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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 September 2007, 20:17 GMT 21:17 UK
Facebook banned by health trust
Medway Maritime Hospital
The trust said staff could appeal against the ban
Workers at a Kent hospital are the latest people to be banned by their employers from using the social networking website Facebook.

Medway NHS Trust said it had restricted access to a number of websites as part on an ongoing policy to monitor internet usage and optimise efficiency.

Employees at Medway Maritime Hospital run by the trust have set up a Facebook group to protest against the move.

The trust said staff with a valid reason could appeal against the ban.

Medway NHS Trust, which is based in Gillingham, employes more than 3,550 people.

'Optimise efficiency'

A spokesman said: "Recently a decision was taken by the IT and Operations Departments of Medway NHS Trust, to add a number of sites, including facebook.com, to the restricted list.

"This is part of work ongoing within the Trust to monitor internet usage and optimise efficiency."

He added: While the Trust has no objection to staff accessing the Internet for personal reasons during breaks, we reserve the right to limit access in any way we deem necessary, and maintain a strict policy of correct and acceptable internet usage.

"Should any member of staff have valid reasons why they should need to access any site which may currently be restricted, they are invited to contact Director of Operations, Ellen Ryabov, in order to discuss these further."

Kent County Council announced last week that it had banned the use of the social networking site in order to reduce time-wasting.




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