NHS workers who open up about their experiences tackling the coronavirus pandemic are being subjected to vile abuse and death threats by hateful online trolls.

Doctors who share coronavirus updates from their South Wales hospitals are being sworn at on social media, called "liars" and "killers", and being likened to Nazi genetic scientists.



Channel 4 News spoke to front-line workers in Gwent's Aneurin Bevan University Health Board area and across South Wales who had been on the receiving end of threats and abuse.

Dr Ami Jones, intensive care consultant at Gwent's new Grange University Hospital, said she had received "vicious" messages online calling for her to be "struck off" or "rounded up and put in prison".

She told Channel 4 her nursing team had been "devastated" by false online claims that health workers were lying about coronavirus.


"They couldn't believe that they're breaking their back and killing themselves to try and keep these patients going, and people are turning around and saying we're lying... and that Covid doesn't exist," Dr Jones said.

Cardiff-based A&E doctor Farbod Babolhavaeji said it was "psychologically exhausting" to constantly challenge false claims and conspiracy theories around the seriousness of the pandemic.

Asked why he continued to use social media and risk further online abuse, he said: "We also have a responsibility as healthcare professionals to counteract a lot of this [disinformation]."

Recently, Newport West Senedd member Jayne Bryant highlighted such abuse when she called on the Welsh Government to bring in "extensive support" for front-line health workers who had been left "exhausted and fatigued" after nearly a year of the pandemic.

In a heartfelt speech, she also told Senedd colleagues of the "shocking and deplorable" abuse some people were directing at medical workers "who have simply tried to tell the truth".

"It deflates the staff who've come off their shift exhausted, only to be treated with so little respect," Ms Bryant said. "Although these voices are small, the majority of us must do all we can to make sure they're heard and supported.

"Our frontline staff did not sign up for this, and they deserve so much better."