HAMPSHIRE Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) have spoken out against false online rumours that hospitals in the county are empty.

Multiple videos posted online over the last week claim the coronavirus pandemic has been exaggerated, showing footage of empty hospitals in Hampshire.

The videos are mostly filmed by individuals walking through hospital corridors and are posted in Facebook groups filled with coronavirus sceptics and anti-lockdown activists.

The posts have sparked fears that people could be lulled into a false sense of security, raising their risk of contracting the deadly virus.

Whilst HHFT confirmed no incidents of filming had occurred at any of their hospital sites, they emphasise that the hospitals are now under ‘increasing pressure’.

Julie Dawes, chief nurse, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “The NHS across the south east is under increasing pressure as we see a rise in the number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 who need hospital care. 

“Our staff are working tirelessly to ensure patients continue to receive the best care, including helping out with extra shifts at short notice and working in different departments to support other teams. “

The trust also confirmed that a ‘very small number’ of patients are currently being treated in the hospitals from outside areas amid the rise in hospital admissions.

Nurse Dawes continued: “The NHS is offering support to each other to deal with the increased demand, particularly in relation to critical care, however this is not a new process and critical care networks have long worked together in this way.”

“Despite the demand for this type of support growing, we can confirm we currently have a very small number of patients receiving care who have been transferred from outside our immediate area.”

A total of 165 patients with COVID-19 were being treated at HHFT hospitals on January 5 with 7 on ventilation.

The latest data on hospital admissions for the last seven days has not been updated on the government website.

Last night a police spokesperson confirmed that a 30-year-old woman had been handed a £200 fixed penalty notice by officers investigating reports of someone visiting hospitals in Hampshire and taking photographs.

The spokesperson said she was fined because she did not have a valid reason for leaving her home.