A disgruntled hospital visitor has spoken of his upset after discovering that metal cutlery regularly goes missing from Royal Preston Hospital’s (RPH) restaurant.
Vernon Allen, 69, who lives in Freckleton, near Preston, decided to have his lunch at the Charter’s Restaurant while at the hospital.
When he could only find plastic cutlery, he questioned a member of staff who told him that they had run out of metal knives and forks as people kept walking off with them.
Vernon said: “I think it is absolutely disgusting that people are taking cutlery from a hospital. It is theft and is totally unacceptable.
“It is appalling as hospitals are on a tight budget as it is and they should not have to keep paying out for replacement cutlery because of selfish people.
“It is coming out of taxpayers’ money and is not acceptable.
“Plastic cutlery is no good to eat with as it keeps breaking. People need to stop doing this.”
Miles Timperley, director of facilities and estates at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, said: “We would like to apologise if anybody has been told they cannot have metal cutlery while dining in any food outlet at our hospitals.
“This is not the case and if there is no metal cutlery readily available, a member of staff will get some for the customer.
“Metal cutlery is on wide circulation around our hospital sites and we understand that people either forget to return it or it is left on wards or in other areas.
“Our catering staff do regularly visit wards and other areas of our hospitals to retrieve anything that belongs to the kitchens in a bid to avoid any shortage.”