Fact-checking a strange digital deception that went on at the weekend about UK hospitals trying to create the idea that Covid-19 is not serious or stressing the NHS.

First published in November 2020.

It all started when @Intuitive1966 asked a question about whether hospitals were full. In steps, @madogs93who claims to be a “Ward Sister” in a “1600 bedder”.


For those of us who have never heard this expression before (and that’s all of us), this refers to the number of beds in the hospital.

The tweet, designed to irresponsibly downplay the severity of the pandemic, got 1,600 retweets (i.e. one RT per bed). As many of you have noted, there was also much copypasta with lots of people copy and pasting the tweet content.


Many tweeps have raised concerns about whether madogs93 is lying, largely provoked by the odd turn of phrase “1600 bedder”.

Let’s look at some other inconsistencies though...

Firstly, which hospital could @madogs93 be working in? There are only two 1600+ ‘bedders’ in the UK; one in Manchester and one in Glasgow.

Hospitals with the most beds. | Interweave Healthcare (Source: NHS)

@madogs93 has previously claimed to live in Scotland, which narrows it down.


Also, @madogs93 has previously said she works in Scotland.


It must, therefore, be the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) in Glasgow.

Hospitals with the most beds. | Interweave Healthcare (Source: NHS)

Bizarrely, @madogs93 – who claims to be a pro-Trump psych nurse – has denied there were any Covid-19 cases in QEUH.


On August 30, she said they had NO Covid cases. On September 19, they had virtually NO confirmed cases (so presumably some between August 30 and September 19). Then, on September 22, she said they had NO confirmed Covid cases for the past 3 months.


Anyway, glaring inconsistencies aside, it is clearly not true.

Check out this article, for example, about a man meeting his very sick father on the Covid-19 ward at QEUH, in April.

"What it was like to visit my elderly father on a Covid-19 ward – John McLellan." | The Scotsman

Weird that @madogs93 did not mention too that in October a ward at QEUH was closed down due to a Covid-19 outbreak.

Covid in Scotland: Outbreak in ward at Glasgow hospital. | BBC News

So, either @madogs93 is some influence troll or a woefully inconsistent, uninformed or dodgy nurse at one of the UK’s most Covid-19 free 1600 bedders.

With 1,600 retweets, by predominantly anti-EU and pro-Brexit types, it is clear that this disinfomation appeals the Farage set and, sadly, might give them ammo (however false) to share in their own networks (“I READ THIS STUFF FROM A NURSE ON TWITTER...”).

It is clear, from her Twitter account, that @madogs93 dedicated a lot of time trying to underplay the severity of Covid-19 – which seems odd for a nurse.


At the end of the day, the account has since been suspended by Twitter for violating the social media’s rules.🔷


Dr Marc Owen Jones, Assistant Professor in Middle East Studies & Digital Humanities, Hamad bin Khalifa University, Doha, Qatar.

[This piece was first published as a Twitter thread and turned into the above article on 2 November 2020 with the purpose of reaching a larger audience. It has been minorly edited and corrected, and published with the author’s consent. | The author of the tweets writes in a personal capacity.]

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