HAMPSHIRE Hospitals has been forced to issue a public statement after a post on a community Facebook group claimed a newborn baby had been stolen from one of its sites.

The post, originally shared to the group entitled Winchester Selling Page, claimed that a woman had impersonated a nurse, and taken a two-day-old male baby from the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester. It stated that she had been caught on CCTV, sharing an image, and asked the public for help in reuniting the young boy with his mother and catching the culprit.

However, it has since been revealed that the post was fake. The details of the incident are instead believed to be copied from an incident in Spain in 2016, in which a baby was kidnapped from Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center.

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Taking to Facebook to set the record straight, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) - which runs the hospitals in Winchester, Basingstoke and Andover - wrote: "You may have seen a recent post on a Facebook group about a baby being stolen from one of our hospitals.

"Please be assured that this is a complete fabrication and is inaccurate.

"If you see this post anywhere, please report it to the group administrators."

Steve Brine, MP for Winchester, commented: "Whoever posted this is irresponsible beyond belief. If anyone can help eradicate this post, please contact the Trust."

A spokesperson for Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “We would like to reassure everyone that there has not been an incident of this nature at any of our trust sites.

"We’d like to remind our patients, staff and community to only source information from official NHS sources such as NHS England, the Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust website and social channels.”

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