Thefts from hospital are ‘despicable’

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Laptops, a television, needles, painkillers and scrap metal are among the items stolen from hospitals in central Lancashire.

Figures revealed under the Freedom of Information Act show items worth a total of £4,503 have been stolen in the past three years.

A resuscitation box was stolen from the neo-natal unit at the Royal Preston Hospital, electrical cable was stolen from the radiotherapy unit at Preston and medical equipment was stolen from the eye assessment unit.

Today the thefts were condemned as “despicable” and “disgraceful.”

Preston Council’s health lead Coun Dave Wilson said: “It’s like stealing a charity box - it’s the same level.

“I hope if they get caught they get adequate punishment and not a slap on the wrist.

“I think it is disgraceful and I feel sorry for anyone inconvenienced by the thefts.”

Meanwhile Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Trust said security is taken extremely seriously.

Since 2010/11 the Trust has had 17 reports of items stolen from its hospital.

The majority of the items, which also include copper earth cable, dental equipment and confectionary, were stolen from the Royal Preston Hospital. There were three reports of goods being stolen from Chorley District Hospital.

Jim Lloyd, security manager of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “Thousands of people pass through our hospitals every day and I’m pleased to say that incidents of theft are relatively uncommon.

“We take the responsibility of ensuring the safety and security of patients, visitors and staff extremely seriously.

“Access to medical equipment, pharmacy and clinical environments is restricted.

“We operate a network of CCTV throughout our buildings, and our highly trained security staff are visible and very competent at identifying any potential problems and resolving issues promptly.

“We also advise patients, visitors and staff to look after their personal property whilst they are in hospital.”

“We investigate all suspicious incidents, and any criminal activity is reported to the police.”