Shame­ful toll of hos­pi­tal thefts

Macclesfield Express - - BEFORE THE BENCH - KATE PUTTICK

THIEVES swiped wal­lets, mo­biles, a wheel­chair and even a hear­ing aid from Macclesfield Hos­pi­tal.

Fig­ures from 2014 re­vealed nine re­ports of theft from East Cheshire Hos­pi­tal Trust.

The cat­a­logue of items pil­fered from staff, pa­tients or vis­i­tors in­cluded a pic­ture frame, a hand­bag, six mo­bile phones, a wal­let con­tain­ing £50, coats, a purse and £746 in cash.

The list – ob­tained us­ing the Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion Act – also shows that thieves stole med­i­cal equip­ment in­clud­ing a wheel­chair and a hear­ing aid

Macclesfield Hos­pi­tal wasn’t the only hos­pi­tal tar­geted last year.

Step­ping Hill Hos­pi­tal in Stock­port re­ported 17 thefts, and Uni­ver­sity Hos­pi­tal of North Mid­lands, which runs North Stafford­shire Hos­pi­tal, recorded five thefts.

Mark Brear­ley, East Cheshire NHS Trust’s direc­tor of fi­nance, urged pa­tients not to bring valu­ables to hos­pi­tal.

He said: “While Macclesfield Dis­trict Gen­eral does not ex­pe­ri­ence a high num­ber of thefts com­pared to many other hos­pi­tals, we take any in­ci­dents ex­tremely seri- ously.

“We make ev­ery ef­fort to en­sure the se­cu­rity of pa­tients and vis­i­tors on the site through close mon­i­tor­ing of the hos­pi­tal’s CCTV sys­tem, a 24-hour on site se­cu­rity team and gen­eral vig­i­lance among our staff.

“How­ever, hos­pi­tals are very busy build­ings with a lot of public ar­eas and many peo­ple pass­ing through them each day.

“The trust can­not ac­cept any re­spon­si­bil­ity for the loss of per­sonal prop­erty so we urge pa­tients and vis­i­tors to leave valu­ables at home wher­ever pos­si­ble and keep any items brought into hos­pi­tal se­cure.”

●● A wheel­chair, coats and a purse are among the items stolen

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