four year old with suspected pneumonia was, due to overcrowding after the NHS cuts, forced to sleep on the floor of the hospital.

Numerous Twitter accounts, all of which claim to have a sister there, claim this didn't happen and was staged.

Who is right here? Was a four year old with pneumonia forced to sleep on the floor?

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Jamiec
    Commented Dec 16, 2019 at 8:45

1 Answer 1


The hospital says it happened:


The hospital apologised and said it had had its busiest week since 2016.

Dr Yvette Oade, chief medical officer at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "Our hospitals are extremely busy at the moment and we are very sorry that Jack's family had a long wait in our Emergency Department."

She added: "We are extremely sorry that there were only chairs available in the treatment room, and no bed. This falls below our usual high standards, and for this we would like to sincerely apologise to Jack and his family."

https://www.leeds-live.co.uk/news/leeds-news/lgi-bosses-apologise-after-four-17385357 gives more detail on that quote:

"Our Chief Executive Julian Hartley has spoken to Jack’s mum and offered a personal apology.


"Unfortunately, the unit was also experiencing exceptionally high levels of demand which meant that Jack was required to wait in the clinical treatment room in the Paediatric Emergency Department until a bed became available.

As you've noted, there have been a large number of Twitter accounts claiming it's untrue. Since many of these are clearly copy-and-paste jobs, and political bots are a well-known feature of Twitter, this doesn't carry much weight.

edit: per gnasher729 and TJ Crowder:

A blog alleges that the apparent origin of the counterclaim being pushed by Twitter bots is somebody with family ties to the Conservative Health Secretary.

Guardian and Daily Mail report that she claims her account was hacked and denies the truth of some of the material posted by her account.

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    @Chronocidal "the busiest week since 2016" by definition does not constitute an exceptionally high level of demand
    – Will
    Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 9:35
  • 14
    @Will As per the quote included in the answer, the Chief Medical Officer at the hospital said "the unit was also experiencing exceptionally high levels of demand" - their words, not mine. (And you would also need to examine how much busier the week was in comparison to "normal" operations to determine whether or not it qualified as an Exception, not just that there was another exception 3 years ago...) Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 9:41
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    @Chronocidal granted you can define "exceptional" in relation to multiples of normal demand, which makes it convenient language for the hospital to use, but in the context of running out of beds the more relevant norm (because it is normal for demand to fluctuate) is how often the demand exceeds a certain level. The level of demand in "normal" circumstances isn't especially relevant because so long as it's anywhere between 0% and 99% of capacity the number of patients having to wait for a bed remains zero.
    – Will
    Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 10:48
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    I'd suggest that discussion about best ways to manage a hospital might be better taken to chat, excepting where it's relevant to the truth of the original claim or the content of this answer.
    – G_B
    Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 12:00
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    @GeoffreyBrent - Here, here, and here. But allegations of connections to Matt Hancock in that first link are interesting -- but unsubstantiated as far as I know. (It'd be his style, but that doesn't make it true.) Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 12:18

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